In a bold move designed to address the challenges presented by the global downturn in the hospitality industry, Pezula Resort Hotel & Spa is opening a new restaurant in the award-winning Knysna hotel.
Café Z will offer all the high standards and quality that the Pezula brand has become known for internationally, but will be more accessible to locals and visitors.
“We are facing the challenges head-on,” says Pezula Chairman Keith Stewart, “by investing in a new and innovative product which we believe will give our guests more flexibility and affordability in this tough climate.”
Stewart says that dozens of properties have closed shop across the country this year, but he believes adapting to the climate is a better way to go.
“We are being innovative in our approach and adding an offering which will suit more pockets,” says Stewart.
Chef Geoffrey Murray, who opened Zachary’s fine dining restaurant at Pezula in January 2005, says Café Z is all about delicious, freshly prepared, beautifully presented food, served in a relaxed environment.
“Café Z will give our guests another, more casual dining option,” says Murray, “with the same high quality, fresh produce that we grow in our vegetable and herb garden on the resort, and source from local producers.”
The new restaurant will be located on the lower level of Pezula Hotel and will open every day for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
“It will be the kind of place where you can pop in for something to eat at any time of the day,” says Murray. “A casual meeting place where we’ll be offering free Wi-Fi to our guests.”
The concept was inspired by the success of Murray’s Farm to the Table menus which he launched at Zachary’s in 2010.
These menus focussed on fresh local produce and represented a mouth-watering array of comfort food dishes at excellent value.
“At Café Z we’ll serve this type of food on a daily basis,” he says.
“The menu has a simpler approach than the food at Zachary’s,” says Murray, “but obviously it is still prepared within the same exacting standards and quality that our guests are used to.”
Café Z’s menu will constantly evolve and change with the seasons and whatever is available locally from the farmers.
Items on the new menu include Spring pea soup with grilled courgettes, lemon & jersey milk ricotta; San Ambroso Farm’s pork & pistachio terrine with pickled stone fruit, wild rocket & grilled sourdough; Grilled 28 day dry-aged grass-fed ribeye with chard, crème fraiche, pont neuf potatoes & bordelaise; and Buttermilk & cardamom panna cotta with pineapple ginger beer & pineapple sherbet.
Starters will be priced from R50, mains from R85, and dessert dishes at about R50.
There will be a select wine list with wines available by the glass, half-carafe and bottle, and the full award-winning Zachary’s wine list will be available on request.
Zachary’s will remain the hotel’s fine dining restaurant, but will now open only on Fridays and Saturdays and offer an option of tasting menus.
To book a table at Café Z, which opens officially on 8 October, call 044 302 3333 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.