The Annex story
The Annex Restaurant, a sister business to Kalk Bay Books, opened in March 2010. The bookshop has become a destination of choice to booklovers across Cape Town and beyond and the renowned quality of the books it stocks and the events it presents is matched by the quality of the food and service at The Annex.
Drawing on the heritage of the 99-year-old buildings, the visual experience of the restaurant is as much a draw card as the food. The Annex is the original name for the building that now houses the restaurant. Designed by architect John Parker and built in 1913 as an annex to the old Masonic Hotel and then the Majestic Hotel, The Annex is a graceful and peaceful escape from the bustle of Main Road. The Annex Library, with its cosy fireplace, is perfect for indoor dining. Guests can also enjoy relaxed meals on The Annex Verandah, at a table in The Annex Courtyard, and the fantastic harbour view from under the tree on The Annex Terrace.
Aussie chef rules in The Annex kitchen
Regulars at The Annex Restaurant in Kalk Bay are familiar with the tall, gangly chap in shorts and baseball cap, making his way to the kitchen with a ‘Hiya, Mate’ to them in passing. Ranald McKechnie, award-winning Head Chef at The Annex, runs his kitchen with a minimum of fuss, but complete control. His laid-back air belies his skill with a knife and his finesse with a frying pan, but is a promise of the food to come – unfussy modern Mediterranean style cuisine that satisfies with every mouthful.
After completing his apprenticeship in Perth, Western Australia, Ranald spent five years working his way up in high-end restaurants in Perth’s CBD, winning Australian Hotels Association Chef of the year in 2003. Looking to further his experience and love of food, Ranald spent the next several years travelling Europe and Asia working his way to the private motor yacht industry where he met his Capetonian girl friend, Rayne. He has since adopted Cape Town as his second home, living and working predominantly around the Kalk Bay area, leading him to The Annex where he took over as Head Chef in December 2011. With 16 years experience in kitchens and the hospitality industry Ranald has formed a wide and varied knowledge of different cuisines and foods. He now draws upon this knowledge at The Annex to provide a menu that has a balance of both classical and modern ‘fusion’ dishes.