Restaurants near the waterfront


Apr 14th, 2005, 09:55 AM
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Restaurants near the waterfront

We will be spending a few days in Cape Town at the start of our Africa trip in June. We are staying at the Portswood Hotel near the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront and wonder if anyone has any favorite restaurants we should make sure we get to. We tend to like more on the casual end of things (and since we are mostly going to be on safari on this trip we don't plan to bring anything dressier that khaki pants) and would love something that isn't just like every other restaurant in a large city.
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Apr 14th, 2005, 01:18 PM
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Firstly let me tell you about dressing for restaurants in Cape Town or for that matter South Africa. We are a VERY laid back country. You will never need to dress smartly however it could be handy to bring one set of smart semi formal clothing with you. Otherwise it will be jeans, t-shirts, track shoes and
anything that you feel comfortable in. Thats one of the great features of
coming to SA There is no formality whatsoever.

In terms of restaurants heres some interesting tips of restaurants that are close to the Portswood and some that are not so close. I regard these places as my own little hidden secrets for those who travel with me when they are in Cape Town.

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

Willoughby's in the Waterfront (no pre-booking at this restaurant)

Panama Jacks in the harbour is worth going to but I would not run too quickly to eat at this venue as there are much better in town when it comes to fish.

Baia in the Waterfront. (4210935) Excellent fish restaurant and first class dining facility however on the expensive side (by local standards).

The big hidden secret fish place in Cape Town is Tangos (7126631) 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 center (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 realize 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 favorite 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.

If you have a lunchtime restaurant opportunity may I suggest that you stop at Kalkies in the Kalk Bay harbour. Now here’s a real typical Cape Town experience to want to savor with fresh fish being served that was caught on the day in the Kalk Bay harbour. Furthermore you wont find tourists at this venue as it seems to be too down market from the outside so what you finds is that all the locals eat there because it is such a treasure. Try and experience this great culinary experience when in our city.

Btw when it comes to eating fish most establishments will serve you local fish in the form of Cob (Kabeljou, Kingklip (Local to Cape Town, Cape salmon, Yellowtail and if you are lucky Musslecracker. When it comes to the shelled variety of fish you will be able
to find crayfish (smaller than American lobster but definitely more substance to the meat and sweeter), prawns (Shrimp in the USA) and maybe giant prawns (prawns in the USA). All in all when it comes to shelled fish I say again be forewarned against being ripped off and DONT think in Dollar terms when ordering, think in Rand terms relative to what you will have already learnt as far a local values are concerned. I am telling you all of the above so as to help you when it comes to eating fish in our city but also because amongst others Panama Jacks have been found horrifically guilty with overcharging and ripping visitors off by some local newspapers in Cape Town

Spicy foods in Cape Town could land you up in many places:

Biesmiellah is a great Cape curry restaurant

Wangthai is a Thai restaurant that serves very spicy foods.

Zorinas Cafe (4249301) at 172 Loop Street is a little hidden gem. It is actually a take-out venue with a little hidden restaurant behind it. No bookings, just arrive. Unquestionably the best samoosas and curry in town. Only open at lunchtimes and certainly worth the visit.

The big secret for wonderful spicy food is Bibis (7618635). This is the restaurant I would recommend most of all. 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.

If you are looking for a quality dining type restaurant take a look at 95 Keerom Street. (4220765) Quite a new place on the block but definitely excellent dining at slightly higher than normal prices. Nice atmosphere too.

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, Baia and maybe 95 Keerom Street could well come in for mentioning in some of the travel books available 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".

Enjoy our great city when you visit us .

Selwyn_Davidowitz is offline  
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Apr 15th, 2005, 05:35 AM
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Wow!! Thanks so much for the advice. I will be sure to bring all of this with me. I can't wait to try some of the local fish! When I travel I like to experience things that I can't here at home so your suggestions are all perfect. I am looking forward to leaving Cape Town thinking "I really have to come back here again"!
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Apr 17th, 2005, 02:57 AM
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Hi there

If you love sushi you have to go to the Codfather in Camps Bay. It is a fish only restaurant, so they also have a counter of fres fish, prawns, oyster, you name it, they have it, where you can pick and choose your fish and make up a platter of your own if you wish.

Another great place in the City is Five Flies, a great place for a stunning dinner.

Societi Bistro in the Waterfront is also great, to add they have a sister restaurant in Mouille Point called Bravo - very Italian and great pastas.
Have fun
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