26 March 2013

The OK Guide to Cape Town: Restaurants, Part 2

[ Restaurants are listed by neighborhood and then from cheapest to most expensive. Highlighted restaurants are still memorable years later.]

Observatory, Woodstock, Mowbray, Rondebosch
·      aMadoda Braai (4 Strand Street, Woodstock) - township braai experience much closer to town. Not as good as Mzolis though.
·      Queen of Tarts (213 Lower Main Road) - great stop for dessert and coffee.
·      Chai Yo (65 Durban Road) - solid Thai food in Mowbray.
·      Superette (66 Albert Road) - big open space for breakfast and lunch. A bit pricy, but they offer high-quality ingredients and robust portions for sandwiches and salads.
·   1890 House Sushi (40 Trill Road) - solid if somewhat pricy sushi. Very fresh.
·      The Pot Luck Club (375 Albert Road) - creative Asian small plates in the Old Biscuit Mill. Fun delight for foodies. Good luck getting a reservation. Book ahead.
·      The Test Kitchen (375 Albert Road) - delightful and charming molecular gastronomic experience, complete with foams, airs, and deconstruction galore. Expensive, but great value for one of South Africas best chefs. Good luck getting a reservation. Must book 30 days ahead.

Sea Point / Green Point / Waterfront / Atlantic Peninsula
·      Kitima (Hout Bay) - excellent Thai and Pan-Asian menu in a lovely, old house. Wonderfully dim and inviting. Good value though a bit pricey. Great lounge/bar in the back with a lengthy cocktail menu and some of the best cocktails in Cape Town. Too bad it's a long-ish drive home.
·      Chapman's Peak Hotel (Hout Bay) - best calamari in Cape Town, which is full of great calamari. Nice view of the bay. Skip the meat dishes.
·      Willoughby & Co (Victoria Wharf Mall) - Some of the best creative, fancy sushi in town. Unfortunately, it is in a shopping mall.

False Bay
·      Kalkys (Kalk Bay Harbor) - humble fish shack at the harbor offers big portions of fresh fish and calamari, mountains of chips, and more for good prices. Great mix of patrons.
·      Brass Bell (Kalk Bay Train Station) - sprawling complex offers so many different vibes: English pub, South African watering hole, beachside picnic, fancy captains quarters, and Greek island. Call a few days ahead and ask for a table by the water you might just get wet. The fish and chips, the calamari, and the seafood curry are world-class. Skip the meat and pizzas.
·      Olympia Café and Deli (134 Main Road, Kalk Bay) - simple but delectable fare, including fresh seafood throughout the day at this popular neighborhood joint. Come early. Also, do not miss the bakery around the side for great breads, florentines, meringues, and pastries.

Winelands and further afield
·      Mzolis (Gugulethu) - part block party, part braai, all delicious. Township restaurant features hot smoked meats in amazing sauce. BYOB (and earplugs) to the loud dance party and prepare to meet a cross section of locals, students, and more. Go for Sunday lunch and show up early.
·      De Oude Bank Bakkerij (Stellenbosch) - delightful pastries, bread, and lunches in this gorgeous space, which is tucked in an alley. Check out an evening concert here if you can book a space.
·      Bistro 1682 (Constantia) - hearty, creative small plates and delicious Steenberg wine. Beautiful outdoor space and great wine tasting.
·      Tokara Restaurant (Stellenbosch) - playful molecular gastronomy fuses Asian and South African cuisine. Shockingly good, and shockingly good value for the a la carte menu.
·      Terroir (Stellenbosch) - mind-blowing modern South African cuisine. Excellent and creative flavor combinations (truffled steak fillet with bacon foam!) at Kleine Zalze.
·      La Petite Ferme (Franschhoek) - lovely space with a view up to the mountains; the food is still the star, with creative European/African fusion that gets the balance right. They also make great wines that are very well priced and not available in town.
·      Heaven Restaurant (Hemel en Aarde) breathtaking views over the Newton Johnson vineyard along with creative, seasonal modern South African food. Do not forget dessert!
·      The Tasting Room / The Common Room (Franschhoek) - high-quality, amazing flavors with a flair for creative presentation. The Tasting Room brings a full four-hour onslaught, while the Common Room lets you choose your small plates. Good luck getting a reservation at The Tasting Room, which you must book 30 days in advance. The Common Room should be an easier table to grab.

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