Jimmy van Tonder

 Another new (and intriguing)  restaurant – this time in easy walking distance of An African Villa. The website looks great It replace Opal Lounge in a gorgeous old house environment – the menu looks simple but reasonably priced – will need to check out standards but to judge by the décor – it looks great! Let’s hope so!

The Test Kitchen (for dinner if possible or for lunch).

Aubergine Restaurant test kitchen 2
Probably the most popular spot in town right now. Theatrically brilliant cuisine.
It’s fun to sit at the counter and watch the chefs at work.

The Pot Luck Club
pot luck 

The baby sister of The Test Kitchen – the menu also inspired by Luke Dale Roberts. The accent is on tapas-style food but with a VERY imaginative touch – forget ALL the Mediterranean tapas dishes you have ever eaten (for example how about ‘celery leaves in a curried tempura batter’?) – we like to order several dishes at a time and then have ‘tasters’ from each – so you will not walk away hungry but don’t go if you have gargantuan appetite. It’s a relatively noisy spot laid out in a glass box perched on top of a grain silo in Woodstock’s Biscuit Mill precinct. A meal for 2 without wine (with about 6 tapas plates to share) should cost around R350 – wines are pricey so add on another R250 for a bottle to share.

Needs to be booked well in advance (say a month beforehand?) Seats at the bar are not a bad thing – you get to watch the chefs doing their virtuoso thing. WELL WORTH A VISIT – put do plan ahead!

Consistently one of the top in town. Very artful and creative contemporary food with excellent wines.

Very professionally prepared food. Thoughtful and clever but with a ‘homey’ twist. Very difficult to get a table so book well in advance. In the summer the courtyard tables are a delight.

The Round House
 Round house Rumbullion-Lawns-4
Making waves on the food front. Wonderful views across Camps Bay (Rumbilion) and inside venue  

La Colombe
A 30 minute drive to Constantia the cab ride  costs around R150 each way) – try lunch if you have a car. One of the best in the country. Traditional French-style food. Country setting.

The Planet Bar and Restaurant
Funky food at the city’s grandest hotel (The Mount Nelson) A short walk from the Villa.

The Savoy Cabbage
Been around for many years and still going strong – this speaks volumes! A very stylish space and food which is innovative and sophisticated.

(Close to the Villa)

Two local lunch spots: The Daily Deli  and Café Puka (2 minutes’ walk)
Excellent for a light lunch and coffee. The D.D. has robust veggie options and is a firm favourite of locals for a very relaxed pavement-seated supper on a great Cape Town evening. 


The Power and the Glory (4 minutes’ walk)
Not really an eating spot (perhaps for a light lunch) but excellent for a drinking the evening - frequented by  a rather ‘alternative’ arty South African crowd. Spills out onto the pavement. One of our guests was excited about  the flat white coffee there recently.

The Miller’s Thumb (5 minutes’ walk)

Consistently our guest’s favourite spot – Jane and Solly have a willing formula. Lots of sea food and also some meat and veggie options. BOOK!

The Maharajh (North Indian Food) (5 minute’s walk)
021 424 6607

This place has a history – and a following.  a well-known part of the Long Street scene – our off-beat drag with its bars, tiny cafes and second-hand bookshops, sex shops, revived designer gear etc. But the rent became too high (an often-heard refrain). So it’s our luck that they were forced to move up the hill to within 3 blocks of the Villa. Like The Cedar, the ambiance does not feature decor as a draw card. But the food is very good and it is often booked out at night. All the usual Indian favourites – their home-baked flatbread is brilliant and the portions are humungous – really, one should share unless you have just run the Two Oceans Marathon. Prices are average to high but, as I say, one can easily share dishes and take-home leftovers. I’ll definitely be back!

Ricks Café (6 minutes’ walk)
A very atmospheric spot with a good bar upstairs. Moroccan style food. 

Mano a Mano (7 minutes’ walk)

The Cedar Restaurant (Lebanese Food) (8 minutes’ walk)
021 424 0830
This is a great find! They have moved from Kloof Street into Rheede Street Mall – about 6 minutes’ walk from the Villa. They Cedar has only 8 tables, most played out into the corrodor of the small mall – you will not find tis secret place unless someone has referred you to it! It’s completely devoid of any décor – just bare tables. (Often a good sign, I feel, in this style of restaurant). Don’t go here for the atmosphere!

We went with American friends who loved it BUT they reminded us to warn that CREDIT CARDS ARE NOT ACCEPTED – so take cash – not a lot of it, say around R300 for 2 persons. The specials are totally delicious and much loved favourites (baba ganoush / tabouleh/ baklava bear the stamp of the ‘home-cooked’ meal. We highly recommend it – and price-wise? In the mid-range – bear in mind that ALL side dishes are charged for and this can increase the bill significantly – they automatically add a 10% service charge which is not the norm in these parts.

The Grand Café and Beach
A very ‘in’ spot alongside the V&A Waterfront. You need to book well in advance – BY EMAIL!!! Sit on a beach sand if the win is not blowing. Good for a dusk dinner. 

Le Petite Tarte (a funky lunch venue)
021 425 9077
After a morning’s walkabout in the city, our guests are always recommended to stop off for a  chilled out lunch at this slightly over-the-top place in Dixon Street in the newly upgraded area known as “The Cape Quarter”. Johann and Len, the owners, have a uniquely relaxed, but discerning style and they make all the dishes themselves either at home or at the rear of the restaurant. Their staff are a marvelously joyous bunch which always reflects a healthy boss/worker relationship to me. Nothing begrudging here! The menue is hand written and changes each day: Haddock Pie, Malay Bobotie, Leek and Roast Chicken Pie, Smoked Chicken Salad, home-baked Vanilla Cheese Cake with Berry Compote, Carrot and Ginger Cake (the best I have eaten), Lindt Chocolate Brownies, etc. The do reserve reserve tables but if you arrive early you can usually find a spot – just do not arrive late – you may be disappointed!


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