A melting pot of culinary styles and flavours, new restaurants are constantly opening in the Mother City – and the past few months have been very busy indeed. With many fresh eateries launching in time for the warmer month’s to come, we round up our top five new foodie establishments to enjoy in the Cape Town city bowl.
Exploring new culinary territories seems to be what Jeanne Marais, Dennis Williams, Anthony Gird and Michael de Klerk, the founders of The Gin Bar, do best. Their latest idea, a Cape Town first, takes the form of Marrow – a small and trendy broth bar tucked away neatly on Loop Street. Originally inspired by a love of soupy things and a trip to Japan, the founders were also fascinated by the incredible health benefits of broth and the sheer versatility of it.
The broths range from a simple, clear bone broth with roasted chicken to a dashi broth with fresh orange segments and steamed fish. The newest addition to their menu is the Golden broth: asian bone broth dressing with kimchi, turmeric, quinoa and avocado. A bowl costs R65, while a cup is only R30. Extras such as poached egg and rice balls can be added to your order to make it even heartier.
pierino penati at villa 47
The first Italian Michelin-starred chef in South Africa, Theo Penati is now heading up the brand-new Pierino Penati. Having backpacked through SA a decade ago, Penati is no stranger to the country and introduces Italian flavours with a distinctly local twist. Situated on the second floor of the well-known Villa 47 restaurant, Pierino Penati is a replica of the original Pierino Penati in Brianza, Italy, which was started by the chef’s grandfather 70 years ago.
With a focused menu, Penati ensures each dish is perfectly cooked and presented. A tasting menu of five courses including wine pairings is a lovely, well-rounded option. Starters on the main menu range from sea bass tartare and crunchy octopus to a vertical salad and a perfect egg, while mains include four tasty pasta options, from an oyster taglionli to spaghetti turanici, as well as two fish and two red meat dishes. And, for the grand finalé, desserts on offer include warm zabaione, savoiardi biscuits and deliciously fresh sorbets and fra-goloso.
‘Sensational seafood fresh from the ocean and hot off the grill’ is really all you need to know about this new restaurant at the V&A Waterfront. A new addition to the Kove Collection, which already includes seaside favourites such as Paranga and Umi, Firefish specialises in charcoal cooking. What puts Firefish a cut above the rest is their Josper Charcoal Grill, which burns only top-quality charcoal at ultra-high temperatures that prevent the food from losing its delicate flavours.
The contemporary seafood menu, conceived by Kove’s head chef Amber Deetlefs, has something for everyone. From freshly shucked oysters to sushi, salads, vegetarian dishes, meat or chicken, dim sum, yakitori skewers, bowls, wraps and sweet endings to share, all dishes are immaculately prepared and presented.
the sunnyside inn
When it was announced that long-standing Cape Town-favourite Rafiki’s would be closing down, many locals were disappointed. However, its replacement more than makes up for the loss. Founded by the same group behind The Power and the Glory and Hallelujah, The Sunnyside Inn is an elegant gem that’s replaced an admittedly dingy bar. The almost all-white interiors, dreamt up by owner Adam Whiteman, are punctuated with baroque wall art and antique cane chairs. In winter, a cast-iron fireplace provides a cosy warmth.
A three-course set menu at R380 per person takes the place of the usual a la carte menu. Classic roast dishes and wholesome veggies are the order of the day and are meant to be shared around the table. From pork belly with Christmas stuffing to spinach cannelloni, the mains are reminiscent of a delicious home-cooked meal. Chef Emma Hofmans ups the ante with flavour-filled sides such as pecan brittle roasted butternut and port-braised red cabbage. However, the menu changes weekly so there will always be something different to try.
For those with a sweet tooth, Localli should be your go-to dessert diner. A dedicated crêpe-cake patisserie – a cake made from 20 paper-thin pancakes separated by créme patisserie – Localli produces additive-free, handmade creations daily. Innovative flavours include crème brûlée with a crunchy caramelised top, spicy rooibos and masala chai, fresh strawberries and cream and, for the dedicated chocoholics, a rich chocolate cake with 85% dark chocolate.
Navy blue walls and rose-hued aluminium chairs add design appeal to the small space. Localli is also proudly local, using flour from Heidelberg and Swellendam, UTZ-certified chocolate and rooibos tea from Cederberg. Even the plates, napkins and cups and saucers are sourced from the Western Cape.