Charango is the latest stylish addition to the 'Bree Street Boom'. Set in an spacious and trendy location it's likely to become the ‘place to be’ this summer.
Beautifully decorated, the restaurant boasts a wall mural that will blow your mind for starters. Industrial chic compliments edgy, solid furniture to make the interior compelling and robust. There is nothing flimsy or dainty about this restaurant, and you could see yourself settling in for a while.
The restaurant flows onto a buzzing outdoor section, literally on the pavement, that will lure any passer-by in for a table, if there is one available. The much-talked-about swan mural was created by Faith47, the Cape Town street artist fast gaining worldwide recognition. If you haven’t seen her work before, I suggest you check it out.
The beautiful Pisco Bar, named after the famous Pisco Sours cocktails, is set slightly apart from the restaurant with a fantastic cocktail menu (including flavored Pisco Sours) and a superb craft beer selection. If you haven’t had a Pisco Sours cocktail yet, then you need to remedy that too. I guarantee that this bar will be heaving most nights this Summer season.
The chef at Charango is Kieran Whyte who used to work under Peter Tempelhoff at The Greenhouse - I don't think you could ask for a better mentor than that! We did not get to meet him this time around - but hopefully on the next visit we will get a chance. The service was friendly, if a little bit flaky – but as with most new restaurants, even the waiters have to get used to everything.
We ordered a cocktail each – I had the original Pisco Sours which was so refreshing and tasty I will have trouble ordering anything else in the future, which is a shame as they really do have an awesome list, including my all time favourite Tommy Gun Margarita. The cocktails range from R50 to R65 a drink. There is also a very pleasing winelist with good choices of some SA greats and wines by the glass rang from R35 to R50 a glass.
The food The food at Charango is a style of cuisine known as Nikkei - a combination of Peruvian ingredients with Japanese recipes and traditions – so you can sound awfully clever and 'foodie' to your friends when you tell them about Charango.
The Para Picar menu is your first introduction to the food with flamed edamame (R45), prawn toast (R65), dirt-rubbed tuna tacos (R85) and for me, the stand-out prawn taco (R90). You get 4 smallish tacos per portion – so these are pretty good value as a starter for the hungry, or as part of a tapas selection.
- Cathrine Shone