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Restaurant Recommendations in and around Cape Town
A stylish, sleek but yet royal, dainty and an award-winning restaurant awaits you. The poetry is in the food and the ambiance, at this majestic place. An assorted menu brings to you the exotic from around the orient. The proof of authenticity is the food itself, as the kitchen is managed by Asian chefs. One of the speciality dishes, Dim sum is gracefully folded and filled with seared scallops or spicy pork, spinach and cream. Shredded daikon is served with bowls of chilli sauces and dips ensuring exquisite taste.
Cuisine: Asian, Chinese
Call 021-424 7000/1472
Address: 33 Church Street
Undoubtedly one of the best dining locations in the city. Abode to the Eat Out Chef of the Year (2006) George Jardine, the place is well deserving of its culinary laurels. Since its opening in 2006, the décor has been at the centre of developments. The additions of drapes to reduce noise, and subtle lights have certainly added some more intimacy to the consummate place. The food is enticing as ever – oysters are made in abounding mouth watering ways (eg: basil and tomato foam or the traditional shallot and vinaigrette) and Jardine’s most celebrated crayfish risotto remains the apple of the eye, for starters. The main course adds more coetaneous twists on the delightful food, which has now become a benchmark. Rosemary - infused oxtail and creamy soft layer with shavings of truffle, sweet and smoky warthog belly on congee, Bordelaise sauce, marrow and creamed spinach are sure to leave you crapulous. In desserts, the likes of Grand Marnier soufflé are surely in, to seduce you. The wines are handpicked from the star estates and some smaller reputed farms in the Cape.
Cuisine: Continental and South African
Call 021-424 5640 |
Address: 185 Bree Street, corner of Bloem Street, City Bowl, Cape Town
Elegant saucing and the avant-garde use of top-quality ingredients (like truffles, foie gras) speak aloud of chef patron Harald Bresselschmidt’s classic training. He is also well known for his predilection of adding a hint of Asia to the menu. The duck duo which is given a tandoori (Indian bake) special treatment and is served with a Vietnamese-style shredded duck rice-paper roll or, the salmon tartare with spicy guacamole in a wonton are a few mouth watering delicacies. Chocolate flavoured Springbok and lamb saddle with lavender are some of the ways his highness Bresselschmidt likes to play with your food. Besides the elegant cuisine, blue-blooded décor, foods like home-baked bread (and a choice of three butters), a knowledgeable sommelier service and discreet waiters ensure a smooth and momentous experience. The evening menu Cinq à Sept (5 – 7 pm) offer the guests a quick dip into Bresselschmidt’s magic.
Cuisine: Asian, French, Continental
Call 021-465 4909 |
Address: 39 Barnet Street Gardens
Le Quartier francais Franschshoek
The special secret behind the success of this fine bistro, rated in the world’s top 50 for a third consecutive year (along with other global awards), is nothing more than pure unadulterated love put in its flavours, textures, colours and cooking. Also, the delight of watching people’s faces as they work for giving you an aristocratic menu of four, six and eight courses, gives you a very warm feeling. The sense dazzling dishes of executive chef Margot Janse give a sense of ecstasy to the taste buds and actually taste much less conceptual than they seem on the menu. The enchanting food toppings like a fragile tomato ‘cloud’, light-as-air buchu foam, resting on a sultana purée or suffused in a truffle velouté, contribute immensely but the individual flavours and textures being in euphoric harmony leave you spell bound. The exciting, extensive menu changes accordingly with the seasonal produce and daily whim leading to a sensual experience, which might just go over your head and leave you ravenous. Whether you take wild mushrooms or wildebeest for any of your courses, the classical approach to cooking unfolds an intense understanding of the ingredients and of the pleasure to be had in relishing a meal. Even with all the attention focused on the food, the discrete modern décor or the low-key playing of a baby grand can’t go unnoticed, though the polished service all round always takes the spotlight. A very impressive wine list gets honoured with able sommeliers on hand to assist you with your choices.
Call: +27 21 876 2151
Address: Wilhelmina Street
The prime location in the heart of the Camps Bay-meetsthe promises a gorgeous view, Copacabana action and a regular following puts this eatery in the category of ‘very much in demand’. Taking full advantage of their position here they do a roaring trade in seafood here. One of the specialities here, the calamari is always worth trying; also going for broke with a gigantic prawn platter or trying the honey, ginger and soy sizzled Norwegian salmon is a very good idea. They also have plenty of assorted Italian offerings, one such being the fillet tournedos. Their sushi and Caesar salads are especially worth mentioning here. An impressive wine list and fab cocktails complement the myriad of menu choices and makes up for the ‘too-cool’ style of service.
Cuisine: Sushi, International
Call 021-438 0404
Address: Victoria RD – Camps Bay
The destination with one of the oldest buildings in the city, this is where the old rubs shoulders with the new, the well-groomed staff sees to a seamless and momentous experience. The cuisine here is Northern Italian and Giorgio Nava’s efforts to blend simplicity with top quality produce he can get his hands on, is remarkable. A testament to this fact could be his fishing boat that catches the seafood specials and the organic farming done here. The risotto and the beloved sliver-thin carpaccio with parmesan are the brand stars of the menu, while specials could range from rabbit to oxtail. Quality Italian wines enrich the classy experience.
Call 021-422 0765
Address: 95 Keerom Street, Gardens, Cape Town
being located in an elegant historic building near to the courts, this restaurant becomes the natural choice of legal eagles and the wealthy class. The menu is divided according to the two-, three- or four-course meal options, each of which features Chef Ian Bergh’s classic culinary skills that are combined with an audacious modern edge. Speciality seafood like salmon tartare with wasabi, soya and sushi rice or excellently cooked line fish gets a royal treatment here transforming it into a diner’s delight. There are plenty of main course meat dishes to the non-vegetarian’s rapture – always served with tasty accompaniments like a heady sauce, often ambrosial with foie gras or truffle. With a sense of strong liking for interesting local produce, including Kalahari truffles, handpicked porcini or, the fresh tuna, this place entertains its diners magnanimously. Service is generally slick but inconsistency can sometimes be a problem. The annual winter specials are a sure thing to look out for and so is the well-rounded wine list.
Call 021-424 4442
Address: 14 Keerom Street, City Bowl, Cape Town
Bukhara (Cape Town - City Centre)
The Indian restaurant is known by the rich aromas of spices that hit you as you enter. Exotic spices and herbs are used to intricately add flavour to the exceptional cuts of meat, poultry and vegetables. Owner S Sabharwal knows all the tricks in the trade to successfully run the restaurant. The menu doesn’t change often and guests keep coming here for more copper bowls full with luscious black lentils, tandoori lamb chops, lamb rogan josh and especially butter chicken. The garlic naan bread is a speciality and goes well with almost everything. Big scoops of smooth mango ice cream along with cardamom constitute the homemade bread-and butter pudding which is a treat to any desert lover. An extensive wine list enshrines the felling of aristocracy.
Call 021-424 0000
Address: 33 Church Street | City Bowl
One of the reasons Cape Town is now seen as a culinary capital is because of Award-winning chef ‘Mike Bassett’ and if you’ve tasted his fusion food, you’ll have no doubts about it. It is always better to get a table reserved here beforehand, as the place is highly in demand. The starters have made a name for themselves like ‘tasting spoons from around the world’ – from lamb rogan josh to lime and chillied crayfish and gremolata octopus; also you may choose from an excellent one- and four-course menu. The Foie Gras (including ice cream, custard and parfait) is delicious and absolutely worth sampling. Specials like the duck served two ways and springbok Wellington only glorify the cook’s skills. Desserts are highly recommended and the wine list is exquisite, also the knowledgeable waiters certainly help you to make food-friendly choices.
Cuisine: Contemporary, Fusion
Call 021-426 2368
Address: 121 Castle Street| City Bowl
Shoga is the upstairs kin of Ginja; if Ginja is for special days Shoga is certainly specialises in every day treats. With starters changing daily the likes of bobotie spiced ostrich fillet, crispy roast duck and wood-fired salmon teriyaki are hard to miss; well this is what they call comfort-fusion-food. Crisp linen goes well with scrubbed wooden floors and a host of mesmerising desserts like chocolate brownies. The ‘chai’ tea and crème brûlée crown the most enjoyable yet relaxed eating experience.
Call 021-426 2369
Address: 121 Castle Street| City Bowl
Pigalle (Green Point)
The quondam world of crystal chandeliers, plush seating, and a dance floor and a band comes alive with its charm and occasion. Pigalle is certainly the most impressive choice for a poetic or a romantic evening out. Gear up for an eventful evening and don’t forget to wear your dancing shoes. The cuisine is majorly Portuguese with mouth-watering specialities like chicken livers with hot rolls layered with garlic butter and peri-peri prawns. Retro food like prawn cocktail, delicious steak and chips with vegetables and the best Caesar salad in the city will surely satisfy old school non-vegetarians. A great champagne selection added to an extensive wine list glorifies the party atmosphere.
Cuisine: Portuguese and Seafood
Call 021-421 4848
Address: Pigalle (Green Point)57 Somerset Road, Green Point,
Since the change of ownership Beluga has hit the big picture: The large, open and modern restaurant has now got a New York-ish feel with the in-vogue and charming media people coming from nearby offices. Apart from the contemporary looks the daily sushi feast is dazzling and keeps you coming back for more. Salads like crab and Caesar are specialities along with the grills that are cooked to blow you over. Get simply lost in the cocktail list or choose from an extensive wine list with the most exclusive wines in town.
Cuisine: Grills, Sushi and Modern
Call 021-418 2948
Address: Prestwich Street Green Point
Wakame (Mouille Point)
After a fire tragedy at the upstairs restaurant and bar Wafu , the Mouille Point has been completely renovated giving the eatery an Asian-Fusion flavour and style. The interiors are not the only things that were restored but the perfect view across the sea and the crowd of well-heeled 30 some-things also remain. Sushi is the favourite here; the ideal way to start could be to order a couple of salvers while you decide the menu. For starters the green curry chicken livers and the chilli salt calamari are highly recommended. The main course is made memorable by the incredible tea smoked salmon on wasabi mash or the intoxicating tamarind and coconut seafood curry and the coriander-crusted fillet. Asian influence in dressings, saucing and sides can’t go unnoticed; coupled with western sensibility the place leaves the loyal guests emotional who make dining a tradition out here. Despite a classy and extensive wine-list (which also includes sake), a lot more by-the-glass options could have been explored.
Cuisine: Seafood, Asian, Sushi
Call 021-433 2377
Address: Cnr Surrey Place and Beach Road Mouille Point