Eighty-Ate is a restaurant with street cafe flair a stone’s throw away from the Company’s Garden. Having been rebranded and refurbished in recent times, this centrally located eatery has a reinvented menu on offer, which we had been itching to try.
The Cape Town Hollow Boutique Hotel is the home of Eighty-Ate. There is a prominent contemporary feel about it, with the interior displaying local art along with beautifully crafted furniture and soft lighting.
Eighty-Ate is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, but with its extensive wine selection, we had to settle on visiting for dinner.
I found the wine pairing recommendations on the menu particularly useful and well thought out. Being a sucker for seafood, I fell for the salmon gravlax starter paired with Vondelling Chardonnay. Without being long winded, for me they just worked wonderfully together. The beef carpaccio wasn’t far behind when paired with a glass of Syrah from Julien Schaal.
No restaurant with a fairly new menu will ever get everything perfect from the get-go, and I felt that although the starters were excellent, the mains just didn’t quite match their magic. A glass of Waterford Rose Mary paired well with the lemon, ginger and chilli prawns, but they were a bit too soft. I found the lamb shank good but not outstanding (it could have been done longer), though enjoyable nonetheless.
By no means did this put a dampener on our Eighty-Ate experience though, as we knew we were in the capable hands of Chef Ismail Dysel on the night. Growing up in the Cape Flats has kept Ismail grounded as he progressed from being a small-time film-set caterer to blossoming into a experienced chef with stories like ‘This one time, when I cooked for Nicholas Cage…’ Ismail exudes passion for his craft and talked with a twinkle in his eye as he reminisced with us.
All in all, Eighty-Ate offers a decent dining experience with an impressive wine list. I’ll have to be back for lunch!
Where 88 Queen Victoria St, CBD
When Monday – Sunday 7 am – 11 pm
Contact +27 21 423 1260, [email protected]