Food is a serious business in South Africa, and Cape Town is no different. You’ll fine elegant fine-dining establishments, traditional African eateries, quick and easy fast food and a whole host of others in between. Our colleagues in South Africa certainly had their favourites, with one particular dish being mentioned time and time again.
Let’s start with the hotel restaurants. There are plenty of stunning hotels in Cape Town, making the most of the buzzing V&A Waterfront and surrounding area, and with them came a whole host of celebrity endorsed and simply stunning restaurants. Two of our favourites were the Planet Restaurant at the Mount Nelson and the Top of the Ritz, located, as you’d probably guess, atop the Ritz. The latter also rotates so you can enjoy 360° views of Cape Town whilst you dine. The Mount Nelson and the One&Only area also applauded for their afternoon tea, which, in our opinion, are two of the best in the city.
When it came to African dining, we had two entries; GOLD and Moyo. GOLD sits beneath the gold museum, in which you can learn all about South Africa’s history with gold. There is also a drumming circle, where you can learn the basics of African drumming and during your 14 course tasting menu, sampling all the continent of Africa has to offer, performers play out the history of gold, with dance, music and costumes. Moyo is a more modern take, with slick urban African cuisine, drawing on history but adding a modern twist. They also scour the country for the hippest singers, dancers and performers; to ensure you experience is essentially African.
The Test Kitchen is one of the world’s best restaurants, and a firm favourite of our South African colleagues. It’s fine-dining but in an industrial setting, where the food is meant to be as fun as it is delicious. It’s about combining and layering flavour, ensuring smiling patrons fill the tables every mealtime. Reuben’s in Franschhoek is another renowned eatery, serving classical South African fare with a contemporary twist. Reuben Riffel is a well-known South African Chef and this was his first restaurant, awarded the Eat Out Restaurant of the Year Award in 2004.
For something completely different, head to Muisbosskerm, on the west coast, it offers open air dining, with your feet in the sand. This relaxed and informal restaurant specialises in seafood and is located right on the shore, ideal for enjoying these freshly caught delights. However, if you’re looking for a true Capetonian treat, you’ll want a Gatsby, no not the mysterious millionaire, this is even better. To a Capetonian, a Gatsby is a foot-long sandwich crammed with steak, eggs, chips, cheese, braised onion and salad. It’s a sandwich you’ll never forget. We recommend Mariam’s Kitchen for your first try at this monstrous beast as you’ll find a few spread across the city.