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Jun 28, 2009 10:08 AM

Need great food help in Cape Town!

I've done a ton of research online in hopes of finding (both high & low budget) great food places but need foodie help!

We're from San Francisco & NYC, in Cape Town for about 10 days, and hope to eat lots!

So far our experience:
Tried Bizerca Bistro (because they won top 10 restaurants by eat out) but weren't impressed. We asked the chef to select for us 2 mains & 1 app, and only the lamb was great, the rest was ok... especially for the price - our standards go up - so the value wasn't good.

Greens - we actually enjoyed a lot, especially for the price - i.e. good value & yummy and would love recos other similar places.

Wakame - enjoyed sushi, thought their staple tuna was good, not great. ok for the money.

Fork - loved the lunch sampler but the two special mains really bummed me out - the lamb was not chewable and i had my expectations set higher by the great starter. ok value.

we're hoping to get recos to a few casual but good lunch & dinner places, as well as some fancier places. So far we have la colombe on our list, roundhouse (but not sure if that's truly good or just new), jardine, aubergine.

also not sure about millers thumb - is that good? or overrated?
also i nixed ginja for too many bad reviews - what are your thoughts?

and also - would love recos for particular dishes. we love everything except for shell fish & some seafood like octopus.

thank you so much - really hoping for your help!!

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  1. Sorry that you did not care for Bizerca - I think it is very good!

    My favs are La Colombe, Jardine, Aubergine, Fork The Roundhouse is worthwhile, although quite pricey for Cape Town. Also look at 95 Keerom Street, Carne (meat only). I like Caveau - relaxed wine bar with decent food.

    Millers Thumb is a 'neighbourhood' restauarant - friendly and relaxed with good fish. Prices have risen lately. In the relaxed category also look at Sloppy Sam and Anatoli's - good for the meze (skip the mains). both in GreenPoint

    Personally dont care for Ginja - Myoga better.

    You could consdier Nova particularly if you like deconstruction food.

    As you will be aware many places are offering winter specials making it even cheaper.

    Belthazar at the V&A which I would not normally eat at has ribeye steak and chips at R99 and you get too choose wines priced at R49-R79 a bottle and still served in the Riedel glasses.

    What about eating in the Winelands - Overture, great for Lunch, Rust en Vrede great for dinner, Terroir and Cuvee and several more!

    Come back if you have further quetions.

    9 Replies
    1. re: macsym

      macsym -

      thanks a ton for your recos!!

      i am too bummed about bizerca - i wanted to love it, just probably got the wrong dish or two.

      we're heading to winelands on wed, thanks for the recos there. what are your thoughts on reubens? also, la petit ferme - dinner or lunch? before your post, i was going to do: day 1 bread & wine for lunch, reubens for dinner
      day 2 ici lunch, not sure about dinner
      day 3 la petit ferme lunch (or dinner)? then we drive back to cape town.

      also, do you think we should do ici or the main restaurant for dinner? am worried that between la colombe + jardine + aubergine + savoy cabbage we'll have an overload on fine dining.

      and one last question, i promise, of the 4 listed above, if i had to nix one - which one wouldl it be?

      thank you again!

      1. re: into_food

        My favourite would be Overture for lunch - great views and good views but it does get booked up.

        The tasting room for dinner is considered 'the best' - my one meal there was excellent. Its not actually very formal and makes a relaxed evening. If you can get in then I think you should do it - it is like going to Healsburg and not visiting Cyrus! but its much cheaper!

        Only go to Petit Ferme for lunch because the view is the best part - it is very popular but personally I dont think the food is that great (and not as good as it used to be before it got so large) However, the view is excellent.

        Bread and Wine is very good for lunch

        Reubens has been very mixed of late - I get the feeling it is a hit or miss affair.

        For true French bistro experience I would strongly suggest Mon Plaisir at Chamonix.

        There is a new restaurant at Klein Genot which I have heard very good things of, but have not been myself.

        Bouillabaisse and the Salmon Bar are good, but might be too fish orientated for you.

        Depending on which way you drive back to Cape Town, Cuvee at Simonsig wine farm is very good for lunch.

        There are of course lots of others to choose from, but I do think The Tasting Room has to be the best gastronomic experience.

        Of your 4 Cape Town restaurants - the order in which you place them is actually how I would rank them - if you have to skip one of them I suggest leaving out Savoy Cabbage - unless you are particularly keen on offal as they currently have their offal festival running.

        Hope that helps - the problem is there are just too many choices!!

        Enjoy and I look forward to hearing how you get on (

        1. re: macsym

          this is wonderful - thank you again!

          As per your reco, I am trying to get into overture - thought we'd do a dinner there (unless you think lunch is much better), and also added cuvee - also assuming we can get in.

          if it all works out, then we have bread & wine lunch, overture dinner, cuvee lunch and we're still in need of one more lunch and one more dinner. decided to nix the tasting room - saw the reviews on eatout and they get pretty bad reviews in the last few months -- concerned they've relaxed their standards! but do you think ici is worthwhile then, or nix it as well??

          salmon bar sounds like fun (assuming better for lunch?), checking with my bf to see if he's game.

          probably dont' want any more french food - have had too much recently. so not sure if you have any other recos for fresh, local lunch/dinner spots in the wine country?

          thanks again macsym!
          ps. will check out genot shortly

          1. re: macsym

            ps. just got a note from cuvee - they are closed till july 21st - what a bummer!!!

            so now i am still in need of lunch/dinner recos for wine country... we'd love to have a lunch or a dinner on a lighter side of things too if anything comes to mind- my tummy would love a break i am sure

            1. re: into_food

              IMO Overture is better for lunch as you get to see the view and the narrow road is quite long for night time driving!

              Other places: 96 Winery Road, Avontuur, Terroir at Kleine Zalze, Guardian Peak, Bodega at Dornier, in Stellenbosch itself, Dijon and the Big Easy. Tokara bewtween Stell and Fransch and opposite is a brand new restaurant at Delaire. Then there is partic good cheese selection at Vrede & Lust's deli & restaurant and a light meal option at the restaurant at Glen Carlou. There is also a restaurant at Solms Delta which offers Cap Malay style food (there is an interesting museum too).

              I went too the Roundhouse last evening and had a truely excellent meal - at R180 it is a bargain!

              1. re: macsym

                Oh my goodness - we were at roundhouse too last night!! which table were you?

                we also got the 180 special & I did wine pairings, while my bf indulged in yummy manhattans. i thought the apple curry soup & the potatoe - bone marrow jam were truly outstanding!!

                thanks for the recos, as always! I am in touch with a few places to hopefully we'll be in for a treat again :-)

            2. re: macsym

              Is Tasting Room open for lunch or only dinner?

              Also, I had a very good and unique meal in the winelands (I think in or near Stellenbosch) a couple years ago but can't remember the name. It was in winter, outdoors at night and was a big buffet style meal. The restaurant was completely open (it didn't even resemble a restaurant really) and there were these gigantic torches to keep everyone warm. Any ideas as to what/where I am referring?

              Thanks for any help.

              1. re: mpierce64

                If it was Africa-themed, it would be Moyo, at Spier.

                1. re: Gooseberry

                  Just checked out their website and it was Moyo. Thanks for the help.