Little introduction is needed for this now established tapas restaurant. Foxcroft, the brainchild of La Colombe's Scott Kirton and Glen Foxcroft Williams, combines an impressive bakery with a tapas eatery and bar, finished off with a charcuterie hanging room and various seating arrangements both inside and outside. Needless to say, the space and concept offers a dynamic experience to patrons, whether it's an espresso and a croissant you're after, or the whole shebang of tapas, a main and a dessert for R350 (lunch) or R395 (dinner).
I booked for 2 for lunch and managed to get in with a week's notice. If you're a bigger party, it's definitely recommended to book a bit more in advance.
The menu feels effortless, with unique, exuberant twists on classics like tuna tartar with tempura avo, squid with chorizo and ajo blanco, mussels in soubise and age dashi in a Japanese broth. For mains I'd recommend both the cauliflower Camembert risotto and the dry aged duck breast which could not be faulted.
You will instantly like this spot the moment you walk in, and then once you catch a glimpse of the large pizzas gliding out on large silver trays you'll know you've come to the right place. One bite and you're in love with this perfectly proportioned cheese-to-base-to-topping ratio of a pizza. The base is not the ultra-thin type, but it's thin enough at the middle and gets gradually thicker as you make your way to the crust. They are also ideally crisp, so you can eat with your hands, while the slice stays in tact. Simply put, this is the Dom Pérignon of pizza joints, that will have the rest shaking in their boots.
The old basement-like space behind Clarke's used to be accessed through a garage and was home to a bowl for skaters, and the occasional party and gig. Hail Pizza has transformed this room into a really sleek, minimally designed space that's kept its unrefined edge through organic finishes like raw wood and exposed brick. Tables cater to big groups as they are all standardised, seating around 8 to 10 people, which means smaller groups may find themselves sharing. Just don't share your pizza though, you will want takeaways.
Over the past few months, Liam Tomlin had us all carefully analyzing his Instagram as he shared little snippets of the evolving Thali. No stranger to good food, we knew that whatever Liam was creating, was sure to be exceptional however I had mild (emphasis on the mild) reservations, considering myself a a bit of a curry connoisseur. But the first mistake was thinking that Liam would produce anything close to what is being served under the title 'Indian cuisine' around Cape Town. The clue is in the name, which ties in Liam's apparent fondness for tapas and the joy of experiencing an array of dishes and flavours.
Thali refers to a round platter of various small Indian dishes. This is why at Thali your food will be served on detailed round silver and copper trays and you will enjoy a series of dishes, that just miraculously keep appearing. The tapas for 2 set menu is really generous with 4-courses and a small token dessert.
The food highlighted the variety and layers existing in Indian cuisine. There was curry as we know it like dahl, lamb curry and a coriander, mint chicken curry but then there was also spiced, deep fried pork rashers and a dish of cauliflower done 3 ways. Liam Tomlin has yet again wowed us with sensational food and a highly considered concept that shows from arrangement of the menu as well as the restaurant's design and decor.
The Raptor Room
At night this place lures customers in for drinks and late night eats with its mesmerising neon pink signage. By day the green and pink decor instantly lightens the mood with a minty fresh grid floor, leafy wallpaper and baby pink bar stools. The energetic decor and distinct features like the neon 'sauces' sign, make The Raptor Room a happy place, with even happier Instagrammers.
The Raptor Room serves comfort food with a side of health. Vegetarians are welcomed with open arms with dishes like baba ganoush, mielie fritters stack and the beet burger. Fried chicken is a signature as is tempura oysters and the loaded fries with pork. Brunch is served from 11am to 3pm so there's no missing your morning eggs. If you're going for lunch, get in before the rush as the tiny eatery gets packed.
La Tête seemed to spring on us so suddenly. One minute Giles Edwards was Instagramming the dilapidated remains of Orinico, and the next a serene white walled, concrete floored room appeared as La Tête. The space emanates calm, and mimics that of a blank canvas, allowing only the food to create the colour.
The food is directly inspired by Giles's many years heading up St John's in London. If you're familiar with London's restaurant scene then you'll be able to see similarities in La Tête to an established London bistro. Giles' style is 'nose-to-tail' cooking, making use of the whole animal, keeping an ethical and sustainable approach to his food. This is also why you will find less familiar local greens like samphire, as Giles promotes a philosophy that shows just how much edible opportunity lies around us in the form of alternative plant life.
The menu changes daily and is entirely dependent on availability and what's fresh.
El Burro, Newlands
If you love the original El Burro in Green Point then you will be delighted with this new Suburban branch. The team have pulled out all the stops with the decor creating a beautiful contemporary, Mexican eatery. The space embodies a vibrancy associated with Mexican food culture, with pastel pink walls, textured surfaces and detailed geometric tiles. It's also nice and big and has a separate bar area making it ideal for a celebration or (and) and after-work drink.
The menu is the same as the original El Burro with build-your-own tacos, quesadillas, ceviche, and many more authentic dishes. And let's not forget about the proper Mexican tequila cocktails - try the original Margarita and the fruity Paloma.
- Ceili McGeever