Casey Louw reviews the top 10 restaurants to visit in South Africa.
IL Leone Mastrantino: Green Point, Cape Town
This Italian style restaurant produces a delicious menu and lovely ambiance. White linen tablecloths and a friendly staff make it extra special. Main courses start at around R85 and the pastas, line fish and salads are a must. The Penne Gamberetti pasta is delicious with baby prawns in a tomato, cream chilli sauce and the Caprese di Bufala salad is a lovely mix of buffalo mozzarella, tomato and rocket. The restaurant falls under the Mastrantino brand, started by Gianni and Paolo and prides itself on tradition, culture and innovation.
Contact: 021 421 0071
Marias: Dunkley Square, Cape Town
This restaurant is very popular and offers a Greek menu with an excellent coffee. It’s as if you’re stepping into a side street in Greece, with owners Cleon and Kate Romano creating a happy, welcome feel to things. It is a must visit for those seeking delicious food and a wonderful atmosphere. The lamb and traditional Greek dishes are scrumptious. The average price of a main course is at R100.
Contact: 021 461 3333
96 The Winery: Somerset West
This restaurant is located in the heart of the Somerset West wine lands area providing a wonderful setting to match the quality of food available. The meat dishes, especially the rump, are very tasty and do try the duck and cherry pie for a delight of your taste buds. Main courses average at R115. Ken Forrester, owner of the restaurant has also got a lovely selection of wines that are a needed accompaniment to your meal.
Contact :021 842 2020
Cassia: Durbanville Hills
Cassia is a lovely restaurant nestled in Ntida Wine Estate. It is situated on a beautiful lake with an outdoor and indoor seating area. The menu boasts a delicious springbok shank and a wild mushroom risotto that is mouth watering. To drink, the Ntida wine, particularly the Sauvignon Blanc, is a good choice. Bernard and Peta Veller bought the estate in 1990 and have added their flair for wines to the wine list at Cassia. The average main course dish is priced at R100.
Contact: 021 976 0640
Muisbosskerm: West Coast
Visiting this restaurant is an unforgettable experience. The construction made of “Muisbos” wood ads to the breeze of the ocean and the beauty of sitting right on the sandy beach. Owners, Edward and Elmein Turner have created a feast of seafood with a spectacular view. There is a set menu at R185 a head for adults and is considerably lower for ages 16 and younger. Braaied fish and fresh seafood dishes are enjoyed in a lovely warm atmosphere. One can bring one’s own drinks and have a choice of a few bottles on offer.
Contact: 027 432 1017
Bar Bar Black Sheep: Riebeck Kasteel
This restaurant has a South African essence seen in the food and decor. It is warm, Afrikaans style, slow-cooked meals with a touch of fresh organic vegetables. The wine list offers a selection of wines made in the Swartland. The average cost of a main dish is R80. It’s all bright and cheerful in the way of decor and has a feel of relaxed, good eating. Mynhardt Joubert heads the culinary team and runs a smooth operation with yummy dishes.
Quayside Cabin: Hermanus
This gorgeous restaurant is set within Hermanus harbour. As the name suggests it’s a typical cabin by the sea and offers scrumptious seafood platters, fresh line fish and a great calamari. The prawn curry comes in a small pooitjie and the don Pedro or Irish coffee for desert is a lovely finisher to a wonderful meal. The decor is rustic and adds to the beautiful harbour view. Owner, Mike Alcock, has done a fine job of creating fresh seafood at around R100 a plate with a warm, efficient staff.
Contact: 028 313 0752
Mythos: Fourways, Johannesburg
Greek meals are at their best, here. Don’t forget to try the coffee. The traditional blue and white colouring mimics the white washed walls and blue framed windowed houses lining cobbled streets, as in the Greek isles. Mediterranean dishes are abundant. Wines available reflect a good ensemble of South African grapes. The service is excellent and a main course dish is at around R100.
Contact: 011 465 3468
Die Werf: Faerie Glen, Pretoria
This restaurant has the ultimate bush feel and makes one feel part of nature, with a typical traditional meal, ala South African. Decor is typical of a bush experience with thatched roof and outdoor veranda. It’s a laid back feel with a main dish asking on average R70. Meat dishes are tasty and the wines on offer allow a good choice. Marlize Cassel and Alex Beukes, the owners, have created the idyllic bush-style restaurant.
Contact: 012 991 1809
The Ocean Terrace: Umhlanga Rocks, Durban
Wood-fried pizzas are on offer alongside a choice of tantalising fish dishes. Don’t forget there is a buffet option consisting of Indian curries. The view from the terrace falls into the Indian Ocean, making it a spectacular location. Main dishes are around R100 and above. The decor is light with a hint of African flavour. This restaurant is part of The Oyster Box hotel group and is owned by the Red Carnation Hotel Chain which is known for its luxuriant living, fine dining and excellent service.
Contact: 031 514 5000