Grub & Vine: Visiting Our First Lockdown Restaurant

I finally took the plunge and visited a restaurant! The thought of being cooped up with strangers laughing, eating, spitting was REALLY low on my Covid life to do list, but a friend had said it’s probably safer than visiting the supermarket. I gave that some thought…I actually don’t visit supermarkets! I send Mr John who is a natural introvert and easily avoids others so we’ve been playing it really safe.

The one thing that annoys me about shopping is that you have to stand in a long queue to get in, but then once inside everyone just climbs all over one another, stands RIGHT next to you and completely ignores that fact it just took us half an hour to get in!? I can’t deal.

But – Jordan Wines had the most insane Restaurant Drive special where you could buy a R600 voucher and get 6 bottles of wine AND a R600 meal voucher from a restaurant of your choice. Even though times are tough, no sane person could pass that up!

So I selected my voucher for Grub & Vine by Matt Manning – who I’ve been wanting to support forever – and took the plunge to visit on the weekend.

COVID 19 Checks at Grub & Vine

Town was relatively dead so we found parking fairly easily in Loop street. We walked up, past the House of Machines, and turned the corner into Bree street to find the Grub & Vine host ready to greet us, mask and all.


Grub & Vine were sure to have a number of safety checks in place, including:

  1. Front door host wearing perspex mask.
  2. All servers wearing perspex masks or cloth masks.
  3. Temperature checks upon entry (I was 36.6, Mr John 36.2).
  4. Temperature details as well as names were also written down, as per the law.
  5. Sanitizer sprays before entering the restaurant.
  6. At no point did any of the staff stop wearing a mask for any reason.
  7. We continued to wear ours until seated and eating.
  8. The restaurant’s windows were all open and very well ventilated.
  9. Usual bathroom soaps available (I washed my hands a few times).

Welcome to Grub & Vine

I’ve always enjoyed the aesthetic of Grub & Vine and often wondered if it was a cold space? But the misty afternoon sun shone in through the windows, warmed up by the large, black paneled leather seat, plants, sound proofing on the roof to absorb any echo and large mirrors to “double” the space gave a warm and intimate dining experience.

The restaurant had a number of tables which I realised was actually better than a supermarket because once people are down, they are down! (Unlike a supermarket where they’re moving all over the show spreading their cooties.)

I also liked the little white pots and tiny daisies on the table as well as the west coast succulents growing in the flower boxes on the window sills. A perfect combination of British tradition (pub flower boxes) with a South African twist. I approve!

Grub & Vine Menu Choices

Menus are no longer available at Grub & Vine due to the Covid laws, so you will be required to look up the menu on your phone. This was no problem for me as I’d been checking it out during the week and actually helped as I came prepared with questions, such as – can I have the beef for lunch? (Usually only a dinner item.)

Grub & Vine has somewhat of a set menu theme, meaning, it’s compulsory to choose a 2 course, 3 course or 5 course meal.

  • 2 courses: R325 (R162.50 per course)
  • 3 courses: R435 (R145.00 per course)
  • 5 courses: R595 (R119.00 per course)

So the more you order, technically the more affordable each course is. You can see the full Grub & Vine menu here:

Because AJ is a fussy eater, we opted for 2 x 2 courses and Matt’s team kindly made him steak and chips (not a usual menu item), as we had notified them before hand and they were able to prep something for him.


Grub & Vine Food

To start we had a delightful amuse bouche of cauliflower arancini with curry aioli. I already knew these were good as I’d had them several times while visiting my favourite wine bar next door – Froggit & Vonkel (you can order snacks from Grub & Vine).

We skipped starters (as we’d had eye on the honeycomb ice cream for quite some time) and went straight for mains. I had the beef, which I had been coveting on Instagram: slow braised beef shin, chargrilled tenderstem broccoli, smoked mash, turnip and truffle.

I loved this plate as it was like 2 meals in one. Sliced beef with turnips, pea puree and oils. Then the Yorkshire pudding beef shin with smoked mash, broccoli and jus. YUM!

I hadn’t read the menu details closely (I had been too far occupied with the Yorkshire pudding) to realise the mash was smoked! The flavour was unbelievable and I FORCED Mr John to have a taste (I put mash on one of his fries haha). Even though I’m not a massive smoked fan, this was a stand out element.

beef steak with mash potatoes and brocolli

Mr John had a lovely piece of beef with perfectly seasoned potatoes, beef jus and home made ketchup. Sadly the ketchup went untouched, but he tried the gravy, which he “survived”. 😉

For dessert we both had the Dark chocolate torte, honeycomb, Swiss meringue and honeycomb ice cream. This was a surprising plate as I had anticipated the torte to be more like a dark chocolate tart/ganache, but it was more of a biscuity cake!

I also hate meringue, but LOVED the soft Swiss meringue (nothing like why I hate French meringue with it’s crunchy, sugar texture) and the honeycomb was delicious! I mean, can you ever go wrong with honeycomb?


Grub & Vine Review

Unfortunately, we weren’t allowed wine due to the present lockdown laws so we opted for my number one – sparkling water and were quite happy. Grub & Vine is, however, offering mocktails which looked fun (other patrons had ordered them).

We had a lovely, quiet lunch at Grub & Vine, felt totally safe and really enjoyed the food. I’d be more than happy to go back. It would also make a really good “special occasion” restaurant because you can invite people and tell them up front what costs to expect. Not a very romantic topic – but times are tough for many so managing expectations could be good for everyone.

Book via Whatsapp on: 076 256 8654 or via Dineplan.

Grub & Vine Opening Times

With the new curfew laws in place, it’s making it rather difficult for restaurants to run during normal working hours.

Lunch Times: Wednesday – Saturday: 12pm – 3pm

Dinner Times: Wednesday – Saturday: 4pm – 8pm

Closed Sunday, Monday & Tuesday. If you live outside the city (as we do) I recommend the lunch slot on a Saturday. It feels less rushed and you don’t have to worry about curfew. If you do live in the city then an early dinner would be perfect.

Find it at 103 Bree street, Cape Town.

NEW Radford Dale X Grub & Vine Vouchers

If you missed the Jordan wine special, Radford Dale, an innovative Stellenbosch-based winery has stepped-in to help the restaurant industry with another amazing voucher deal.

Radford Dale sells around 80% of its production outside of the domestic market, which is allowing them to commit half a million Rand’s worth of their most premium wines to supporting the restaurant sector in Cape Town.

You can purchase a gift voucher or Grub & Vine’s interactive, at-home fine dining experience for two people, ‘Virtual Dining’ at the cost of R1,400 AND receive a complimentary case of Radford Dale’s critically acclaimed wine when alcohol sales resume. The normal cellar door price of the case is R2,385.

“You can effectively enjoy an incredible gastronomic experience plus a case of wine for a spend of R1,400, and receive almost R4,000’s worth of value. Better yet, your support will enable Grub & Vine to ride out the worst of this storm so that they can continue to keep their lights on,” explains Alex Dale.



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