Eating out is always an experience but sometimes you want a little more than the ordinary sit-down meal. Fortunately, Cape Town has plenty of unique dining experiences for you to try. From rustic restaurants to unusual set-ups, here are ten of our favourites.
While you may normally eat out to avoid cooking, preparing your own meal at Galbi in Long Street is pretty cool. The Korean-fusion barbeque eatery has small grills set in their tables and copper chimneys above to allow you to ‘braai’ your food. There are also great side dishes, including Korean favourites, and for the more adventurous, there are options to grill meats such as zebra and warthog! Your main meal will be seasoned in the kitchen then brought to your table to grill. Bonus: you can also make s’mores or roast marshmallows for dessert!
If you want a proper shisa nyama (South African barbeque) experience, there’s no better place to enjoy it than Mzoli’s. Located in the township of Gugulethu, Mzoli’s has become a firm favourite for tourists and locals alike. Buy your meat at the attached butchery and hand it over to be perfectly braaied in their incredible special marinade.Don’t expect plates; here, your meat is served in a big enamel bowl and you can complete the feast with pap and a drink from one of the surrounding shebeens – or bring your own. As the afternoon wears on, the music pumps up, creating an awesome party atmosphere too.
Where Shop 3, NY115, Gugulethu
Contact +27 21 638 1355
3 The Yard
‘Restaurant’ is not the right word to describe The Yard. It’s more like an alleyway where you also happen to get super awesome food (you have to try the burgers!). There are no waiters, limited seating and an informal feel, but despite the minimalism, the tiny eatery is hugely popular. Dubbed The Bitch’s Tits by day, The Dog’s Bollocks by night with a bit of Deluxe Coffeworks thrown in, the Yard calls itself a Destination Place holding collective concepts.
Where 6 Roodehek Street, Gardens
Contact +27 83 440 7843
4 My Sugar
Take your chocolate love up a notch with My Sugar, a chocolate and coffee bar where you can indulge in delectable and creative chocolate combinations and origanal coffee blends. The coffee has been selected to perfectly compliment the chocolate and you can also indulge in various super thick, super yummy milkshakes. You can also enjoy made-to-order confectionaries.
Where Shop 3, La Rhone Building, 77 Regent Street, Sea Point
Contact +27 21 433 2335, [email protected], mysugar.co.za
5 Cape Town Marriott Hotels Crystal Towers
Have you ever wanted to make sushi? The Cape Town Marriott Hotels Crystal Towers is offering a sushi-making experience, complete with a cocktail to ease you into the class. Join their sushi chefs on selected Saturdays to enjoy a sushi platter for one that includes sashimi, nigiri, vegetarian maki, California rolls and salmon roses – all made by you!
6 The Larder Café
By day, The Larder Café serves up delicious treats made with ingredients from local producers. Chef Patron Sonja Edridge cooks up a storm three times a week and invites you to join her. By night (Mondays, Thursday and Fridays), she hosts a supper club that feels like one big dinner party. Each day has a specific meal and the menu also includes starters and desserts.
7 Honest Chocolate
Yes, there are two chocolate hotspots on this list – but can you really have too much chocolate? We think not. In addition to a wide range of yummy choc goodies, you can enjoy treats such as dairy-free milkshakes and chocolate bunny chows (yes, it’s as good as it sounds). At night, the gin bar, situated at the back of the cafe, opens for a surreal, but good, time.
8 Downtown Ramen
You may have had noodles before but you’ve never had ramen like this.An eatery that literally serves two dishes – ramen and bao – Downtown Ramen fuses flavour and colour to bring food lovers a culinary experience like no other. The minimalist menu is not the only unique thing about Downtown Ramen; it is also located inside dive bar and restaurant Lefty’s and reached via a narrow staircase, pass an arcade machine. Yep, pretty far out.
Where 105 Harrington Street, Fringe District
Contact +27 21 461 0407
9 Reverie Social Table
In this homely little eatery, you’ll only find one table. Yes, thats right, just one table. But that one table is a place where you can enjoy a wonderful dinner complete with wine. Reverie Social Table is the brain child of Chef Patron Julia Hattingh, who creates her menu from scratch daily for her lunch offering and by night hosts a lavish dinner party with incredible food and wine. Enjoy five courses and six wines at one of her always sold out parties, while partaking in great conversation and interaction. Reverie Social Table is open for lunch from Monday to Friday with dinners taking place from Wednesday to Saturday.
10 The Test Kitchen
No list of dining in Cape Town is complete without our crowning culinary jewel – The Test Kitchen. There’s a reason it has accolades upon accolades and is the only restaurant in Africa that’s been voted in the World Top 50. The Test Kitchen is truly an experience where you get to taste course after course of wonderful fine experimental cuisine in a special space. Open from Tuesday to Saturday for dinner, bookings are essential – and open at midnight on the last day of each month.
Photography Archives, courtesy images