Restaurant Reviews

Syriana- Review

Seapoint’s busy main road has quickly become one of my favourite spots, because of its variety of little stores, restaurants, dessert joints and the seafront, just a short walk away.

Starting with humble beginnings, Syriana started out selling their delicious Middle Eastern cuisine from a food truck, but they can now be easily found in Seapoint, glowing black and white signage making it easy to find.

I was particularly excited when my friend Aneesa and I decided on Syriana for our monthly catch-up, because although I had spent a large part of my childhood in the Middle East, I hadn’t had the food for a very long time.

As we walked into Syriana, we were happily surprised to find that although the venue wasn’t huge, it wasn’t cramped either. Decorated in a black and white patterned walls, Syriana has spacious pearly- white booths with comfy seats, booths with swings ( which I only noticed after we’d settled into our booth), a front section catering for hookah smokers and a back non-smoking section.

We finally settled into one of the spacious booths at the back, after finding that there weren’t any small booths, which catered for less than four people. We didn’t wait long to be greeted by a friendly waitress who came to take our order and as we arrived quite early ( just before 6pm), there weren’t many people, but it quickly filled up after 7pm.

Aneesa was excited by all the starter options, many of which she had never tried before and I was more than ready to take my taste buds down memory lane. We decided on hummus ( dip made with mashed chick peas, usually blended with tahini, olive oil, garlic, lemon juice and salt) and pita bread, lentil soup, and falafel ( deep fried ball made from ground chick pea or other beans).

We were quite full from the delicious starters, but as we still wanted to try one of the main meals so we ordered a chicken shawarma platter to share and two glasses of orange juice.  It wasn’t served like any shawarma I had ever eaten. It was cut into small portions, drizzled with a sauce which tasted like barbecue sauce ( tahini and pomegranate sauce) and it was served with crispy , thinly sliced potato chips ( like a packet of chips, not chips like fries).

I wasn’t too fond of the texture of the bread used to wrap the filling in, but the chicken was flavourful and tender, and I enjoyed the potato crisps as a swap to the usual fries.

Overall, I think that Syriana is a fantastic venue for group gatherings, but I wouldn’t suggest it for intimate occasions ( one-on-one dates). Aneesa and I found it quite difficult to have a conversation while other big groups celebrated birthdays and the like.

The mouth-watering starter options will keep you coming back for more and although  the shawarma didn’t blow me away, it was quite tasty and I look forward to trying the other main meal options, such as the grills and the array of flat breads which are available.

They also have food trucks which are located at different markets around the Western Cape, so it’s a good idea to keep an eye on their social media.

Where pricing is concerned:

You could pay between R70-R110 for a main meal.

The starters ( Mezes) range between R20 and R70 rand depending on the portions.

Ratings:

Service- 7/10

Starters- 8/10

Main Meal-6/10

Atmosphere and environment-8/10

Address
307 Mount curtis, main road, Sea point,
Western Cape, Cape Town, 8060, South Africa

Contact

+27 21 434 1020

hello@syrianarestaurant.co.za

Opening hours

Mon-Fri 1pm-12am
Sat-Sun 11am-1am

HAPPY EATING, EVERYONE!

 

 

Nuri Sushi – Review

 

My friend and I decided to catch up over sushi, so she suggested a place in town.

After walking through the Saturday hustle and bustle of Cape Town CBD, I walked into Nuri Sushi and found that it was surprisingly quiet for a Saturday afternoon.

As I arrived a while before my friend, I decided to have a seat. I was immediately greeted by a  friendly waiter who offered me a drink, a menu and the Wi-Fi password if needed.

I used the time to take in what the interior looked like. I took a few pictures, but the lighting wasn’t great.

 

Nuri express Claremont is open 🎉🎉😁#happiness #goodtimes #sushi #letsgo

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The atmosphere and interior of Nuri Sushi is casual and cool, perfect for lunch or a late meal. I appreciated that there were very few customers, so it was quiet enough for us to talk and catch up.

As I haven’t had much sushi my friend suggested that California rolls with salmon would be great as a sushi starter for me. It is a roll of sushi, filled with cucumber and avocado and then you have the option to have it with salmon, prawn, tuna, veg, crab, tempura prawn or spicy tuna.

We also ordered crunches, which my friend originally thought was normal sushi covered in sesame seeds, but we were happily surprised to find what they really were. We ordered smoked salmon, cream cheese and chives crunch sushi. It is covered in tempura crumbs, chilli bean mayo and sesame seeds. This is fried and then topped with a tasty sweet chilli and Japanese mayo.

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The combination of the fried Crunches and the California rolls was a good choice because the Crunches are quite rich, whereas the California rolls are refreshing with its simple ingredients.

The Crunches was our favourite between the two, so we ordered another platter to share. Sushi looks really small in portion sizes, but it’s actually quite filling once the rice expands in your stomach and I was stuffed at the end of our lunch date.

I think the prices are affordable for the portions given. It’s definitely not what you would call a high-end sushi bar, but it is definitely a must-try as it is not only great for a chill session,  but it is family friendly as well.

The food is good, the service is friendly and I think if you are trying our sushi for the first time, it’s a good place to start. If you are planning on visiting at night, though, try to arrive early as it can get quite busy at night and there aren’t any booking options available.

Tip:  Dear sushi amateurs like me…the swirly green stuff is not avo. It is wasabi and it will sting your tongue. Use in very small doses.

8 Parliament St, Cape Town City Centre, Cape Town, 8000

021 461 8719

118 St George’s Mall, CBD, Cape Town

021 4223998

Jiah Restaurant- review

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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.

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

Tips/comments: 

  • 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.
Tel 021-707-1001
www.jiah.co.za

Truffle- Review

 

A truffle is an exquisite, priceless delicacy and so is the restaurant Truffle.  One of the only upmarket fully-halaal restaurants in Cape Town, Truffle has made quite a name for itself amongst the Muslim and non-Muslim community.

Although the name itself makes it sound like a stuffy affair, Truffle offers both an elegant atmosphere, which offers customers the opportunity to dress to the nines, but also a friendly atmosphere, which makes Truffle the perfect venue for family gathering during Eid, business meetings during lunch and a meeting place for the younger generation.

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Source: Modest Muse

Truffle’s menu holds its name to a high standard with food options such as Cajun Calamari, an array of tasty burger options, refreshingly fruity mocktails and dreamy creamy milkshakes. To top the menu off they also offer- yes, you guessed it, chocolate Truffles to end off your meal.

 

cajun
Source: capetownmagazine.com

Tip: Make use of Truffles swanky atmosphere to host birthday dinners, Eid celebrations or for a romantic dinner with the added ease of a fully-halaal setting.

Cnr of and, Chiappini St & Hospital St, Cape Town, 8001, South Africa

Contact: 021-418-3777

The Pearl Spoon- Review

 

The Pearl Spoon is what some might call a ‘hidden Southern Suburbs gem’.  It is perfect for brunch with the girls, a family Saturday lunch after shopping or for a light meal after a long day. The menu is somewhat pricey, but the atmosphere, food and setting make up for it.

The menu is quite classy ranging from breakfasts such as poached eggs, offering such as rye toast, flourless chocolate cake, steaks, gourmet croissants and specialities such as coconut bread.

According to many reviews and comments, allegedly, service seems to be slow and the fact that bookings can’t be made makes for an annoying waiting period during busy times.

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Source: zomato.com

Tip:  Make sure to go a bit early when meeting up in groups to grab a table as tables are filled quickly. The portions are generous but the menu is pricier than other places.

34 Belvedere Rd, Claremont, Cape Town, 7708, South Africa

Contact: 021-839-2692

The Atlantic Express ( Blue train) – Review

 

We all have days where we’d like to escape to a cosy restaurant tucked away from everyone and everything, and how lovely would it be if this escape was in the form of an antique train turned quaint eatery? The Atlantic Express cake and coffee train, fondly known as the ‘Blue Train’, is set on an antique, long-distance train. The restaurant is very small so it is best to visit earlier during the day if you’re not too keen on closed spaces.

The Atlantic Express cake and coffee train, fondly known as the ‘Blue Train’, is set on an antique, long-distance train. The restaurant is very small, so it is best to visit earlier during the day if you’re not too keen on closed spaces.

The Atlantic Express cake and coffee train, fondly known as the ‘Blue Train’, is set on an antique, long-distance train. The restaurant is very small so it is best to visit earlier during the day if you’re not too keen on closed spaces.

 

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Source:capetastebuds.blogspot.com

Besides that, the Blue Train is perfect for casual meet-ups with friends and family outings as kids will love eating on a train! Small booths are set up on each side of the train with windows next to each booth, overlooking ocean scenery. The food ranges from lunch favourites such as their toasted chicken mayo sandwiches to burgers and even steak for a lovely dinner option.  Overall, having a meal there will offer you an escape after a long day and a lovely meal with a cosy setting. Better yet, the beach is only a 5- minute, walk away.

 

This is our legendary Atlantic Express Pancake #halaal #dessert #pancake #seapoint #capetown

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Tip: If you are looking to try something tasty and light during your first visit, the pancakes are a must-have!

18 Regent Road, Sea Point, Cape Town.
Contact details: 021-439-3038

Arabian Nights Review

About tonight #bachelors #friends #capetown #masalasteaksandwich

A post shared by Mahmud (@mahmudfred04) on

 

If you are looking to have a light catch-up dinner with friends at a restaurant with a relaxed atmosphere, then Arabian Nights is the venue for you.

The Arabian décor, comfy booths and excellent service, makes this restaurant a must visit. Booths are spacious and comfortable and each booth has a curtain, which can be used for privacy, with a button which can be buzzed when a waiter is needed.  Besides being a restaurant, Arabian Nights is also a shisha lounge and offers unique flavours for those who choose to smoke.

arabian nights
Source: zomato.com

The menu is quite tasty and portions are generous. Meals are mostly Middle Eastern with a touch of the West with delicacies such as Tikka pancakes, samosas, Quesadillas, milkshakes in yummy and unique flavours and fries. Main meals aren’t too pricey ranging between R30-R50 and portions are generous.

FA - Arabian Nights-4
Source: fatimajackoet.blogspot.com

Tip: The chicken tikka roti rolls with fries, accompanied by one of their yummy milkshakes will have you visiting every weekend.

104 Kromboom Road, Rondebosch East

Contact Details: +27 829583419

Alhambra Review

If you’re searching for a restaurant that you can dine at for a casual brunch with a friend and where you could also host an intimate wedding celebration, then Alhambra is what you’ve been searching for.

Alhambra is a cross between elegant dining and a family friendly restaurant as it is definitely classy enough to be called swanky, but relaxed and spacious enough to bring your kids along for a family get-together.

Meals ranges between burgers, sandwiches, hearty meals and vegetarian options. Prepared meals are offered for events which require bookings.

alhambra
Source: zomato.com

Tip: Their catering food options are delicious so be sure to make use of their catering services for small gatherings or celebrations for an elegant event with tasty finger foods.

409 Imam Haron Road, Academia Centre, Islamia College,
Rondebosch East
Contact details: 021 824 0732

Eastern Food Bazaar Review

Eastern food Bazaar is a little slice of culture shock heaven in the midst of the hustle and bustle of town.  The best thing about this eatery is that you can order fries, pizza and Middle-Eastern cuisines such as shawarmas and falafels in the same eatery!

The eatery is sectioned off according to different cultural and country cuisines and customers can enjoy anything from a deliciously spicy chicken tikka platter to a double scoop of cookies and cream ice-cream. The portions are generous and the prices are jaw dropping as the main meal could cost as little as R30 for a filling meal.  The downstairs venue is quite busy, so the upstairs venue is perfect if you’re after a quiet meal.

The portions are generous and the prices are jaw dropping as the main meal could cost as little as R30 for a filling meal.  The downstairs venue is quite busy, so the upstairs venue is perfect if you’re after a quiet meal.

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Source: horizoncottages.co.za

Tip: If you’re visiting the Eastern food bazaar for the first time with a group, order a few dishes and share to find your palate’s favourite dishes. The Masala Dosa flat bread is a must try, for those who are fond of melted cheese and meals with a kick.

96 Long market street, Cape Town

Contact: 021-461-2458