A couple of months ago I was invited to be a judge in the V & A Waterfront Masters of the Trade Routes Culinary ChallengeI ate in 9 different restaurants over two months and sampled some some amazing dishes.

Each participating restaurant created a signature dish that in some way encapsulated the spirit of the Trade Route. The competition sought to recognise the restaurant within the waterfront  that delivered a flawless dining experience and an excellent fusion dish that was perfectly presented.

It was wonderful to be a part of such an exciting competition.

Last week the final 8 restaurants competed in the grand finale at a gala event that took place aboard the new SA Aghulas II. These top 8 restaurants were judged by Justine Drake, John Maytham and Caro De Waal on the night.

A tough competition but in the end Signal Restaurant headed up by executive chef Malika van Reenen took home the prize as the winner. I ate their meal in the restaurant and can safely say that this is well deserved.

I was deliriously excited to have the opportunity to board this amazing ice-breaking ship that carries scientists and supplies to the South Africa research stations in the Antartic.

I was far too busy sipping amazing Groot Constantia wines and sample all 8 winning restaurants meals to take photos, so all of these are the professional images shot on the night and supplied by the event organisers.



  1. laura melanie

    I Love this idea and how the waterfront implemented it, such a great inspiration for the ktichens to get noticed and work at their ultimate best!

  2. Sam

    I agree Laura, so many smaller restaurants get noticed this way. I loved going into the waterfront more and feeling like a tourist in my own home town. There is always something that feels a bit like a holiday when you go there.

  3. Oh my gosh, what an exciting opportunity!! That must have been fabulous to get to taste all those different meals, especially when they would have been creating the very best of their repertoire. I wish that would happen here.

  4. Sam

    Suzanne – I have to slow down on all the restaurant meals as the weight has just packed on #diet time for me.

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