Known for its exceptional Asian cuisine, Cape Town’s Awara – the new, chic incarnation of the super-popular Bukhara – offers a drink and tapas menu to thrill and surprise. Move over beachfront: word on the street is that this is the place to share a cocktail with friends.
Located on Cape Town’s quaint and arty Church Street, Awara’s early-evening allure is in that it’s a ‘high-end location where the communal sharing of tapas follows seamlessly after a cocktail or three has broken the ice,’ says owner Dr Sabi Sabharwal. So take a seat and peruse the drinks menu – whether you like your cocktails shaken, stirred or on the rocks, the names will delight, from Pani Puri Gin and Masala Old Fashioned, to Love in Goa and Kerala Dreams.
Look further, into the ingredients, and you’ll notice that the fruits and spices that make Asian-fusion cuisine so deliciously unique do double duty in these libations. Hibiscus, tamarind, mango and dhania are delightful additions. Highly recommended are the coy cardamom-scented Blushing Lady, the sweet lemony Awara Elixir, and the granadilla-soaked Porn Star Mojito, a lime-free nod to Bollywood.
Feel like something savoury to go with your cocktail? Then cast your eye over the tapas menu. ‘Particularly popular are the Crispy Okra, a chickpea-battered okra with potato straw fries, the Chicken Satay, with red and green curry marinade and signature spicy peanut sauce, and the Lamb Kofka, a minced-lamb kebab with dhania and green chillies,’ says Sabharwal.
If you were familiar with Bukhara, which occupied the same inner-city location for over two decades, an immediate vibe-change will strike you on entering Awara, which is casually chic and very today. Named after the 1951 Bollywood movie Awara (The Vagabond), this is an exclusive venue where adults can meet and socialise in a stylish space (children under 12 are not permitted after 18h00). But the authentic feeling of a visit to Mother Asia remains, as evidenced by the enticing spice aromas wafting from the kitchen.
Vibrant, trendy, and already a drawcard for its classic curries and fusion tapas offerings, Awara, with its tongue-in-cheek cocktail menu, is fast becoming a top choice for after-work revelry.
- Location: 33 Church Street, Cape Town
- Contact: 021 424 0000