Cape Town-3 nights
We will be in Cape Town for three nights and want to optimize our diing experience.
Traveling with a small group and, at one of their friend's recommendations, three high end restaurants were suggested-Showroom, Aubergine and Sevruga.
We tend to like slightly more casual restaurants though the food is the important thing. We are leaning towards one night at Bukhara and a recent NY TImes article touted Bizerca and the website looked great.
Like fresh, local food served in a nice atmosphere. Not about the glitz/ornate, the "scene" or the hyped up presentation.
Just came back from a 10 day trip to Cape Town - did a lot of research before and tried many restaurants. Opinions seem to differ a lot and I think quality in general tends to be inconsistent.
Beluga and Riboville were highly recommended but disappointing - large, with a strange mix of seafood, steak, sushi and other dishes on the menu and a strong marketing focus.
We did like Shoga - the more casual sister of Ginja - and Fork a high-quality and inventive tapas restaurant.
Agree on Reuben's in Franschhoek - best restaurant in the area and consistently so! The Olympia Cafe in Kalk Bay was our second favorite.
Back from Cape Town and had some great food and wine. Some favorites were Ginja, Bizerca, Tank, Winesense (great for wine tasting and a nice tapas menu)
Lunch at Harbor House at Kalk Bay-thought the setting better than the food.
In Franschhoek, we had a great meal at Ruebens (thanks for the recommendation) and had a SUBLIME meal at The Tasting Room. And a wonderful chef's dinner at our hotel, La Residence....
Bread and Wine was outstanding-perhaps the best risotto I have ever had.
I ate with my family at Ginja, Savoy Cabbage and Aubergine in May 08. There were 6 of us, my wife and I, my father age 80 and our 3 children in their 20's. We have eaten all over the world and were very inpressed with the above restaurants in terms of ambience, food selection, quality and service. The value is very good in terms of prices versus the U.S.A. and the local wines were exceptional and cheap. All three were quite different from each other and served international and South African dishes as well as African game animals. Aubergine served a game dish skewered with a porqupine quill which was very interesting.All three restaurants are in the downtown area which means be careful after 6pm and have the restaurant call you a taxi or arrange a round trip with your driver from the hotel. I wouldn't recommend walking around the area, even in a group.
Indian - Chandani on Roodebloem Road in Woodstock
Local food, unpretentious: Food Barn in Noordhoek and Olympia Cafe in Kalk Bay. Fish on the Rocks for fish and chips in Hout Bay. Toni's on Kloof for Portuguese
The distinctive regional cuisine is Cape Malay and should not be missed. Look at http://afrikatourism.blogspot.com/2007/01/cape-malay-cuisine.html for an overview of the cuisine. Suggestions are Zorina's on Loop Street (lunch), Noon Gun Tea Room in Bo Kaap (lunch, tea or dinner), Biesmiellah in Bo Kaap, which can be a bit overly local if you aren't used to working class muslim Cape Town.
Other personal favourites: Jardine on Bree, Masala Dosa on Long Street, Aubergine.
Haven't been but plan to: Bizerca Bistro, The Roundhouse
Overrated: Ginja, Showroom, any restaurant at the V&A Waterfront, any restaurant in Camps Bay, Riboville (review here: http://afrikatourism.blogspot.com/2007/03/review-riboville-restaurant.html)
Interesting to consider: Addis in Cape Ethiopian restaurant (review here: http://afrikatourism.blogspot.com/2008/01/addis-in-cape-ethiopian-restaurant-1.html)
There are also some good bakeries in town: http://afrikatourism.blogspot.com/200...
I'm a Capetonian ... and think that you can eat out well in Cape Town without spending a fortune.
I'd send you to both Bizerca and Bukhara, but would probably give Sevruga a miss - over-rated. Try Riboville in the centre of town. Haven't been to Aubergine for a long time, but they do maintain high standards.
There's also Wakame, near to the Waterfront - pre-dinner drinks upstairs would go down well.
If you head out to the Winelands, do try Terroir in Stellenbosch and Rueben's in Franschhoek.
This Top 10 list includes a few Cape Town spots worth trying:
Went to Aubergine as very highly touted about 3 years ago, wasn't bad but sure wasn't memorable. Make sure you go to Vaughn Johnston's, a wine store in the *harbory* place
with a zillion restaurants, none of which was super either, of the 7-8 we ate at over a few nights. Funny as l think back, cannot remember any restaurant that really was excellent, certainly not terrible but not great.
I lived in South Africa for a few years, and spent a fair bit of time in Cape Town. It's not a European city and, mainly, doesn't have European prices either. (This is a sore point in our family - my rellies feel they should be able to get a michelin starred meal for a fiver). RSA is not really a food culture, except where the food is incidental to the social gathering like a braai or pojkie. The point being that mr.monger is right - the 'best' in SA only just hits onto the world scale and even they tend to be out in the winelands.
My own favourite in the waterfront is the belgian place - sitting at an outside table eating a bucket of musels, drinking kwak and watching the sun set over Table Mountain.