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Review: Sundowners and small plates at Cape Town’s newest rooftop bar

Gigi Rooftop at the new Gorgeous George hotel is a beautiful inner-city space that makes you feel as though you’ve escaped the city for a moment, even though you’re slap-bang in the middle of it.

Fast Facts

Cost: R150 average main meal
Parking: I recommend parking at Mandela Rhodes and walking to Gorgeous George; otherwise, street parking available in the streets parallel to St. George’s mall.
Star ratings: Food: 4; Service: 5; Ambience: 5

Food

The bread plate arrives with a small round ciabatta loaf cut into quarters. Slightly charred around the edges, it’s crusty on the outside and soft and yielding on the inside. With the bread comes a green herb pesto, a generous dollop of anchovy aïoli and chermoula butter. Each component is so delicious and flavourful that the bread disappears in no time.

We choose a selection of small plates to share, as well as one big plate between two of us. The potato and squid with chorizo is delicious. The squid is tender and flavourful, dressed with a mustard vinaigrette and a dollop of aïoli on the side. The steak tartare lacks a bit of flavour and the crispy potato croquette served with it is a lovely addition, but also sadly lacks seasoning. The lamb ribs are a highlight, so flavourful and fall-off-the-bone tender. They come served with a charred corn salsa, which complements the lamb ribs beautifully. The popular mushroom risotto is creamy with a great bite, though the mushroom flavour is a little too subdued. The wonderful crunch from the toasted macadamia nuts and the fresh grating of lemon zest on the top makes the entire dish pop.

For dessert, I couldn’t resist trying the churros with chocolate sauce. They’re deliciously fat and plump – crispy and golden on the outside, dusted with sugar, and soft and cakey on the inside. The chocolate dipping sauce is a little acidic and bitter in flavour, which isn’t the pleasant dark chocolate bitterness I enjoy, but I loved the actual churros.

Drinks

The restaurant has an extensive drinks menu ranging from French champagne to local MCCs, wines and spirits. There’s a selection of cocktails available too, as well as the usual soft drinks and mixers. Wines are mostly available by the bottle, with a few options available by the glass.

 

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Service

The staff is so friendly and welcoming, from the doormen to the hostess and waiters. They have a way of making you feel extremely welcome, which is so refreshing. The waiters are attentive and have great knowledge of the menu items. A very pleasant service experience indeed. I took a chance by going for lunch without having a booking and got lucky, but I recommend booking a table, because it does get rather busy.

Ambience

When you arrive at street level, you enter two doors flanked by two very large gentleman guards who look scary, but are actually rather friendly. You then enter the hallway, where you’re greeted by a host who checks whether you have a booking and ushers you into the lift. The lift takes you to the rooftop, where you enter the stunningly decorated restaurant. Through the restaurant and up the stairs lies the oasis that is the Gigi rooftop, where the signature lit up ‘Hello Gorgeous’ sign that has taken over Instagram is situated. The space is filled with hanging basket lights and green plants everywhere, making you feel like you’ve escaped to a tropical paradise. It’s a truly stunning space, where every single corner is Instagrammable.

 

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Best for…

Sundowners with friends.

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

Have you visited Gigi Rooftop Bar at Gorgeous George Hotel? Let us know in the comments below or review your experience using our free app

 

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