Trip to Cape Town, South Africa - March 2008
Eating out in Cape Town

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You can find lots of great wine in South AfricaBefore we went from Johannesburg to Cape Town I picked up a magazine called Eat out or something like that and I guess it was then I realized how many restaurants we had to choose from in Cape Town. Not only are there many to choose from - but many of the top 10 restaurants in South Africa are located in Cape Town. When I went to South Africa the first time a few years back I found it cheaper than Norway – well, I guess all places are cheaper than Norway. But since 2004 the South African Rand has gone down 35% towards the Norwegian Krone which makes it even cheaper for a Norwegian to travel to South Africa.

Nikki had calemari for starter at Five FliesThe first night we tried to get the concierge at the hotel to get us a table at the supposedly best restaurants right away but unfortunately both Jardine and Aubergine was fully booked. So we ended up going to Five Flies which is only located a 5 minute walk from Mandela Rhodes Place (our hotel in Cape Town). When we came in it was warm and lively and it was easy to see that it was a place with a long history. From what I have read the place has been used from everything from a bank to a brothel. We went for the 3 course dinner which was 200 Rand per person (about 25$). Nikki had ostrich at Five FliesThe wine list was extensive as South Africa is a huge wine producing country. And the prices…well, a bottle started at 95 Rand (about 12$) which is enough to bring tears into the eyes of a Norwegian. In Stavanger I don’t think you can get a bottle of wine at a restaurant for less than 60$. We went for a Cabernet Sauvignon at about 200 Rand. Nikki had calamari for starter and it was quite boring while my mushroom in gorgonzola was very good. For the main meal Nikki tried the ostrich and I had a T-bone steak with butter squash, spinach and mashed potatoes with garlic - both dishes were lovely. Gard at Five FliesTo round it of I had a selection of South African cheeses with a port wine on the side. But the cheeses were very, very tame compared to the cheese that I’m used to from Europe.
There was a couple seated at the table next to us and during the meal the chair caved in on the lady and she crashed down on the floor pulling stuff with her. My reaction was to save their carafe with the remaining red wine *hehe* But no worries - no one were hurt during the crash landing. Check out the restaurant homepage . It is not a bad choice for a dinner out :-)

Lamb at Savoy CabbageThe next night we had a short stop at Caveau Wine Bar & Deli to have a glass of red wine. They had a great selection of wine by the glass (we paid about 45 Rand (6 $) per glass) but it seems like their prices was a bit higher than Savoy Cabbage where we were going next. It didn’t take us long to get to Savoy Cabbage where we had a reservation..it was just around the corner. Scene from Savoy CabbageThe interior at Savoy Cabbage was quite cool…several levels, brick walls, wooden tables etc. I went for their famous tomato tart and that was excellent. The main meal for me was steak and beer while Nikki had lamb if I’m not mistaken. And to round it of I had a nice chocolate fondant *yummy*. We paid about 600 Rand (about 80$) for the both of us including a bottle of wine. Please read more about Savoy Cabbage on the restaurant homepage.

Ox tail at Famous Butcher GrillIn the magazine that I had bought we also read about Famous Butcher Grill and we decided to check that out the following day. When we came to the place we were a bit disappointed - it was a hotel restaurant (located at Cape Town Lodge Hotel). But we were not in the mood to look around as we were hungry after a long road trip that day. The waiter at this place was a bit strange - it seemed like he had been drinking a bit! When I asked for a recommendation for a bottle of wine he took me to the wine cellar and tried to convince me that they had a special offer on a bottle - only 750 Rand :-) I think we went for something cheaper. The chocolate orgasm at Famous Butcher Grill was faking itI had liver for starter and that was OK- similar to what I remember it tasting from my childhood. Nikki went for a steak and I went for ox-tail and these were not bad (even if the waiter forgot the spinach that we ordered). But the big disappointment of the evening was the Chocolate orgasm. I think my conclusion at the time was that it was a chocolate cake faking it because it was nothing orgasmic about it :-) The place was pretty quite and it closed early. There was no wow factor in this meal so I wouldn't really recommend others to go there. The meal was about 500 Rand (65$) including a bottle of wine.

Karoo lamb at 95 Keerom St.On the last night we went to a place called 95 Keerom St. The restaurant is located in one of the oldest house in Cape Town and it is located right next to the Company’s garden. The restaurant has two floors and downstairs there was a focus on the old style with small rooms (Chambre Separée) - upstairs it was more modern and open-plan. Having tiramisu at 95 Keerom St.The restaurant has a main focus on Italian food and I had a lovely, small caprese salad to start with. The main meal for me was Karoo lamb which was excellent while Nikki’s salmon was a bit disappointing (it was not Norwegian *grin*). For dessert I had a lovely Tiramisu with a glass of sweet dessert wine. This evening we paid 320 Rand (about 45$) for both of us (including 2 glasses of wine for me). I would love to go there again to check out other items on the menu :-)

Koeksister at Noon Gun cafeWe had a small lunch at the Noon Gun Cafe one day in Cape Town. The menu is not very extensive but the location is amazing. The small cafe is located in the hill leading up to Signal Hill and will give you a great view of both the City Bowl and the Waterfront area. At this Cape-Malay cafe we had a starter, some mutton curry and a couple of koeksister. This is a typical Cape-Malay dessert and it is a sort of doughnut as it is deep-fried and covered in some sort of syrup. The total for this including a couple of Coke's was 115 Rand (about 15 $).

Note: Do you like Baileys? Why not tried the South African version Amarula. In my opinion the Amarula is much better than Baileys :-)

I would have loved to stay in Cape Town for a few more days or maybe a few more weeks to try out the various restaurants. There are lots of restaurants to choose from and the food and wine is affordable in my opinion. Make sure that you book in advance to get a table at the best restaurants :-) Get in touch with me on gardkarlsen@hotmail.com if you have any questions or comments.

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