I have admired Peter Veldsman and chef Johan Odendaal for so many years. In fact, their restaurant Emily’s in Woodstock was one of the very first places to inspire me when I first moved to Cape Town. It was a quirky little upstairs eatery in Woodstock before they moved to the Waterfront. I was delighted to hear that they’ve moved back into town with a more casual approach, but are still cooking food with honesty and care. Peter is a doyen of food and Johan is a very underrated chef.
Towards the end of last year I hosted a Spier Secret Festival dinner with ceramist extraordinaire Mervyn Gers (who also worked with us on our 2013 Eat Out DStv Food Network Restaurant Awards) and his partner, Christa Koch Terblanche, using their beautiful pieces, which I have seen at some top restaurants. Whilst setting up for the dinner, Christa raved on about the new Emily’s and that I had to try the burger.
While I do love a gourmet burger, I am often disappointed. (But must admit that a Burger King Whopper sometimes does the trick!) So I popped into Emily’s and sat in the beautiful manicured garden, about which both Peter and Johan are also passionate. We ordered the mushroom burger and I haven’t stopped thinking about it since.
It was something else. A delicious, succulent, beef patty stuffed between a toasted roll with a homemade tomato relish and then, a mushroom sauce that blew my mind: a mix-up of exotic mushrooms enrobed in cream. The chips are hand cut and literally perfect, and it comes with a salad of all things nice like asparagus and artichokes tossed in one of Johan’s dressings. Our table concurred: it was the best burger yet!
What I haven’t tried yet, though, is a gourmet burger at The Wolf Pack in Parkhurst. It’s on my Johannesburg hit list for next time!
Happy burger eating!