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Cups of bacon and gourmet burgers at Dropkick Murphy’s on Kloof Street

Born on Durban’s Florida Road, Irish pub Dropkick Murphy’s opened up an outpost in Cape Town this month – in the spot formerly occupied by Gourmet Boerie on Kloof Street. Having heard tales of deep-fried mac and cheese, Katharine Jacobs investigated.

Fast facts

Average main course: R113

Serves: burgers and cheese-and-bacon themed starters

Best for: a rowdy dinner with friends

Parking: take an Uber or park up at the Wellness Centre and walk the four or five blocks to the restaurant.

Star ratings: Food 4, Service, 4, Ambience: 4

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The interior at Dropkick Murphy’s in Cape Town.

Food

I feel compelled to order the cup-o-bacon in the interests of science, but am surprised by how genuinely delicious it is. The dry-aged richly flavoured bacon arrives in superlatively crispy curls, perfect for scooping up more than your fair share of the moreish cheese sauce. The ‘Mac’s cheese’ – a ball of macaroni cheese loaded with feta and cheddar cheese and crusted in crumbs and parmesan cheese – is a like a delicious ball of guilt. The potato skins, topped with vast quantities of cheese and bacon, are not quite as successful. The skins themselves are soft, and should have been really crunchy to really make this dish work.

A cup of bacon at Dropkick Murphy's in Cape Town.

Dropkick Murphy’s Cup-o-Bacon.

The rest of the menu is devoted to OTT burgers. Ranging from R75 to R180, they’re pricier than your average Kloof Street burger. But to be fair, they are topped with some fairly outlandish things (think mac and cheese, or chourizo and garlicky prawns) and the price includes a serving of golden chips, with a crispy exterior and a smooth, buttery interior. The Frankenhog (R140) is topped with a generous serving of meltingly delicious pulled pork, smoky bacon and cheese, and definitely gets our vote. Although at that price, I’m not sure how often we’ll be able to sample it.

A cheesy dish at Dropkick Murphy's in Cape Town.

The cheese-laden potato skins.

There are two desserts: a lime pie, and a chocolate terrine. It sounds intriguing, but I’d be genuinely surprised if anyone has the strength to order dessert after the festival of bacon and cheese on the rest of the menu. We certainly don’t – I’ve survived 12-course tasting menus less overwhelming than this.

They’re also open for breakfast, where they serve a delicious-sounding breakfast bun with pulled pork, avo, fried egg and cheese.

Drinks

It’s clear a lot of thought has gone into the drinks menu. Craft beers are divided by type (weiss, IPA, ale etc) and there’s a carefully-constructed cocktail menu. The Sage Gun with Tanqueray London Dry, pineapple juice, Falernum, lime and sage is an intriguing mix, but a little sweet in execution. (More fresh lime, perhaps?) There’s also wine, with some affordable options by the glass. Coffee is by Origin.

The Sage Gun.

The Sage Gun.

Ambience

This is the kind of place you’d come with eight friends for a rowdy birthday dinner, followed by serious drinking. Its proximity to Long Street suggests it’d make a great post-partying hangout. It remains open until 2am if full – although the kitchen closes at 10:30pm. A pity, because that cup-o-bacon would make drunk food par excellence. The space has been beautifully renovated; with a clever outside deck improving the corner location. Navy walls, exposed brick and copper details tick all the boxes for a trendy hangout.

The bar at Dropkick Murphy's in Cape Town.

The bar at Dropkick Murphy’s in Cape Town.

Service

Staff are attentive and food is relatively speedy on the night we visit – though admittedly it isn’t at capacity. The manager checks on us, which is always a good sign.

The verdict

We’ll be back for the bacon!

Eat Out critics dine anonymously and pay for their meals in full. Read the editorial policy here.

Have you eaten ribs with your fingers at Dropkick Murphy’s in Cape Town’s city bowl? Write a review to tell us about it and we will pledge a meal for a hungry child through Stop Hunger Now SA.

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