Love it or hate it, Aphrodite’s favourite day is an excellent excuse for a good time with your amour. Or to spoil another special someone… yourself! The Mother City is one of the world’s most romantic destinations.
In fact, Brides.com named it the ultimate honeymoon destination in 2021. The Cape Town CBD is sensational for those seeking to sneak in a memorable meal with their Valentine. From low-lit haunts for starry-eyed lovers to swanky fine-dining delights for unforgettable nights, here’s the Cape Town Central City Improvement District’s (CCID) ultimate CBD date guide.
Tasso Evangelinos, CEO of the CCID, says, “If ever there was a time to celebrate love and kindness, this is it! We all need a bit of cheesiness in our lives, so embrace the cliché of the day, and support our stellar homegrown businesses as you do so!”
Trying to plan the perfect date? Here’s the CCID’s super handy guide for lovers:
Super fancy: FYN
Treat your favourite to the FYNer things in life, with this ‘neoteric Japanese African’ fusion of flavours. Located in Parliament Street, FYN crosses boundaries to bring delighted diners stunning plates of contemporary cuisine. From burnt mushroom milk buns and summer somen (noodles), to Robata-grilled Kalahari beef and pumpkin pie nougat with yuzu marshmallow, guests are taken on an unforgettable journey that may just inspire a lover to get on bended knee. The dramatic industrial interior certainly is the perfect backdrop for a proposal…
Site: www.fynrestaurant.com | Location: 5th Floor, Speakers Corner, 37 Parliament St | Phone: 021 286 2736
Super sexy: Royal Oyster Bar
Some have it that Aphrodite, goddess of love, rose from the sea in an oyster shell, shortly before birthing Eros, the god of erotic romance. Others say that the romantic rogue Casanova – rumoured to have seduced 122 women – slurped down sixty oysters a day.
Whatever the reason, these slippery shuckers have become known as aphrodisiacs. Hence, the Royal Oyster Bar on Bree is ideal for those seeking to keep it sexy.
Site: www.the-royal-oyster.com | Location: 17 Bree Street | Phone: 071 490 2834
Super nice: Grub and Vine
‘If music be the food of love, play on’… Of course, Orsino is hoping to cure his craving for love by being drowned in an excess of it, so the quote isn’t quite right. But fools in love looking to blend the blues with good wine and great food should make a beeline for Matt Manning’s The Blue Room at Grub and Vine. Serving up soulful sounds with live music, this humble hot spot keeps it simple.
Think tapas and bespoke cocktails. Dive into some Love and Sage to start, followed by the Hanky Panky. Add a pork scotch egg and spicy fried chicken wings to keep things deliciously dirty.
Site: www.grubandvine.co.za | Location: 103 Bree Street | Phone: 087 153 5244
Super stylish: Mulberry and Prince
Stroll down Pepper Street to the iconic pink doors and get ready for the best brunch the Mother City has to offer. Its stylish interior may get the ‘Gram buzzing, but it’s the eggs that really steal the show.
If the way to your significant other’s heart is breakfast, then this is your (toast and) jam. You can’t go wrong with the famed Mulberry and Prince eggs ‘benny’, with brown butter hollandaise and house-made ‘tater tots’. Follow it up with peppermint hot chocolate pancakes…
Site: www.mulberryandprince.co.za | Location: 12 Pepper St
Super view: Infinity Restaurant at Hotel Sky
Feel on top of the world at Lower Long’s ‘high-rise restaurant’, which offers 360-degree mountain and sea views, and ‘skystronomy’ – aka, gastronomy in the sky. With an audacious Afro-chic interior that has been decked out with glitzy chandeliers, animal prints and tropical wallpaper, you can embrace your wild sides while tucking into prawn tagliatelle in a tomato bisque sauce. Book a room for a super special stay.
Site: www.infinityrestaurant.capetown | Location: 9 Lower Long Street, Walter Sisulu Ave | Phone: 021 879 5043
Super vibe: Villa 47
Described as a 3-floor culinary concept, Villa 47 has it all, from Locanda, the kind of relaxed Italian bistro that would get you singing like Meryl Streep, to Martini Terrazzo, a garden-style courtyard boasting a versatile lounge and bar.
For sublime speciality, dishes look no further than Locanda’s lasagne. If you enjoy sharing-style plates more, Martini’s salt and pepper calamari with yuzu mayo, and pommes frites with parmesan truffle cream will leave you in the throes of ecstasy.
Site: www.villa47.co.za | Location: 47 Bree St | Phone: 021 741 0250
Super exotic: Bombay Brasserie
Specialising in North Indian food combined with Cape Malay flair, Bombay Brasserie exudes elegance, with its exotic décor and sumptuous touches. With small plates inspired by street food, the restaurant is ideal for those seeking authentic flavours, with favourites like kofta curry, lamb biryani and a special take on malva pudding.
Site: www.tajhotels.com/en-in/taj/taj-cape-town/restaurants/bombay-brasserie-restaurant | Location: 1 Wale Street, corner St Georges Mall | Phone: 021 819 2000
Super heavenly: Hemelhuijs
A small oasis in the heart of Cape Town, Hemelhuijs offers an ideal escape from life’s hustle and bustle. Indulge in its freshly made jewel-coloured juices, creative cocktails or custom-blended coffee and order from the all-day menu. Heavenly smells and tastes await; the carefully sourced ingredients by Jacques Erasmus and his team escalate the comforting flavours of childhood memories with care and flair.
Super cool: Tjing Tjing Momiji
A tranquil and understated space celebrating Japanese culture and cuisine. Momiji is where the chefs’ creativity lets loose, with an outstanding set menu that fuses Japanese flavours with local ingredients. Whimsical touches delight the eye and transport guests straight to the Tokyo; the idea is food should be fun, beautiful and tell a story.
Try the trout, served with buchu-pickled ginger, soy cob, yuzu, pickled mussels, a milk bread bun and more. Dessert is equally delicious, with a smorgasbord of sweets like mochi truffles, s’mochi (a mochi s’more!) and kitto katsu (Kit Kat). Note, Momiji is closed on Valentine’s, so you’ll need to book for the Saturday before, or pre-order Mochi Mochi boxes to go.
Valentine’s Mochi box: 10 pieces @ R150
- 2x Chocolate dipped Strawberry mochi
- 2x Rose mochi
- 2x Passionfruit mochi
- 2x ‘First date’ and Cashew mochi
- 2x Cherry-Chocolate mochi
Site: https://www.tjingtjing.co.za/momiji-2/ | Location: 165 Longmarket St, Cape Town City Centre, Cape Town, 8001| Phone: 021 422 4374 / 422 4920
Super contemporary: The Rockefeller
Newly opened in Cape Town’s business district in the Foreshore, The Rockefeller is the city’s hottest new hotel. A plush oasis impeccably appointed with lavish décor; the hotel offers a stately refuge from the inner-city bustle. Fast becoming the CBD’s new foodie hotspot, the hotel boasts spectacular sushi, an artisanal bakery, contemporary dining options and a 24-hour deli, all stemming from a famous food portfolio that includes Grand Pavilion, Sevruga, Cowboys & Cooks and Fancy Franks.
This Valentine’s Day, experience the wholly majestic setting while enjoying a 3-course dinner at R800 per couple, including complimentary bubble on arrival and live DJ entertainment for the evening.
If you’re finding it hard pressed to find a reason to leave, then don’t! Why not make use of their Hotel special bed & breakfast. R900 per room for stays on the 14th of February, you’ll also receive a complimentary room upgrade for you and your loved one.
Site: https://newmarkhotels.com/places/hotels/the-rockefeller/ | Location: 12 Christiaan Barnard St| Phone: 021 819 2000