Cape Town/Garden Route restaurants

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Oct 13th, 2003, 06:14 AM
  #1
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Cape Town/Garden Route restaurants

Hi there,

We are leaving to go to Cape Town and a trip along the Garden Route on Wednesday. To put it bluntly, we love to eat good food! Can anyone recommend good, not too overpriced, restaurants we can try in these areas (and also an idea of whether or not we will need to book in advance)?

Many thanks!
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Oct 14th, 2003, 03:01 AM
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No one got any recommendations for me? Purleeeeease!
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Oct 14th, 2003, 10:55 AM
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Larissa, you won't find any South African restaurants that are overpriced. (Well, maybe one or two somewhere). But in general, the food and cooking in SA are of very high quality, and the prices are low by American standards.

Since you're leaving so soon, I would advise going to a CNA bookstore in Cape Town, or the bookstore in the airport, and looking for a restaurant guide, or go to the Tourist Info bureau in Cape Town and pick up some brochures.

Be sure to enjoy the Cape wines; they're really good. If you haven't tasted Pinotage, do so.

Have a wonderful time!!!
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Oct 14th, 2003, 02:04 PM
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Hello Larissa,

Please note that part of this mail is a repeat from a past mail that I sent to the Fodors page quite awhile ago.

I have always been reluctant to pass on the information that I am going to
write about in this mail as some of the restaurants that I am going to
mention are totally unknown to most and I have always frequented these
establishments as special eating places for my own visitors to Cape Town. My
main reason for changing my mind and now mentioning these establishments in
this mail is because I have changed my thinking with regard to the secrecy
of these special places in that they certainly deserve clientele and I don't
believe that publishing this information on Fodors will change the secretive atmosphere that my visitors enjoy when we visit some of the below mentioned venues.

If you are looking for a Cape Town fish restaurant my suggestions would be:

Willoughby's in the Waterfront (no pre-booking at this restaurant. Well priced and excellent value.

The big hidden secret fish place in Cape Town is Tangos (712 6631) (Btw I am eating at this establishment tonight) ) This is a venue that locals seem to have kept to themselves. You will hardly ever see tourists at this local family type fish venue. It is rather far out of the city centre (25 minutes away in Kendall Road) but imho this is the very best fish restaurant in Cape Town. When you are in this restaurant you soon realise that fresh fish is being brought through the door minutes after being caught in the local Kalk Bay harbour. Furthermore if you want to find great varieties of local fish Tangos is the place to eat. My favourite fish that I generally eat at this venue is musslecracker. You will have to go hunting all over Cape Town for to find in another local restaurant serving this delicious fish variety. Once again the food is well priced and excellent quality.

Another gem of a place to eat at when it comes to fish would be Kalkies in the Kalk Bay harbour. Here you will sit down with the local fishermen and enjoy freshly caught local fish with wonderful local type chips (SA French fries) in a very basic type setting. The experience of eating at this venue is wonderful especially after one has seen all the fresh fish being brought to the harbour in front of you. Please note that Kalkies is only open during normal working hours and not at night.
You wont believe the price of the food at Kalkies as it is so cheap.

If you are looking for great Chinese food then go to a restaurant that hardly even finds its way into the phone book viz. The Jewel Tavern. This restaurant is in the old harbour and I kid you not when I say that it is situated in between the down and out (perfectly safe) working harbour and the old dry docks. The reason for this location is simple; the visiting Chinese and Taiwanese seamen eat at this venue. As far as I am concerned it even is a hidden secret to locals. The place is far from stylish but just wait till the food arrives!!! ) I have had many a visitor to Cape Town suggest that we go back to "that great Chinese place" after visiting there once before. The telephone number is 448 1977. I strongly suggest that you call before visiting this venue as the restaurant will HAVE to guide you to them as they are so off the beaten track. Try and speak to Faith as she is English conversant and will help you all the way. Great lady.


A big secret in Cape Town when it comes to wonderful spicy food is Bibis (761 8635). This is the restaurant I would recommend most of all for this type of food. Fabulous Indian cooking. Once again this venue is about 25 minutes out of the city centre and is situated
in lower Kenilworth This is where our local Hindu community eat and the food
is simply out of this world. Fair warning - No alcohol is served or allowed in this establishment.


When it comes to sushi look no further than Kotebuki in Cape Town. I am a sushi and sashimi freak and have been eating this type of cuisine for the past 20 years. Let me have you know that 20, or even 10 years ago, the word sushi was swear word in Cape Town with locals saying "yugh you eat raw fish". Today it is very popular and as I have been supporting the local restaurants quite regularly for the past years I still believe that the ones that have Japanese chefs (not Singaporean or Korean Chefs) are the ones that are the best. With that said Kotebuki (Owner/chef is Poppo) and a hidden venue off long Street called Minato, run my a highly qualified Japanese chef by name of Moera San are the best places to frequent for this type of cuisine.

Larissa, Make no error there are
many other wonderful restaurants in Cape Town that are well worth visiting.
The above restaurants are NOT the normal run of the mill recommendations
that will be made in most "eat out book" recommendations. Willoughbys and
Panama Jacks could well come in for mentioning in some of the above books or
possibly by others writing to this page. The restaurants mentioned in my
list are the ones that locals frequent and my advice always remains "when in
Cape Town do eat what the Capetonians eat".

When it comes to restaurants on the Garden Route my suggestion is that you visit the following places:

La Loerie - Knysna. An ABSOLUTE MUST however you HAVE to book beforehand as it only seats 20 people. Speak to Sandy or Abdul at 044 382 1616

Changes in Knysna is a pretty good restaurant serving local and French cuisinish type food. Wonderful atmosphere 044 382 0456 Speak to Charlotte or Brent.

The Knysna Oyster factory - Brilliant for oysters and make sure you order the coastal (wild) as opposed to cultured oysters - You wont believe the difference. http://www.eating-out.co.za/member_d...p?MemberID=598

A grand dinner evening could be had by visiting Tsala's restaurant. (www.tsala.com) Be aware that this venue only caters for overflow relative to their own visitors needs however a hidden secret ) is that they have one extra table for 4 every evening and if you want to be sure of a reservation BOOK EARLY. Highly recommended

The best Chinese food in Knysna is at "Wok this way". Great little venue hidden away of the Knysna main road. (044) 382 1106

Another good restaurant where you will find fish and local type cuisine is JJ's on the Waterfront where Justin Hirsch is host extraordinaire. Pretty good venue (044) 382 3359

Other venues worth visiting in Knysna are Belvedere Manor and the Lake Pleasant Hotel.

While in the Wilderness try and stop in for dinner at Serendipity. FANTASTIC. Put yourself in the hands of Liselle Stolze and her husnband for the night and you will have an evening that you will NEVER EVER forget. Bookings at Serendipity are essential (044) 8770433

Overall as far as eating out is concerned I agre wholeheartedly with Celia when she mentions that no matter where you eat you will find the pricing to be very reasonable or even cheap. I have had many visitors to our shores say that as far as they were concerned the cost of meals was equivalent to "legalised stealing" -.

I hope the above helps.

Enjoy our great city as well as the fabulous Garden Route when you visit us

Selwyn Davidowitz
Very proudly part of the wonderful nation of South Africa
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Oct 15th, 2003, 04:21 AM
  #5
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Selwyn,

Thank you so much! You're a star. we leave tonight and I CAN'T WAIT!! Looking forward to fabulous scenery and of course, fabulous food!
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