The Test Kitchen, Cape Town, South Africa
The Test Kitchen, South Africa
The Test Kitchen, South Africa
The Stack, Cape Town, South Africa
The Test Kitchen, South Africa
The Test Kitchen, South Africa

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A Gourmand's Guide to Cape Town

Our Head of Africa, Ben Oxley-Brown takes a gastronomic journey around Cape Town

From pop-up markets serving authentic, worldwide ‘street food’ to quintessential South African fare found on a Bo Kapp neighbourhood cookery tour, my recent visit to Cape Town was punctuated by an incredible diversity of tastes each day.

Overwhelming Choice

Mornings started with coffee at the mobile espresso café overlooking the crashing ocean rollers at Camps Bay. Lunches ranged from fully formal settings to ridiculously fresh farm-shop falafels and dinner could be at a private members club: there really is no set pattern aside from food being local, fresh and authentic.

Beach, Cape Town, South Africa

"Cape Town is well regarded as the gastronomic heartland of Africa with a vibrant foodie scene surrounded by the beautiful Winelands."

Ben Oxley-Brown
The Test Kitchen, South Africa

The Test Kitchen

For sheer variety of options in Cape Town, head to The Old Biscuit Mill in the trendy Woodstock district, where you’ll find the revered Test Kitchen which needs booking months in advance.

Offering a theatrical experience, food takes centre stage with global gastronomic inspiration, and meals are served in two unique rooms. The Dark Room (think luxe ski vibe) serves distinctive small bites in darkness, heightening your sense of taste before emerging into the Light Room, a semi-industrial but buzzy restaurant where I enjoyed the remainder of the tasting menu. My Dark Room favourites included Ethiopian Berber curry, Mauritian coconut langoustine and Korean Ssam Jang. Light room fare was eland (local oryx) carpaccio, butter poached kingklip and scallops with a Cape Malay sabayon.

Kloof Street, Cape Town, South Africa

KLOOF STREET HOUSE

Set back from the bustle of the road, Kloof Street House, with its exotic jungle courtyard garden to the front and quirky interiors, is a place that has stamped its individuality on dining.

The trailing grape vines hang enticingly over the terrace and the food mirrors the shift between town and jungle with classic dishes infused with an edge; and a drinks list that runs to pages. What I didn’t expect to find was a menu offering light bites right through to deep rich dishes such as shin of beef cooked with smoked marrow fat in gravy mopped up with chunks of sourdough.

The Silo, Cape Town, South Africa

THE SILO

The Silo in Cape Town is an architecturally striking hotel, offering a contemporary twist on down-town life.

At the more informal Willaston Bar and in the main Granary Restaurant, staff will talk through the menu, and the in-house sommelier will make recommendations, happily opening bottles to showcase the subtle differences. Our dinner turned into an ad-hoc tasting session complete with notes, with over a dozen glasses on the table.

The Codfather, Cape Town, South Africa

THE CODFATHER

This unlikely looking restaurant, which wins the most absurd pun category, is in Camps Bay and serves some of the best sushi I have ever experienced and perfectly cooked fish dishes.

Perennially popular with locals and those in-the-know, The Codfather operates a simple policy: exceptionally fresh fish, a crisp wine list and laid-back atmosphere. Choose your entrée from the sushi conveyor belt before selecting from the huge range of fish from the iced counter to have it seasoned and cooked to order, with a perfectly matched wine to accompany it.

The Stack, Cape Town, South Africa

THE STACK

Located at the foot of Table Mountain is The Stack private members club. Set within an impressive lattice-balconied house and approached by torch-lit path, The Stack is the last word in effortless cool without any need to justify its aspirations of topping the destination list in town.

We are able to reserve you a table at this culinary masterpiece where the artwork and bold decor dominate. I started at the bar where cocktails are created with alchemy – tasting whisky sours infused with the smoke of burnt orange zest and a bracingly fresh botanical gin with tonic supported by a generous platter of charcuterie. Dining in the adjoining room, the atmosphere continues in a similar vein with solid favourites and wine pairings to match.

The Verdict

Whether you’re looking for formal dining, epicurean small plates or casual street food, you’ll find all this and more in culinary Cape Town. And with some of the world’s best wines on your doorstep, you’re set for a foodie feast.

Please do speak to us about making reservations for your trip as some of these restaurants book up months in advance.  If you have a celebration or special event over your holiday, we can advise on the most suitable location for it – so let us make the arrangements for you.

Ben Oxley-Brown

Personal Travel Designer

01488 689700 Read Ben’s profile
Ben Oxley-Brown
The Test Kitchen, Cape Town, South Africa
Cape Grace, South Africa
The Test Kitchen, South Africa

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