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Eastern Food Bazaar

Eastern Food Bazaar
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Cost
Under R40
Ambience
Authentic culture, Cheap & cheerful
Food
Chinese, Indian, Middle Eastern, Pizzas, Vegetarian
Payment
Mastercard, Visa
Corkage
No BYO (Strictly Halaal)

Critic's review

Food
An authentic Cape Town experience awaits at this buzzing canteen-style eatery. From Turkish kebabs to Cape-style biryanis, creamy North Indian curries and real tandoor dishes, the whole spice spectrum from Bombay to the Bo-Kaap is covered – and deliciously so – behind several counters. The various savoury snacks like filled puri are not to be missed. Lots of choice for vegetarians.

Wine
No smoking or drinking allowed in this strictly halaal establishment. At the drinks counter, faloodas and lassis are made fresh.

Service
Each cuisine type must be ordered separately at the long counter, where it is prepared fresh while you wait. During peak times you need to be patient.

Ambience
Decorated in gilded Indian style, the exotic smells, sounds and sights live up to the name ‘bazaar’.

And...
A true gem, whether you pop in for takeaways or join in the frenetic vibe during peak hours. (AL, September 2010)
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User reviews

  • Eastern Food Bazaar is quite the experience. You walk in, go to one of the tills to order your meal, and then you are handed several receipts with which you go retrieve your food from one of the many stations. The first time I went, I made the mistake of ordering from several different stations which meant a lot of running back and forth to get all of the food I ordered. The second time, I ordered just from one station which made the process a whole lot smoother. The food itself was really good and fresh as you watch the cooks prepare your food right in front of you. The prices are unbeatable and the atmosphere is really cool. Highly recommend for a fast, cheap meal. Just a note on drinks:it is strictly Halaal so no alcoholic drinks....but they do make one mean lassi, which really makes up for it :-)
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  • I've been eating at Eastern Food Bazaar for almost ten years now, since my student days, and never have I been disappointed. These days I'm there at least twice a week. What I love about it is that you'll find such a diverse range of people there eating: from the rich to the poor, young and old, the ambiance is bustling and colourful. The food is produced on a large scale, so it's not the best quality in the world, but it's simple, tasty and super cheap. It's R40 for my favourite Chicken Tikka Masala (curries all come with rice, dhal and salad), R10 for a garlic naan straight out of the oven, and R45 for a tandoori Chicken Kathi Wrap, just to name a few. These prices have barely gone up over the years, and the flavours have only improved. Great value for money, and such a big portion of food that you'll definitely have left-overs for the next day. I recently witnessed someone being pick-pocketed there, which is the only unfortunate thing about it being such an open place. It's in the city centre, so there will be a dodgy character every now and then. Just watch your pockets.
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  • What a nice place to bring your family. The food and the service is great. Keep up the good work.

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  • I had a lamb bunny chow. Was very disappointed - was a lot of meat, so good value for money, but the curry was really not nice. Cheap and nasty.

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  • Horrible experience and will never go there again (except maybe for the ice cream and drinks which have been consistently decent). Have been there a few times and was usually disappointed but ended up returning because my friends like it. But last night was the last straw. Had to wait for a bunny chow 20 minutes only to get to the front of the queue and only get part of the meal because they’ve run out. I asked to be compensated with something else, but the guy refused. Either way, the bunny was very poor quality, more bone than meat inside, and extremely salty (and this was no cheap dish - R40 for a bunny chow!) Have tried a variety of other things there, and they’re usually extremely salty and poor quality ingredients (especially the meats).

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  • At lunch time, it gets very busy, but we make the special journey for their amazingly well valued lamb roti and curries....a wide assortment of asian dishes at ridiculously low pricing and huge tastes combine for a great experience....parkings a problem though.
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  • For indian cuisine lovers A MUST GO. Freshly cooked Indian food, tasting like Indian food! Very cheap. Best value for money in town!
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  • Must say when we went there on the way to a World Cup game, we had no problem working out what was what. I had the Tandoori Chicken and it came out looking reddish like it should. It was succulent and delish. My friends curry wasnt bad either. And with naans at R6 each, a cheapish place to eat. Not a bad vibe.
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  • As somebody that walked into Eastern Bazaar for the first time I was rather overwhelmed and confused by the set-up of the place. I stood in a queue for about 10 minutes only to discover that it was the wrong queue - as one of the other patrons so patiently explained to me; I had to first queue to order and then queue to get the food! So when I FINALLY got to the till to place my order I was informed by a rather impatient and unfriendly cashier that there was no more Biryani left. I could literally see the cashier impatiently tapping her feet and not wanting to hold up the long queue I just politely ordered the first thing that popped off the menu - tandoori chicken and roti (if memory serves me correct). Off to the next queue I went to await my dish - when I finally received it, it was a rather disappointing looking (and tasting) dish - a few pieces of rather RED, DRY chicken floating in a bowl of really RED gravy. [It was SO red that the lady at the next table wanted to know what it was that I was eating, lobster chicken was my reply. ] From that queue I had to queue for the roti and by this time I had lost my appetite. When I finally sat down to eat this rather unpleasant dish, it was cold - I should have just gone to Kentucky!
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  • I absolutely loved the vibe in this restaurant. The food was divine! A great mix of cultures just all sitting down and tucking into their garlic naans. Service was good and we went on a Saturday night and the place was extremely busy.
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  • What an eclectic eatery. I found the atmosphere electric. People from all walks of life, sitting in close proximity to each other, enjoying the fare. One point that Id like to make is that they should have one person standing on either side of the eatery explaining how the system works. It would be helpful.
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  • Just a quick note to all the people complaining about the payment system. When you go to the Eastern Food Bazaar, you are not going to a traditional restaurant as you would find in most other places. This is a self-service canteen-style eatery. Be prepared for that and you wont be dissapointed.
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  • Unfortunately, we ate here on a day when certain staff members where embarking on an industrial go-slow action, or so it seemed, because the service was of the most appalling I have ever experienced. While I and 22 other patrons waited patiently for our food at the Punjabi counter, the person who was on station, a guy named Joey, simply decided to have a drink, remove his apron and take a seat at a nearby table, leaving 23 of us astonished and somewhat exasperated. I have no doubt that if we had not paid in advance most of us would have headed for the nearest corner café with our cold roti breads.With not a manager in sight and Joey clearly not giving the smallest iota, we stood in the queue until another equally disinterested server arrived and attempted, very reluctantly, to serve the ever-increasing queue. To use a somewhat younger person’s vocabulary, “the service in this place sucks big time”. What is even more frustrating is that the Punjabi counter is clearly the most popular cuisine, and I don’t understand why the absent management don’t do anything about this. Possibly the answer is, because they are absent!Fortunately, the food makes up in spades where the service lacks, and we eventually settled down with a delicious, but cold, selection of wonderful Eastern foods. The setting and décor is wonderfully exotic and one can rapidly forget that you are actually in Cape Town. Exotic aromas and Eastern music waft around like swirling smoke and the frenetic atmosphere is reminiscent of a souk. I will certainly return to this cafeteria, but will let my menu selection be dictated by queue length, and if I spot a counter where “disinterested Joey” is working, Ill opt for avoidance or take along a magazine for the wait. A tip if you do land up in Joey’s queue is to collect his station’s food first and then the other station’s, to avoid sitting down with some cold dishes.
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  • The payment system is off-putting but all in all the food is fantastic.
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  • We went for dinner whilst in town last night. I knew it would be a relaxed canteen style experience so was prepared. Was a little disappointed in the style of ordering & paying as you have to pay for your food before (no problem) but then each dish chosen may be from a different counter, so one person may get their food 10 minutes before the other, which happened in our case, so we didnt really eat together. I was very disappointed in the dahl of the day; it was bland to say the least. Each dish comes with a side order of dahl (even the dahl - with the same dahl, strangely enough?) The butter chicken was good though, and the plain rice was excellent, almost the star of the night, if rice can be the highlight of a meal! Would go back for a quick lunch but not dinner - all was good value and very generous portions.
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  • All I can say is WOW! A friend of mine introduced me to this jewel in the city. What an amazing experience. The food is out of this world, value for money and the setting is great. If you want to bring your taste buds to life, this is the place to go.
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  • A novel and innovative idea.The style of the Food Bazaar is fuss-free and all emphasis is on the delicious food,rich with flavours and diversity. Service is quick and one is not left salivating for long as one walks past the various counters each cooking up dishes from a different region of the East. Best of all it is recession-proof and excellent value for money.
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  • I recently discovered The Eastern Food Bazaar in The Wellington on a walk around town for lunch. I work in town, and finding a decent place to catch a bite to eat is not always easy, especially if youre looking for something light on the pocket!I was overjoyed to come across this authentic place. Run by a variety of vendors, you can get Indian and Chinese food, natural homemade ice cream, authentic Indian desserts, and all for so little! Food ranges from R10 for a stuffed mince paratha, to R30 for lamb rogan rosh. I havent seen anything yet for over R30. Along the one side are tables, a set of sinks to wash your hands, mens and ladies amenities, and a self-service water bar. The place is always full during lunchtimes, when the offices spill out their hungry workers, but the place is kept clean by a horde of efficient cleaners.All in all, a thoroughly enjoyable, atmospheric place, and Im so glad to have found it!
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Facilities

  • Child friendly
  • Dinner
  • Food
  • Functions
  • Halaal friendly
  • Lunch
  • Serves food
  • Takeaways
  • Vegetarian

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