One of the great things about Cape Town is that when it comes to halal food, we have choices. The only thing is, we aren’t spoilt for choice when it comes to fine dining.
My cousin’s birthday sparked a challenge for my family to find a halal restaurant that would offer us a fine dining experience and after sifting through Instagram, we found a newbie restaurant – Jiah.
Jiah is located just opposite the Fire and Ice hotel in Cape Town CBD. You have to wait for a gate to be opened at the entrance, which makes sense with regards to safety, but it can be annoying if you have to stand outside and wait for a while to enter the restaurant.
We were helped quickly, but I noticed a few customers had to wait outside the gate for a while and at one point I told a waiter that someone was waiting outside.
As a group of seven, we chose to sit outside as it was a good day for weather in Cape Town. The sun was out and there was a light breeze, so the courtyard- like setup was perfect. We were seated immediately and settled to go through the menu.
Service: Our waiter was well-mannered and he took all our orders correctly. He did disappear now and then, but for the most the service was fine. One of the managers came to check in with us towards the end of our meal.
Our food orders didn’t take too long, but they came in drips and drabs, so instead of eating our meals together, some of us had to wait a bit longer.
Food: For starters, we ordered Teppanyaki ( calamari tubes stuffed with feta), Creamy mussels ( self-explanatory), Greek Salad and Crumbly Bust ( deep-fried buttoned mushrooms). The starters were tasty, especially the Teppanyaki, which was an interesting dish, but the portions were quite small.
For the mains myself and two of my cousins had steaks and we got to choose two sides with our meal. I will be honest, I am a so-called ‘big-eater’ but I think the portions are small generally and I especially found the steak to be a bit small. With the sides, it was kind of filling, but that didn’t stop me from having a bite of my brother’s delicious burger.
The Jiant burger (chicken or beef) is quite filling and it comes with a side of chips. I loved that the food was served on a wooden board and the chips in a little basket. It gave the minimalist chic of the restaurant a rustic feel.
The birthday girl ordered a rack of lamb, which I didn’t get to try, but she said the meat was cooked till tender and that it was delicious ( it looked delicious). It came with a side of mashed potato and grilled carrots.
My favourite part of the experience was definitely the drinks. We ordered mocktails ( non-alcoholic cocktails) to start: Nojitos ( a mojito halalified) and strawberry daiquiris.
Atmosphere: It has a cool/casual atmosphere, but it also makes you want to get dressed at least smart casual. It’s quite nice outside, but when I slipped inside to use the toilet ( which is nice by the way) it was quite crowded with large groups and I didn’t spot many waiters. Perhaps as it was on Christmas day.
- The mocktails are a must try, especially in summer.
- I suggest that you book beforehand and try to grab a table outside if possible as it’s a bit crowded inside when it’s busy.
- It’s a nice restaurant for a small gathering, but keep in mind that if it gets busy or if your group is big, service might be slow.
- The prices are medium pricey. The main meal can cost betweenR65-R150 for a meal for one person. Platters of food can cost R200-R400 odd rand. You can check out the menu on their website to check prices beforehand.
70 New Church Street, Cape Town.