New Restaurants in Cape Town

New Restaurants in Cape Town

New restaurants open all the time in Cape Town.  Here is my list of the newest & most exciting current Cape Town restaurant openings.

Utopia Dining Elevated

Wow – this has the great combo of the best views of Cape Town – and a wonderful talented Chef!   I found my happy place for special dinners in the city!   This spot will make you want to sling on the heels and head here to watch the sun set and enjoy the views.  Utopia has taken over from the Vue bar.   It has transitioned from a bar to a gorgeous restaurant.   Chef Pavel Dimitrov, is one of the owners of Utopia.   He worked in Cape Town for Pigalle and for NV-80 – both of which are famous for their seafood and steak.      I was super lucky to be invited to come and check out the venue,  I got to meet Chef Pavel and to try four of his fantastic dishes.   I loved all of the flavours he used and could have scraped each dish so that they would not end!   The photos  will give you an idea of my fabulous tasting journey in the sky above Cape Town.   Make sure you book as this is a really special space!

Utopia Elevated Dining – a wonderfully warm welcome
The amazing view at Utopia Dining Elevated
Salmon & Caviar Starter – fresh & delicious
Utopia – the delicious prawns!

Gorgeous George & Gigi  Rooftop

Hello! Gorgeous George Rooftop – The Gigi pool deck

The first Design Hotel to launch in Cape Town has taken two heritage buildings in St George’s mall – combined them to create a gorgeous boutique hotel and a fabulously glam rooftop called GIGI ROOFTOP.   Here you can head up for interesting cocktails and a menu designed by Executive Chef  Guy Bennett – (Ex Grande Provence, Delaire, One & Only, Buitenverwachting…………….).   Sitting up on their rooftop makes me think that we have been missing a trick as a city – we have not utilized our city rooftops.   We have been missing out on maximizing our urban inner city views and vibe!

Great spot to meet for lunch or dinner with a group of friends

GiGi Rooftop – gorgeous design elements inside

Afrolife and Pitso Kitchen

New – find them towards the top of Long Street in the middle of the city.   This is a great addition to the city!  Pitso is from Limpopo and has been doing African food for markets and events for some time now.  He has finally opened his own restaurant in Long Street.    The daily dishes available will grow – but for now expect approximately four meat dishes a day.   Note that this is an African Kitchen – Mzansi style!   This is traditional African food cooked wonderfully well in a restaurant setting………..note there are not a lot of options to find great African food where the clientele is likely to be local African people – instead of tourists!  This is “PROPER”.   Note that with African cuisine – MEAT IS KING.   Vegetables are often done in small portions and are not the hero of the meal!   As such go and order a couple of HUGS – this is their menu term for a few meat dishes to share with a few sides…..note that you need to try – PAP (the maize porridge) + SAMP & BEANS (dried corn combined with beans) + STEAMED BREAD (bread that is cooked in a bowl in a pot with steam!).    We had the beef stew (slow cooked and delicious),  the hard body chicken (this is traditional free range chickens that are extremely tough),  steam bread (the best I have ever had), pap (always my favourite, spinach (tiny side!!), butternut (tiny side dish) & chakalaka – a must to include on any African meal – it is a spicy relish.   We loved the great selection of African brewed beers – we had three different beers.   The most interesting was the sorghum based beer.   I would recommend heading here at night for dinner or on weekends.   They are open 7 days a week and are open late.  230 Long Street.

Pitso in front of his AfroLife Cafe in Long Street

Pitso’s Kitchen – steam bread with veg & pap, hard chicken and chakalaka

Blockhouse Kitchen

Chef Brad Ball has opened a new restaurant on Constantia Uitsig Estate called The Blockhouse Kitchen.   He is in partnership with seasoned restauranteurs  Chris and Tammy Botbyl.  It is a match made in heaven as Chef Brad can simply focus on what he loves – the food!   This is a well planned menu – it is aimed at locals – they have well priced wines through to top end wines available……..they have options that will make kids happy………..they have fun options with interesting flavours such as Asian inspired pork belly & Korean chicken bun………..this will work for a burger lunch or a steak lunch or a special occasion.   The decor is wonderful – it is well designed by the talented Chris.   I liked the decor – contemporary – yet warm and welcoming.   In addition there is a fireplace for winter.   I think this spot is going to become a local favourite in the Constantia hood.   The secret is already out – so make a booking if you are heading there on the weekend for lunch!

Primal Kitchen

This is a great health kitchen that has opened in Loop Street in the inner city.   They make everything fresh daily, source locally from vendors that they trust,  aim to be a gluten and sugar free.   You can order from the a la carte menu or make your own combo’s.    We met the wonderful hands on passionate owner Claude when we headed there for breakfast.    This spot boasts gorgeous decor, delicious food, friendly staff,  gorgeous healthy food options………………we loved our breakfast and will be back soon!   They have good wifi and it is a perfect spot for a meeting as well!    Highly recommend for any passionate health food eaters as well as everyone else!

Sepial’s Kitchen 

This is on my list of places I want to try!  It looks delicious!  I love Asian flavours.   They describe themselves as North East Asian Flavours with a sprinkle of something!

Grub & Vine 

Grub & Vine by Chef Matt Manning serves refined bistro-style fare, in a relaxed, contemporary space.   Grub & Vine’s seasonal menu changes regularly and the wine list features some of South Africa’s most respected producers.  “No-nonsense, good grub. Beautiful produce and honest cooking” – Chef Matt Manning.    After visiting for a multi course lunch – his philosophy caught the essence of his philosophy completely.   It was a celebration of freshness from start to finish.   I think what I enjoy has changed with age – I am over foams and over fiddled food – my body craves freshness – I love meals that have an abundance of fresh produce.   I like to eat real food that is freshly harvested.   I love food with flavour.   Matt met this brief on all levels.   At lunchtime one can order one course or do a mix of half courses to enjoy more flavours.

Grub & Vine Summer Vegetable Salad
Grub & VIne – Sea Bass, Burrata and Salsa Verde
Yellowfin tuna nicoise salad
Hake! The best hake dish I have ever tasted
Lamb with naughty lamb fat potatoes!

For dinners one needs to do a minimum of two courses.   Note that Matt has opened a hands on cooking studio upstairs.  He also has a private dining room that can be booked for dinners or parties – it can seat 20 people.   In the same block a wonderful wine bar has opened called Frogitt & Vonkel.   They offer wines from smaller estates by the glass or by the bottle.  This is a great addition to the city as we have a limited amount of wine bars!    Location – 103 Bree Street – city centre Cape Town (upstairs!).  Note that you can book online for dinner at Grub & Vine.   Dinner bookings are open from late afternoon for those who fancy and early dinner!

Fyn

Fyn is one of the most exciting openings of the season.   Chef Peter Templehoff brings over 20 years of experience to the new restaurant – Fyn – a contemporary inner city restaurant located on top of a building in Church Square.  Chef Peter is the owner and talented Chef behind  The Greenhouse, which is one of the Top 10 restaurants in South Africa.     The word Fyn means FINE in English – it could also be a shortened version of Fynbos – our indigenous cuisine.   The two pivotal team members in this venture will be  Executive Chef Ashley Moss (his head chef at The Greenhouse for 4 years) and Jennifer Huge (Former La Colombe Restaurant manager).    I loved my dining experience at Fyn!  The venue is gorgeous –  funky & contemporary in design.   The tables have no table cloths and no clutter.  They simply have your chopsticks on a plate.  Everything about it is sexy.    They started us off with a lovely glass of champagne in a wonderful old fashioned champagne glass – it felt so elegant.   The dinner is a tasting menu.   Price R975 for the food and you can opt to do the wine flight at R550.   The dishes were all delicious and each had was fun and innovative.   The service was warm, relaxed, friendly, knowledgeable and unobtrusive.   Perfect!  Our Italian friends commented on how lovely it was to have such a wonderful fine dining dinner in such a relaxed environment.   They loved the warm and friendly service.

Watching the kitchen and the bottom floor of the restaurant from above

Canapés from bento – Daikon maki & a white fish sushi
Canapés from Bento – Prawn samosa and spicy chicken
Squid Ramen, game fish, Quail with glazed eel & pickled cucumber……..all were delicious! I loved drinking the ramen from the bowl!

This is a great new addition to the city!  I would highly recommend that you book it immediately for when you visit Cape Town.  They are now open for booking!  

Upper Bloem

I loved my dining experience at Upper Bloem!!   I would recommend this one to anyone who would like to experience a taste of local flavours, presented in a contemporary way, by a talented young chef.   This is a joint venture between Henry Vigar (owner of a local Cape Town favourite restaurant – La Mouette) and  his former Chef from La Mouette –  Andre Hill.   They have teamed up as partners to create a new restaurant called  Upper Bloem.    Andre brings his Cape Malay heritage into the kitchen.   As a partnership they bring both of their backgrounds and the flavours of Cape Town in to the kitchen.   The menu is a set menu of 6 small tapas dishes for lunch (R250pps)  and 9 dishes small tapas dishes for dinner (R450pps).     Note that there is no a la carte menu.       I loved the flavour journey….. with so many dishes reminding me of many aspects of our Cape cuisine.   The service was fun and interactive.   We loved our evening.  We were warmly welcomed and very well looked after.   Open Tuesday to Saturday for lunch and dinner.   Location – Greenpoint (10 minutes from the city).  (Note the first food pic used is from their website – my food photos failed due to bad lighting!) 

The Athletic Club & Social

Is my new favourite spot for a fun evening with friends!   We needed the equivalent of a comfortable gentleman’s club for Cape Town!   Picture wonderfully comfortable couches and arm chairs – sport pics on the wall – marvellous decor where you feel like you have stepped back in time……..squash racquets on the wall – yes – it sounds odd – but it is indeed marvellous!   This spot seamlessly combines comfort, great service, good food, great decor, an outside terrace, an eatery and a downstairs club.    Sound too good to be true?   Head there for an evening of relaxation!!   Note that the upstairs is supposed to be for drinks only – the ground floor level is for eating – so if you wish to eat – then book a table for downstairs for later for after you have  met up with your friends for drinks upstairs.    Closed on a Sunday  –  otherwise open from about 11am for drinks, lunch & dinner.  35 Buitengracht Street. To book  –  info@theathletic.co.za or  021 012 5331            

Tjing Tjing

Tjing Tjing have completely re-invented themselves and gone Asian in a big way!   I love Asian – so this is my idea of heaven.   We popped in a few weeks ago to try out the casual Asian spot downstairs and to have a drink upstairs.   I LOVE the quirky decor downstairs.   It is so much fun.   We had a booth and in my normal style I just ordered a bunch of random goodies for us to share.   I loved every bite!   They initially told us that we were limited to either House White or House Red for the wine – I almost exited!  When I looked closely the House White was by David & Nadia – from the Swartland!   I love their wine!     This venue is called Tjing Tjing Torii – it is open from Tuesday to Saturday and does not take bookings.   On the middle level they have launched Tjing Tjing Momiji.   Everything is smarter on the middle level.  Lovely decor.  They are focusing Japanese tasting menus that can be paired with drinks.    I am so excited about this spot – I cannot wait to try it.   R795 for the tasting menu and an additional R395 to pair with drinks!   It is open for bookings from Thursday to Saturday night.   The third spot here is the rooftop bar – which is a great secret bar to know about in the city for summer.   (Located in the city bowl).  Closed Mondays

  1. Tjing Tjing downstairs – Asian Streetfood
    Tjing Tjing downstairs Asian Street Food Restaurant
    Tjing Tjing middle floor – now doing fine dining Asian influenced tasting menus that look amazing! This is the seating for Tjing Tjing Momiji – which had not opened yet when we were there.

Belly of the Beast

This is a new spot in the new emerging Eastside District of Cape Town – it is in Harrington Street – this is literally on the fringe of the city – being parallel to Buitenkant Street.  This hood has now become really cool as it is home to Harringtons, The Raptour Room, Lefty’s…New York Bagels, Naked Foods….and more!  Belly of The Beast is a great addition to the hood.   It is a beautifully decorated small restaurant that seats 20 people.   It is intimate and owned by two chefs who are friends.   They focus on nose to tail dining – so they aim to have a zero wastage kitchen.  They are however happy to accommodate vegetarians – but need to know in advance! This is definitely a tasting menu strategy – they however do not commit to how many courses they will feed you!  The current cost is R599 without wine.   They are fully booked 6 weeks in advance – so plan ahead!!  Book online and come and experience it for yourself.   I see they are fully booked already on quite a few nights!   I must get my booking in! OPEN SUNDAY AND MONDAY NIGHT – a rare thing to find in Cape Town!    

 

Table Seven 

I finally made it to Table Seven for  their simple deli lunch of the day!  What a treat!   This is a “must do” for any foodie who loves a personalized experience.   Here you can take a seat in front of the chef and chat to him about what he is making over a glass or two of wine!   Note this is a simple lunch of the day concept – there will always be one veg option and one meat or fish option for the day.  Lunch is not meant to be fancy – it is however cooked by an extremely talented chef!   It is real flavours of locally sourced seasonal food.  There were three options on the day we were there – I however spotted the octopus that had arrived for the next days lunch – and Luke agreed to prepare it for us.   I love simple food that is fresh and beautifully cooked – and that is exactly what I got here.   It is my idea of heaven to be able to actually taste the flavours of each dish.  I loved our lunch!    There are many sides to Table Seven!  Luke and Katie use this space as their business home base.   They do lunch daily, cater for functions from here and book the table out for events. This is perfect for a birthday party or a small work event – you can book a Chef’s Table of up to 20 people and they will design the menu and drinks around your interests.     In addition they will be doing shared table evenings where you can book to join others for dinner.   These will be on random dates – so if you are keen you will need to watch their facebook for details on dates that can be booked.    Check out their facebook NOTE that it is best to check if they are doing lunch on the day as Luke also caters for events and does private chef jobs – so make a booking to ensure that they are there on the day that you head over there!    Note also that this is NOT in the city – it is in an area called Salt River which is an area that is on the fringe of the city – so it is about 20 minutes away from the city if there is not too much traffic.  (Photo credit – the last photo below has been provided by Table Seven)  The address for lunch is -Table SevenUnit C5, Salt Orchard,  Salt River.   Tel no (+27) 082 588 7804 (Chef Luke)

No Fixed Address

CURRENTLY CLOSED – RE OPENING APRIL 2019 –  this was a quirky street food concept – with many of the dishes having an Asian twist.  Truly quirky – it was located inside a fantastic second hand book store in the suburb of Observatory.  Everything I ate there had me licking my fingers (and the plate if they were not looking) and wanting to return for more!   No Fixed Address is owned by a local South African chef who lived in Vancouver in Canada for many years running an award winning catering company.   Steve felt homesick and decided to head home and start his quirky street food style restaurant in Cape Town.  Now  he is keeping up with the tradition of having no fixed address by moving to Woodstock (March 2019) – the new address is 240 Sir Lowry  Rd,  Woodstock.   The pics below were of the Observatory spot -which has just closed down!  We are keeping it on the NEW list so that we stalk his new spot at the new Iron Works Development in Woodstock.          Once they open – I would recommend taking your own liquor – not sure if they would have gotten a liquor license yet with the move!    In line with being quirky  –  they  do not have a website or a facebook page – but he does have instagram and a mobile phone!  +27 73 070 5386

The Lawns at The Round House

This is the re-invented and relaunched spot that has replaced the Round House Rumbullion Lawns.   Rugby legend Ray Mordt is the new owner of the Roundhouse property.    Luke Dale Roberts now runs the actual historic building as “Salsify at the Roundhouse”.  Ray maintains the outdoor “Lawns” space.    This is an outdoor restaurant located in a nature reserve – with sweeping views of Camps Bay and the 12 Apostles (side view of table mountain).   When the weather is perfect there can be no nicer spot to sit in the world.   They are open for breakfast, lunch, sundowners and for an early dinner.   They have revamped the tables, put down an artificial lawn on the one level – which looks great – added cute huts to serve the drinks.   We ordered pizzas – which were great.  The menu has expanded and has everything from a whole chicken to snack on through to ribs!    Book this for sundowners to meet up with friends at 17h30 and stay to watch the sunset!  Note they close at about 8pm.   This is an early evening spot! Note to make a back up plan for the day as this spot is 100% outdoors – so it is weather dependent.   I would highly recommend a visit – this spot has one of the most beautiful views in Cape Town.  I have had my birthday here two years in a row.  One with perfect weather and one with lots of wind!  It is worth the gamble!   

The Shop

 The Shop do real food – real portions and don’t overcomplicate things – what a unique proposition!  It is owned and run by a husband and wife team.   I love their summary on their website:   “We met at cooking school, 9 years later we got married.   We have both worked abroad, in restaurants and on the yachts- and now we have THE SHOP.
Our food, is simple, tasty and uncomplicated.    We feel very strongly about where our food comes from choosing free range, green listed and sustainable produce where possible.
On our menu you will find meat, fish and vegetarian options – a space for everyone.”   We went to try them out this week.   What a lovely warm couple – I can see them becoming the 2nd home to many Seapoint families who don’t feel like cooking. (They have taken the space that was Buzby’s – a legendary spot which is next to Clicks in Three Anchor Bay ie the start of the Seapoint main drag!)  It matched all my expectations based on my research above.   The food was good and wholesome.   I was however blown away by the warm welcome we got and their passion for what they are doing.   This spot has a lovely relaxed vibe.   It feels like you are in a home.   The food is accessible and it is like having a foodie friend as a chef and he has cooked dinner for you. This is a great spot to catch up with a group of friends!   Seapoint hood.

Kudu carpaccio with pinenuts and carrot puree – it was delicious!

Unfiltered

A fun collaboration between a South African brewer and 2 Italian Restauranteurs (the owners of Woodside Eatery).   Lovely new addition to Kloof Street.   We had a wonderful pizza and a salad that one was one of the most amazing salads I have ever eaten – a hot roasted pear & gorgonzola salad.   Decor – sterile – but nice and vibey once the restaurant filled up.   Clean lines.  Lovely staff.  Food – Italian.   Casual local and fun.   18 Kloof Street. (Just above the city)

The Commissary 

The Commissary is defined under the “about us” on their facebook as –

  • Commissary – kɒmɪs(ə)ri/ noun –  a restaurant or food store in a military base, prison, or other institution.
  • What is it?   It is a little bit of a secret bar – perhaps sort of a speakeasy (but not a late night one) – it is for drinks and small dishes prepared in the open plan bar.   They do not take bookings and are open in the evenings until about 22h30.   They are a night venue.   Find the secret door and light at 88 Shortmarket Street.   Here is a picture of the entrance for you to find it more easily – good luck!    

Restaurant at The Nek

Has taken the place of Harbour House at Constantia Nek.   The Restaurant at the Nek is also part of the Life Brand Group – it represents their first dip into the fine dining restaurants.      I have been getting good feedback on Chef Dylan Laity’s dishes that he has been serving here. Background – ex-Round House, Aubergine and Michelin restaurant in London.     He looks like a talented chef and I am keen to try out the Restaurant at The Nek one day!   Note as per the theme of many of the restaurants this season – they have gone with tasting menu’s – one has to have a minimum of three courses.  (One can also do 5 or 8 courses).   So note – a visit is a commitment – this is NOT suitable for a quick lunch or dinner.   Below are a few pics from the restaurant from their website to give you an idea of the venue and Chef Dylan’s food.    Note that for summer they have an outside area with views over the vines of Constantia.   Southern Vines did a nice blog on their lunch there – check it out.

Salsify at The Round House

The Round House has died – RIP The Round House!   Happily a new spot has opened – so the legendary fine dining meals at the Round House will continue!   Luke Dale Roberts, of The Test Kitchen Restaurant fame, has opened another restaurant – Salsify at The Roundhouse –  his 4th restaurant in Cape Town.   This one boasts a 7 course tasting menu – a definite theme for this season – you do however also have the option of doing a la carte.    Bookings will open on the 1st of the month at 08h30 for the upcoming month.    The menu looks fairly pricey for locals – but not too bad if you are spending dollars or euros!  Note a deposit is needed to secure the booking and a gratuity is automatically added to your bill – regardless of the size of the table.

Riva Italian Fish Restaurant

Riva is a new Italian fish restaurant in De Waterkant.   I love the decor – it is warm and welcoming……as are the Italian Chefs.   This is a joint venture being opened by the owner of True Italic (one of Cape Town’s favourite Italian Restaurants) – and a team of Italian chef friends.  Their description: “‘Two Italian chef’s & friends bring to Cape Town the flair of true Italian fish dishes.  From classic to modern & innovative plates that will just make you scream…Mamma Mia!!’”   We enjoyed a Burrata to start, then shared a variety of pasta and gnocchi dishes – all of which were wonderful.   We also shared a fish platter – this we found to be quite pricey for what was offered.   Our welcome to Riva was wonderfully warm.    We had friendly service,  met the chefs and had a lovely evening.        Location – 4 Napier Street, De Waterkant.   Book on Facebook messenger – they are super fast responders, call  021 418 0657,or email –  rivacapetown@gmail.com  Open Monday nights.

Bao Down 

Is owned by Phillipa and Graham Oldfield – Phillipa had a catering business and Graham is the former head chef for Chefs Warehouse in the city.    As the name indicates – they do Bao & Asian style street food with a western twist.   Chef Graham is a wonderfully talented Chef and every morsel melted in our mouths!   My recommendation is to go with some friends – that way you can order and taste the whole menu!   Note that ordering many small dishes does add up!   But it is worth every cent!   Yummmmmmmmmmmm.    Phillipa and Graham have done a wonderful job with the decor.   It is relaxed, quirky and fun.   I love the space they created.   Even better for us is that it is across the road from where we live!   So we will be happy Bao groupies forever!  Location – just above the city  – 3 Vredehoek Avenue  (next door to the Fabric shop on the corner)

Bocca

Bocca has been sold to an Italian couple who are originally from Milan.   They have been working in the Bermuda for 10 years for a 5 star hotel.   They decided that they want to put down roots and open their own restaurant.   They chose Cape Town as they have family here and they love the climate here.   Interesting that they kept the name of the restaurant as Bocca as they have taken the venue – got a wonderful decorator in to spruce it up and have introduced changes to the menu.  Naturally it is still an Italian Restaurant.  I love the decor at the new Bocca – it is a really sexy restaurant – gorgeous!   The stand out dish was the pizza’s – you MUST have the pizza’s if you go.   The pizza’s are now only available in a small size – a pizzette as they call it- 16cm in size.   As such one would need to order a few!    I would encourage them to supersize them!  The pizza oven was brought in by the previous owners from Naples – and it makes a huge difference to the taste!  Note that they are now allowing bookings (in the past it was first come first served).    Note that this restaurant has an outside section for warm evenings.

BOOK NOW