We have been wanting to try this restaurant for a while and finally decided to go on a Friday night at the start of Cape Town’s holiday season. A sure-fire way to ensure that there will be a vibey, packed restaurant – right? Well, it appears not. We were greeted by a sparsely filled venue which was a little disappointing. What was even more disappointing was that it took about 5 minutes for our waitress to take our initial drinks order. Granted, one of the brus had already been served a drink (as he had arrived early), but surely it was plain to see – in a small, quiet restaurant – that new diners had joined the table and had not been greeted or served? That was where any negatives regarding the service ended as our waitress, Respect, proved to be extremely friendly, smiley and competent throughout the rest of the night.
The craft beer selection was very decent and well-varied, with both on tap and bottled options. Secure in the knowledge that the beer side of things was looking rosy, we then began contemplating starters. The offerings were very good and included options for all cravings. We settled on their Handmade Jalapeno Poppers (what else?) as well as a Pizza Bread. This was a wonderfully thin and crispy pizza base (rectangular shaped) which came topped with caramelised onion, garlic, herbs, Danish feta and drizzled over with olive oil. Both of these starters totally hit the mark! The pizza, cooked in a wood-fired oven, was light and packed full of flavour with the crispiness being just perfect. The poppers were not the hottest I have ever had, however the gooey cheese filling was to die for! Okay, I wouldn’t die for it but if there was ever a situation where I had to choose a gooey cheese filling to eat before I died – this would be it. I really hope this doesn’t mean I am going to die after eating it…..moving swiftly on…!
The choices for mains are great and they have something for everybody. From crispy wood-fired pizzas to burgers to salads to seafood to steak to chicken to lamb – they offer it all. It was a tough choice…okay it wasn’t. Burgers it obviously was. The presence on the menu of a Wagyu Beef Burger made it an easy choice for one of the brus. Wagyu beef is Japanese in origin and is known for its marbled appearance, which is what helps make this type of beef one of the most delicious and sought after. This burger came served without any toppings and accompanied with only lettuce, tomato, and sweet pickle.
It might seem bland, but the idea with this type of beef is to let the flavourful meat be the hero of the dish. Toppings can be added but it was ordered as is, as the bru wanted to experience the Wagyu flavour unencumbered. He chose sweet potato fries as his side, which came crispy. Another bru ordered what is probably the signature burger on the menu, The Atchar. This came topped with mango atchar, sour cream and crispy bacon. We asked for a sample of the atchar prior to ordering. The entire table was in agreement that the flavour was terrific, however the only flavour not coming through, at all, was that of the mango. That said, it was still a great addition to the burger. Due to the atchar’s strong flavour profile, only a small amount of it is spread on the patty.
The one downfall, as mentioned by the bru, was that one or two of his bites missed any piece of atchar. This was easily remedied as more atchar was provided for the table which could be added to the patty. The combination on this burger really worked and was a great idea from whoever came up with it. I chose the Biltong burger which came with jalapeno, mature cheddar and biltong shavings. The biltong provided a nice saltiness to the burger and worked well in combination with the cheese. The patty itself was dry and lacked flavour, which is what the other bru also felt about his.
Both our burgers were ordered with a side of skinny fries (oh well….). It was very interesting to note that the regular beef burgers definitely needed the toppings, whereas the Wagyu burger is best experienced without any. All burgers are 180g and one can choose a Wagyu patty to replace a beef one at an additional cost of R45.
The décor of the restaurant is very well done and provides a modern, sleek feel. It is very well situated in the Dean Street Arcade where the day trade from neighbouring schools and workplaces is constant. Definitely worth a visit for the food and the beers, but if it’s a vibe you are after then you’ll probably have more success finding it here in the daytime.
Beginnings – great variety and tasty as hell 5
Burgers – regular beef patties not the tastiest, however great toppings and novel combinations which worked. Skinny fries, though? 3.5
Beers – good variety – craft beer lovers will be well looked after here 4
Bringers – shaky start but Respect proved herself through the night with her friendly and efficient service. They say respect is earned and Respect definitely earned her tip 4.5
Background – definitely not the most vibey as a night-time venue, although probably a different story in the day. 2