A gilded bull’s head greets patrons entering Tiger’s Milk Restaurant & Bar, newly opened in Muizenberg by the talented crew behind La Parada and Harbour House restaurants. The wide staircase leading to the first floor is wallpapered with retro posters – already an eclectic mix, heralding what awaits upstairs.
The massive warehouse has been cleverly used with an open ceiling interspersed with lowered ceilings using wood and mirrors subtly marking different spaces: grab a low seat at the counter and look out through the wall of windows boasting a view over the bay and surfers below; perch at a high table on a bar stool; dig in at vast communal tables underneath a quirky lighting centrepiece made from antique decanters; or chill on the couches at the back of the space.
The open kitchen provides interest too, with a massive pizza oven and tile-clad counters adding a Mediterannean feel to the space. Wooden chairs and tables, blackboard menus, and touches of charcoal paint give the restaurant a distinctly masculine ambience – not to mention the motorbike mounted on the wall! But splashes of yellow paint and pot plants add a light touch.
Tiger’s Milk prides itself in serving ‘dude food’, and as could be seen by its popularity on a Sunday lunchtime it ticks the boxes for dudes and gals alike. There were groups celebrating birthdays, girlfriends catching up, dads and sons brunching post surf, and locals already putting their stamp on the place. The menu is straightforward, with simply prepared fare that is utterly fresh. There’s a pizza and a salad of the day; or choose a succulent chicken or beef burger, great tapas-style starters to share and linefish and peri-peri chicken. Order a plate of fried calamari to nibble on while you make up your mind – it’s dusted in the mildest curry coating, meltingly tender and served with seriously garlicky aioli. Many of the starters can be ordered as mains, one of which, the barbequed pork ribs, is particularly delicious, glazed with a sticky, ginger-infused Asian marinade.
But it’s the grills that steal the show here. A variety of cuts are served to your liking, from rump to T-bone, sirloin to rib eye. The prime rib was perfectly cooked to medium, as it’s one of those cuts that needs a tad more time on the grill; and the peppercorn sauce was creamy and deliciously moreish.
Plating is straightforward – most of the dishes are served on wooden boards which create a rustic look and amplify the sharing vibe.
There’s a small but decently priced wine list available, but Tiger’s Milk’s main drawcard is the variety of quality craft beer on tap – just the thing to bring out your inner ‘dude’.
Tiger’s Milk Restaurant & Bar, Corner of Beach and Sidmouth roads, Muizenberg, Cape Town, 021 788 1869, tigersmilk.co.za
This article originally appeared in HL May 2015