The food scene in Cape Town is as bold and vibrant as the city itself. Every meal I had was full of color and flavor, and a lot of them were almost too pretty to eat. Almost. I spent a week and a half there at the end of February soaking up the summer sun and exploring the coast. Below are a few of my favorite restaurants in the city.
The food here was next-level gorgeous and crazy unique. The lunch menu (R245 per person) includes six tapas-style plates. You can also add a bread board for R35.
The dishes included:
Smoked Potato Panna Cotta – tuna tartare / leek / lentil soil
Boerenkaas Croquettes – curried aioli / shaved radish
Tomato Salad – smoked buffalo curd / Bhaji / tamatie smoor / chive oil
Free range chicken – sweet corn / crème fraiche / chive oil/ quail’s egg
Organic Beetroots – whipped goat’s milk yoghurt / black rice / onion powder
Roasted Cauliflower – purée / sambal / coconut curry / pistachio / fennel seeds
You'll find this one atop almost every single "best restaurant" list in Cape Town. It's a huge hit, and I get why. But it's also a little overly expensive. The pork belly changed my life it was so good, but the goat cheese and parm fries were way too rich. While several of the restaurants on this list serve tasting menus that allow you to sample a little bit of everything, The Pot Luck Club is more traditional.
Pork belly, Jerusalem artichoke relish, pecan butter, parmesan and celeriac foam–R170
Lamb rib, pomegranate and harissa marinated tomato, cauliflower and buffalo yogurt puree, sultanas and preserved lemon dressing–R180
Goat cheese and parmesan tries with aioli and tomato ketchup–R75
Mint and chocolate ice cream sandwich–R90
Absolutely everything I ate at Janse & Co blew my mind. It was by far and away one of the best meals I've ever had. You can get as many plates as you want, but I chose to do three for R385.
My three courses:
Tomatoes: Dr. Weiss, striped german, sweet currant, consomme
Mussels, papino melon, charcoal butter, chives
Raw Dexter beef, oyster emulsion, linseeds
This is probably the best bang for your buck. If there was a set menu, I wasn't aware of it. The waiter just kept bringing out plates, it was delightful. The lunch tasting experience was R350 per person. I also got a gin cocktail with Barker and Quinn hibiscus tonic, fresh berries and thyme for R80.
To start, they brought out chicken liver parfait with a fig compote.
Then impala carpaccio, garlic marinated tomato, crispy garlic, olive oil and parsley with Kabous #2 (a type of bread they make) croutes on the side.
Next, they served a local hake dish
Followed by Karoo lamb
To finish, I had ice cream and fig financiers with cream and toasted pecans
And lastly, a special shout out to Reverie Social Table, where 18 strangers crowd around one long table to enjoy a 5-course meal and tons of wine. It was incredible in every way, but I didn't take a single picture because I was so busy talking to the people around me.