Visiting or residing in the Mother City this summer festive season? Cape Town is filled with restaurant options – the only difficulty here will be deciding on which ones you can squeeze in. Here are our five best picks, covering fine dining, seafood, dessert, Oriental and steak options.
Salsify is the new kid on the block that’s on everyone’s lips. Headed by the award-winning and young chef Ryan Cole, who along with his team build on their background of modern, classical cooking. This refined dining house – situated in a national monument, The Roundhouse, is a heritage building that has assumed many faces over its storied past, guests pass through the central chamber that hosts the muse 1.3m Lady Salsify statue into a luxurious lounge and absorb the contemporary, historically-inspired artworks that fill the interior.
Salsify asks patrons to expect the unexpected. The first dining room, aptly named the “Leather Lounge’, exudes a feeling of comfort and opulence, with floor-to-ceiling leather-clad panels and an inviting fireplace. The second dining room, the ‘Sea Room’, boasts spectacular vistas and is where the distinguished legacy of the space is complemented with touches of modern furnishings and crisp white napery that blends seamlessly to evoke a feeling of old-world charm.
An opulent culinary journey accented by daring décor and whispers of history, where you can enjoy a food journey of many courses, all perfectly prepared.
Pro Tip: order the dessert snickers bar. It is, in my humble opinion, the best dessert I’ve ever had – and believe me, that says a lot!
- Surfshack Diner
What better to enjoy on a beach day out in Camps Bay than a contemporary seafood-inspired restaurant? Literally across from the beach and one level up – meaning you can skim over the view of the cars and set your sights firmly on the palm trees and famous white sandy beaches, is the newly opened Surfshack Diner.
Sundowners are key, with our top picks being the Beer-garita (a Carona twist on the usual margarita) and the Birds of Paradise cocktail. You can enjoy a range of food styles, from sharing plates and, of course, seafood, to meaty mains and pizzas.
- Coco Safar
Imagine a culinary journey like never before, called a Dessert Bar Experience. One that transports you from one course to the next, through an elevation of the senses. It is tapas reimagined, to bring you on a gastronomical experience. Taking inspiration from one country to the next, you’ll be afforded the opportunity of a take on a sit-down dinner of cosmopolitan tapas like never before.
Taking a seat at the bar, you are in view of the plating set up before you. From this vantage point, you’ll spot liquids bubbling and pretty plates waiting to be dressed. Passengers arrive at Coco Safar and are welcomed with a tea-based drink (which Coco Safar is famous for), to be enjoyed in the ‘lounge’ so to speak, and are told to buckle their seatbelts in anticipation for the experience. We were told we’d be visiting three ‘countries’ during this two-hour trip. We’d be starting in Cape Town, of course, before heading to Paris, followed by Istanbul then Shanghai, and finally returning home.
For those who savour the savouries, there is an incredible 8-course tapas menu for two to share, or for the less hungry, a 4-course tapas menu for two. Customised menus can be arranged in advance for special dietary requirements or larger groups of 10 or more. Beer, wine and classic cocktails, decadent pâtisserie and world-class coffee are also available to elevate your evening.
These experiences are offered from Wednesday to Saturday at 6pm. Booking is essential to secure your experience.
For more information, visit www.cocosafar.online.
- Bombay Brasserie
Bombay Brasserie has been totally transformed after a massive renovation and expansion. Sumptuous and alluring décor mixes with exotic and dynamically-textured fine Indian cuisine at the new Bombay Brasserie, will tantalise every sense and awaken a spirit of India in your consciousness.
Named after the multi-cultural and cosmopolitan Indian city, Bombay Brasserie offers diverse cooking styles from all across India and adds two unique elements… authentic Cape Town flair and flavour. This results in some of the finest dishes to be served outside India.
The new Bombay Brasserie fine dining menu still includes firm favourites, however, eight new star dishes have been added, including Baingan Bharta (clay oven smoked Aubergine crush with crumbled feta) and Tikka Masala (Charred Tikka, fenugreek, onion and tomato sauce).
Another exciting addition, and further enhancing the fine dining experience at Bombay Brasserie, is the Bombay Brasserie Bar, where guests are welcome to enjoy pre-dinner drinks from the extensive range of cocktails, beers, wines and a collection of the finest whiskies and brandies; where Taj Cape Town will serve you everything of the best.
Guests can also choose from an array of small plate dishes, which allows diners to experience a fine dining interpretation of Indian street food in a casual setting.
“My team and I are delighted to have the small plate dishes on offer at the Bombay Bar and we believe that this is something quite unique for Cape Town,” says Executive Chef David Tilly.
- Hussar Grill
The Hussar Grill in Camps Bay has just undergone a significant revamp process to update its facilities as well as interiors. ‘We now have a brand new kitchen, a new toilet block with facilities for all our guests, including those requiring wheelchair access, as well as improved lighting and ventilation throughout the venue,’ says Cheldon Gatcke, General Manager of The Hussar Grill Camps Bay. ‘We’ve upgraded the space with a more contemporary feel, while retaining the coziness that we’re legendary for,’ he concludes.
The Hussar Grill in Camps Bay is something of an institution – combining the impact and beauty of one of the Cape Town’s best locations with the quality and distinctive dining experience that the brand is known for. The restaurant stands out for its unparalleled consistency and popularity, among locals and visitors alike, and its longevity is a testament to the symbiotic success of excellent food, great service, superlative wines and a welcoming ambiance.
Currently the number 1 restaurant in Camps Bay according to TripAdvisor, the restaurant achieved the very prestigious Diamond Status at the 2019 Diners Club Wine Awards after consecutively achieving Platinum Status for the last decade.