Good sea food restaurants in Cape Town

Apr 25th, 2003, 06:08 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 5
Good sea food restaurants in Cape Town

We will be visiting Cape Town from 02/05/03 for six days (staying at the Protea Hotel Sea Point)and then travelling to Knysna for another seven day stay(in a rented cottage).We are looking for good restaurants serving fish and seafood in Cape Town and the Garden Route. We like Japanese, French, and Chinese food. Anyone got any reccomendations? Also has anyone stayed at the Protea Hotel at Sea point? We would also like to have a days safari but so far have not found anywhere we fancy. I have been downloading stuff from the net but would be really gratefull for some insider info. I look forward to hearing from you. Thanks Maureen
vancatwoman is offline  
Apr 26th, 2003, 03:55 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
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Hi Vancatwoman,

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

Panama Jacks in the harbour. (447 3992)

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.

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.

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.

Vancatwoman I imagine that you will be reading of the normal run of the mill
restaurants in answers from others to your question. 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 in Knysna my suggestion is that you visit the following places:

La Loerie ? 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 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.

A grand dinner evening could be had by visiting Tsala?s restaurant. ( 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 are Belvedere Manor and the Lake Pleasant Hotel.

Unfortunately there is no sushi or sashimi establishments in the area

If you want to find out anything else about Knysna restaurant information go to and you will certainly see that you wont go hungry in this wonderful lakeside town. )

Hope all of the above helps and do enjoy our great city as well as the fabulous Garden Route when you visit us

Selwyn Davidowitz
[email protected]

Selwyn_Davidowitz is offline  
Apr 26th, 2003, 10:11 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 5
Hi Selwyn
Thanks for your invaluable eating out pointers. We are wondering if you know of any township tours we can take that include music?
vancatwoman is offline  
Apr 26th, 2003, 02:57 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,097
Hi Maureen,

I am relatively knowledgeable about township tours in Cape Town and to my knowledge there are none that take in music as a formal part of their itineraries. Also be aware of township tours that stipulate that they do have this formally placed on their agendas as it will mean that you will be travelling on a "zoo tour" or what I also call a "canned township tour". I loathe these experiences.

My suggestion as far as a township tour is concerned is that you write to me at my email address telling me what you more or less expect from a township tour. I will then respond with some suggestions to you as far as tours are concerned. As far as township music is concerned may I suggest that you visit the nightclub Mama Africa one night where you will hear vibrant African music after 22h00. Not sure if this will suit your whole family but if it does then do this as you will all enjoy the evening. I also recommend that you visit the Africa Cafe ( )for a wonderful African dinner feast and in the process you will also experience some wonderful African choral music performed by the staff at the Cafe. I must mention that this entertainment is a spontaneous event and does not always happen at the Cafe.

I noticed in your first mail that you wanted to know about a day safari. In this regard may I suggest that you visit Botelierskop ( near Mossel Bay when you are on the Garden Route. You could well see many species of antelope, black eland (very rare)lions, giraffe, Cape buffalo, rhino (there is a baby rhino on the farm right now that is 20 days old today - see the great picture on the Boteliers website), zebra, wildebeest and many other animals on this farm. If you do the morning game drive do stay for lunch at the Boteliers restaurant as serves a fantastic traditioanl and game buffet. It really is worth staying for this event

Hope this all helps.

Selwyn Davidowitz
[email protected]

Selwyn_Davidowitz is offline  
Apr 26th, 2003, 06:27 PM
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Posts: 5
Hi Selwyn
Thanks for your advice. I will bear your points in mind about the township tours. I would not like to feel that I was taking advantage of the poeple who live in the townships in any way by visiting them.
vancatwoman is offline  
Apr 28th, 2003, 09:59 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 987
I'm copying these restaurants, Selwyn, to add to my favorite Cape Town place, Rozenhof.

We leave Sunday for 10 days in Namibia followed by 10 days in the Cape.

I can't wait!!!
Celia is offline  
Apr 28th, 2003, 12:05 PM
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Suggest you stay away from townships, whether on your own or with a guide on a canned tour.

You'll pass a town ship coming in from CT Airport ... after you've seen it from the roadway, you decide.

Restaurants around the V&A harbor area, and in Hotel Cape Grace, are very good. Fun place to hang out and shop.

Take a day to tour around the Good Hope cape area ... an interesting RT from CT.
May 5th, 2003, 06:49 AM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 14
This message may be too late as you will be in CT when I write this but hopefully you may read this in an internet cafe.

I have to disagree with the previous posters as far as Township Tours are concerned as we have just returned from South Africa and did a Township Tour with the following guy: (Music optional)(

We were also in two minds whether to do this or not, but made enquiries and found a local township guy who runs township tours, a restaurant etc. with his wife and the experience was out of this world. Far from being a zoo or canned. The township people had no hesitation letting us in on their lives and the money we paid for the tour goes back into the community and the shops they take you to, to buy goods, again goes back into the community. There is no harm in seeing how the other half live and from our expereinces we can make things better for them anyway. I saw a part of South Africa I would not have seen otherwise. When I saw the townships from the highway I was saddened and shocked at what I saw - when I did the tour my attitude and perspective changed and I understood why and when things are moving on for the better.

In my opinion everyone should do a township tour (SA's and tourists alike), and if you can choose a local guy to take you (better still), someone who knows the community and can show you the good and the bad.
hollly is offline  
May 5th, 2003, 08:02 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,097
Hi Holly,

Well said. I could not put it any better. I agree 100% with the fact that every person visiting SA should visit a township. As a matter of fact in my opinion you simply cannot say that you know and understand South Africa, no matter how many times you have visited us unless you have seen a township. Furthermore I agree with you wholeheartedly that you should see a township through a local's eyes and whatever one does DO NOT go on a canned or zoo tour as this is NOT the way to see exactly how 75% of South Africa really live.

My hat goes off to you for writing the mail Holly.

Selwyn Davidowitz
[email protected]
Selwyn_Davidowitz is offline  
May 5th, 2003, 10:42 AM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 14
Thanks Selwyn for your kind words.

We have just returned from a fantastic 3 week trip in South Africa and I am still on a high. I am so desperate to return to this fabulous place.

hollly is offline  
May 6th, 2003, 07:17 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 330
Holly and Selwyn are correct. It amazes me that so few people visit the townships and the old District 6 areas since it is so much a part of not just South African history and future, but that of our world.

Although I have nothing to compare it with, the 1/2 day tour we took through one of the groups that specializes in these tours was just fine. There were just four of us in the van and the guide was a local person who had a lot of information, knew a lot of people, we visited a home and store, and were given a history of the area and had our questions answered.

Note: I have been told not to visit this area on your own.
evelyntrav is offline  
May 10th, 2003, 06:02 PM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 42
I am hoping to take a group of about 16-20 to S.A. next summer (2004). This group likes visiting people in their homes (we have done so in China and in Tanzania)and seeing how people in all countries really live. Is it do able to take a group that size on a township tour? I am working with a tour company but before I ask them, I want to ask your opinion. The one thing WE always worry about is appearing to GAWK! And that is how it may appear with that many people. That of course, is not our intent. But as you say, you cannot understand a place unless you understand the people and how they live. Opinions?
Trvlingal is offline  
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