There’s a new addition to the Mother City’s cocktail bar-slash-restaurant scene, and it’s hotting up just in time for summer. Valora, named after its Latin meaning, ‘bravery’, is a new eatery that is quickly becoming the talk of the town. With a diverse Mediterranean menu, great cocktail specials and live music, it’s creating a definite buzz. We chatted to owner, Michael Mouneimne, who previously managed the famous Café Caprice on the sunny Camps Bay strip for the past nine years. After deciding to trade in the night life for something more tame, Michael opened the doors to Valora in July this year. His sole mission? To offer an affordable fine dining experience for passersby… How would you describe the mood of the space? We wanted the space to be warm and intimate; somewhere where diners would feel right at home. I think we achieved this with the cosy interiors and our friendly staff. 3 words to sum up the decor? Simple, warm, inviting. Your favourite dish on the menu? The tomahawk steak, for sure! I can attest to that! And your favourite wine? I don’t drink but the most popular is our Ernst Gouws & Co Merlot followed by their Sauvignon Blanc. What do you hope diners will take away from the experience? That we are a place where they can enjoy fine food, for great value, in a relaxed, trendy environment backed by great service. Describe your personal entertaining style? I’m a bit of a joker and enjoy making people laugh – I try to bring that to people while they are dining with us. I believe that going out for dinner is not just about the food and wine; people need to be entertained. What inspires you? My 11-month-old son is my biggest inspiration. Anything exciting planned for Valora in the future? We’ve got live music on Friday nights and, moving forward, we have some exciting things planned – but you’ll have to wait a little longer to find out what they are! What is your favourite thing about summer? My favourite thing about summer would definitely be the festive atmosphere and getting together with friends and family. Any entertaining tips for the season? When it comes to entertaining, I think summer is the perfect time to try as many new things as possible and to do things you wouldn’t normally do. Getting out of your routine adds a little excitement to your life… Summer specials for the month of November: – Every Thursday: Catch their pizza and pasta night where it’s 50% off all pizza and pasta. – Every Friday evening: If you book a table for 4 or more, you’ll receive a complimentary bottle of wine. Visit Valora at 70 Loop Street, Corner Hout and Loop Streets, Cape Town. 021-426-1001. valora.co.za To read a Q&A with another fabulous foodie, Adam Robinson from the Corner Post Restaurant in the KZN Midlands, please click here. Interviewed by Kim Grové.