Michelin-starred chef opens new restaurant in Stellenbosch

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Award-winning chef Phil Carmichael has recently opened a bistronomy-style restaurant in Stellenbosch, blending classic bistro dining with modern, innovative elements. 

Aptly named, Mill St Bistro in an ode to the restaurant’s location on the corner of Mill and Church Streets in Stellenbosch’s historic central quarter, in view of the Mill Stream Monument. Phil says the new restaurant aims to showcase culinary integrity and French cooking, with a focus on local, sustainably sourced, no-fuss ingredients.  

Phil’s food journey began in his teens at a restaurant near where he grew up in Wales. The lights of London beckoned and he went to train under culinary giant Michel Roux Jnr at the acclaimed Michelin-star restaurant, Le Gavroche. His CV includes earning a Michelin star at Maze Prague, serving as Executive Chef at Maze Cape Town, and leading the acclaimed Esquina tapas bar in Singapore and The Little Social in London. Twice the Welsh champion on BBC’s Great British Menu, Phil emphasises simplicity and top-quality ingredients in his cooking. Now a resident of South Africa, his new venture promises to bring his culinary expertise to a fresh audience.

Utilising core fundamentals of French cooking with a modern interpretation and the use of South African ingredients, Mill St Bistro will feature a range of dishes that incorporate fermentation, pickling and preserving.

This will be a concurrent thread throughout its menu, showcasing a balance of refined flavours in dishes such as the braised beef cheek served with fresh sauerkraut.  

Photographed by: Claire Gunn

 The cooking philosophy is centred around authenticity, sustainability and the provenance of ingredients. “We want our food to be authentic, not for the label it carries, but for the meaningful and sustainable values it represents,” says Phil. 

At the helm of the kitchen and the new restaurant, Phil echoes this message through his active collaboration with local independent farmers, producers and fishermen in sourcing ingredients used in the restaurant.   

“You ultimately end up with a better, nutritional product that tells a transparent story,” adds Phil. 

Photographed by Claire Gunn

 The restaurant has been designed to reflect its unfussy approach to dining, curating a relaxed and refined setting with an open-plan layout of 64 seats.

The bare oak tables set against brass-edged lighting and hues of warm tones create a comfortable dining experience for any occasion, from catch ups with friends to more special occasions. The restaurant features a wine bar that connects the deck with the indoor seating area, well suited for an after-work nightcap.  

Photographed by Claire Gunn

Diners can peer into the kitchen watching the magic come to life as the restaurant features an open chef’s kitchen. 

The restaurant is officially open from Tuesday to Saturday for lunch from 12.30pm to 2.30pm and dinner from 5.30pm to 9.30pm.  

Bookings can be made directly by contacting the restaurant via their website or telephonically via 021 020 1301. 

Photographed by Claire Gunn

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