Set in a nook at the base of The Grey boutique hotel in De Waterkant’s Napier Street, Shio Modern Japanese Izakaya brings a taste of the Pacific to Capetonian diners.
The third offering from chef Cheyne Morrisby, who also heads up Hout Bay’s Lucky Bao and Cheyne’s, Shio is a contemporary take on the classic Japanese izakaya – an informal dining experience where visitors can expect a relaxed atmosphere with tapas-style offerings that celebrate fusion flavour.
A moodily intimate space, diners are illuminated by the quirky neon wall art that reads ‘Drink Sake, Stay Soba’– a feature that is possibly one of the most Instagrammed examples of signage in the city. Sleek modernist furniture and crisp tableware fill up the space while the face of a gorgeous geisha (painted by Ukrainian artist Ana Kuni) dominates the eatery’s opposite wall, adding to the overall Eastern aesthetic.
The menu comprises four sections – Umi (ocean), Tochi (land), Chikyuu (earth) and Amai (dessert), and patrons are encouraged to opt for a selection of Shio’s small dishes to share among themselves. Popular options include the impossibly addictive duck fat chips, pan-fried scallops with smoked avocado and bacon, chicken yakitori and the edamame with yuzu butter and smoked bonito salt. A personal favourite was the soft-shell crab – an American-Japanese delicacy composed of a crispy deep-fried crab, eaten whole alongside Shio’s refreshing Vietnamese root slaw.
Shio is open for lunch on Wednesday to Saturday from noon to 3pm, and dinner on Monday to Saturday at 6–10pm.
Visit thegreyhotel.co.za/shio for more details.