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Black Sheep

Black Sheep
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Cost
R150 avg main meal
Ambience
Contemporary cool, Hip & happening
Food
Food from the Americas, Modern
Payment
Mastercard, Visa
Corkage
R50

Critic's review

Clement Pedro

Food
Situated on the ever growing, culinary hub that is Kloof Street, Black Sheep offers an uncomplicated yet delicious dining experience.

My first choice was the sweet breads with an amazing balanced sauce gribiche. It's always a risk ordering sweet breads because if you receive them undercooked or cold you’ll basically be chewing on cold fat; overcooked, and you’ll be chewing a tasteless ball of sinew. These were perfectly cooked and well paired with the sauce. Some of the other mouth watering options for starters were grilled tongue with salsa verde, pickled beetroot and horseradish as well as coppa with cauliflower fritto and a caper parsley dressing – this is some seriously good food.

Next up was Hanger steak with thick cut fries, my aim was to see if the team at black sheep were able to get the basics right and without a doubt I was served another amazing dish. I have to say that it took me quite a long time to pick this dish simply because there were so many amazing dishes to choose from, like Chinese 5 spice, sticky pork belly, South Indian Yellowtail coconut curry and Roasted pork shoulder with braised red cabbage and roast potatoes. It almost resulted in me ordering three mains, but finally I decided to go with the hanger steak.

Again it’s always a risk ordering hanger steak, which just happens to be my favourite cut of beef. Because this cut isn’t as tender as the more common cuts of beef, cooking this incorrectly could have you chewing until the cows come home (so to speak!). The dish was flavoursome, perfectly cooked and perfectly seasoned, with the meat wonderfully tender.

The evening was a refreshing experience with the menu and food being uncomplicated, unpretentious but so well delivered with fresh flavors, amazing textures with a modern spin put on each dish, with the menu prices being reasonable.

Drinks
The beautiful open bar has a selection of wines, beers and spirits – all very well priced.

Service
With the restaurant busy, and vibing you would expect service to be slightly delayed but this wasn’t the case, which made the evening that much more enjoyable. Our waiter was very informative when he explained the dishes, and what made his opinion more useful was that you could tell he had tasted the food before which always helps.

Ambience
With a cool and relaxed ambiance to match featuring a multi levelled restaurant as well as an on street bar. The restaurant is very warm using different tones of wood to create the feeling as well as soft light. There is always a hum and buzz throughout the restaurant of people talking and laughing adding to the overall warmness of the restaurant.

And…
Black sheep could very well become the perfect midweek hangout, where you’re sure to get a great meal, every time.

(September 2016)

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

 

 

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  • Katherine Jacobs

    Food
    Chef Jonathan Japha’s blackboard menu changes frequently according to what is fresh and in season. We struggle to choose between the inventive-sounding dishes, and eventually kick off with bacon-wrapped duck livers and a roast pork loin with capers and tuna anchovy dressing. The latter is less successful – the pork loin is served as a cold cut, and is a little bland itself. The creamy sauce that covers it is admittedly delicious – but it seems a slightly odd pairing, particularly served cold. For mains, I sample the yoghurt and dill chicken with a papadum, a cucumber and tomato salsa and a powerful atchar. The chicken is tender – but the sauce could use some bolder and more varied spicing. My partner in crime tries the roast lamb leg with braised leeks, puy lentils and roast garlic sauce. The lentils and roast garlic sauce are scrumptious, but the lamb lacks that knock-your-socks-off lamb richness. The highlight is a glorious chocolate brownie – a square of oozing glory with a light, squidgy texture that's more reminiscent of a chocolate fondant than a brownie. The pavlova with fresh fruit is a lighter option – a beautiful cloud of soft meringue.

    Drinks
    Craft beer and some great cocktails made at the bar complement a well-curated wine list.

    Service
    Both our waiter and Chilean co-owner Jorge Silva who mans the front-of-house are charming. Our glasses of tap water are refilled multiple times without our asking and all-in-all, there’s a general air of generosity from the staff.

    Ambience
    Well-pitched lighting, windows opening onto the upper end of Kloof Street and a hip little bar to one side succeed in creating the sort of place that even Capetonians are willing to book ahead for. It’s cosy, but airy, friendly, but private, vibey but romantic. Things can get a little loud up on the mezzanine section, opposite the open kitchen, though.

    And…
    You’ll need to book a week or more ahead. And it’s such a lovely place to sit that people tend to hang around all evening.

    (August 2015)

  • Aubrey Ngcungama

    Food 
    As a relatively new kid on the block, this unfussy little spot is right on trend with regards to all the basics that are expected on the hipster hill that is Kloof Street. (One of the owners of Black Sheep is, however, known to Cape Town diners – Jonathan Japha is of Fork fame.)

    The menu tempts with dishes like grilled rabbit or lamb kidneys, wrapped in bacon and sage, served with a duo of French mustards and a cabernet sauvignon vinaigrette. The wild rocket soup with parmesan is also very highly recommended. We also could not resist the bold black plate of roast aubergine salad with caramelised onion and yoghurt dressing.

    While changing daily, the menu is packed with substantial dishes like a pulled pork sandwich (bursting with flavour, thanks to a variety of greenery and mayonnaise), and fish and chips, which is accompanied by a homemade tartare sauce.

    The sweet options are tucked away on the last page of the wine list. The toffee pudding with cream ticks all the boxes, while the chocolate brownie with fudge sauce also hits the spot – it wouldn't be lunch without a chocolate dessert. It's a wonderfully indulgent feast of sweetness, but you can also consider trying the local artisanal cheeses.

    All in all, a lot of promise here.

    Drinks 
    The wine list is compact and accommodating, without page after page of pontificating sommeliers' waffle. Fifty local wines are on offer, all very well priced and ranging from the more well-known brands to one or two less familiar options like Crystallum’s The Agnes Chardonnay or the Catherine Marshall Amatra Merlot from Elgin.

    Seeing as we are in hipster headquarters, craft beers are not forgotten, offering the discerning beer drinker more than enough options, including Triggerfish, CBC and Jack Black.

    To top off the drinks selection, they serve the wares of one of South Africa's rising stars of distillery, Jorgensen's in Wellington. You’ll find both their Primitiv Vodka and the Field of Dreams Absinthe.

    Service
    The small but friendly team that Jorge Silva has put together knows their role – that of making customers feel at ease and to bring the chef's offering with cheer.

    Ambience 
    The three-tiered design of the restaurant makes it feel bigger than it is and also creates a relaxed café/bistro vibe. With views of Table Mountain, it’s a great place to meet friends for a quick lunch or dinner, or for one of those drinks-turns-into-dinner occasions. Come for lunch and you might end up staying for dinner!

    And…
    The mezzanine level would serve as an ideal spot for intimate private parties. 

    (July 2014)

  • Anelde Greeff

    Food
    When it comes to food, Kloof Street is the new Bree Street. Which, if you recall, became the new Kloof Street very recently. Keep up, kids! But Kloof Street is working hard to reclaim its status as a hot food destination, and new places like The Black Sheep are helping it along nicely.

    Jonathan Japha and Jorge Silva (and their mutual family) are the people behind the Sheep. You might recognize Johnny from his days manning the pass at Fork; Jorge is front-of-house and the charming chap explaining the “concept” of the food to all guests.

    They present their “concept” as seasonal food made from local ingredients and promoted on the blackboard – so every day brings a new menu. Last time I checked, that wasn’t exactly a brave new concept, but that aside, the food is lovely. Large portions of moreish dishes leave you deeply satisfied. It’s not Top 10-stuff, but it’s delicious and approachable.

    Starters might include a watermelon, feta and olive salad; asparagus with crisp pancetta and hollandaise sauce; pear, gorgonzola and cashew salad; or chicken, cep and pancetta terrine on toast. Mains are more robust and tick all the major meat boxes: pork belly, slow-roasted with crackling, butternut, bacon and chard; beef sirloin, with an insanely delicious bearnaise sauce and chips; beef shin, braised until meltingly soft and served with baby potatoes in a warm salsa Verdi; and linefish (unfortunately, sometimes orange-listed kingklip), with fluffy

    saffron mash, chorizo and lemon herb oil. For veggies, the menu offers interesting options like a lentil curry, with chard, roasted cherry tomatoes and halloumi, and polenta cake with artichoke, green beans and goat’s cheese.

    Dessert brings options like chocolate brownies with ice cream and fudge sauce (yum!), poached pears with yoghurt almonds and honey, and a few other fruity options. As an aside, their commitment to seasonality is also a bit dubious. Are pears really in season (in South Africa) in the first week of January?

    Drinks
    The wine list is interesting and well priced, including lesser-spotted varietals like petit blanc and riesling. The Vondeling contribution is a sure win. They also have Jack Black craft beer on tap and a few other bottled options like Triggerfish, CBC, Darling, Devil’s Peak and Citizen.

    Service
    Nothing out of the ordinary to report. Which means it’s good – and you can get on with things and have a lovely meal.

    Ambience
    Seeing as the food is delicious and constantly changing, The Black Sheep is the kind of place you can visit often. The fact that it is modern and attractive is really convenient too: if you’re bored with your dinner date’s conversation there is much to look at. The interesting wood panelling on one wall, the gorgeous copper pendants above the bar, or – best yet – the pedestrian traffic on Kloof Street and a sliver of a Table Mountain view, are all worth contemplating.

    And…
    There’s a fireplace for winter and a mezzanine level for private parties too.

    (January 2014)

User reviews

  • After a brief hiatus, the Black Sheep is back to impressing palates and lessening wallets. Set in an elegant, modern space in trendy Kloof Street, the restaurant always seems to be abuzz with Cape Town’s elite. The blackboard style menu changes often, making it difficult for a finicky eater like myself to plan ahead. Perhaps this is a good thing, because I arrived without predispositions, and ended up being pleasantly surprised by the varied and interesting choices on offer. Everything we had was stellar, from the mains to the desserts to the wines. In contrast to this was the service, which was lackluster and slightly indifferent. Beware: the prices aren’t cheap, and the wine list in particular knocked us back quite a few. Also, be aware of a service charge for parties of six and up. All in all, delicious food in a charming setting makes Black Sheep the perfect venue for a lively celebration or a cheeky weekend splurge.
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  • The food at this restaurant never fails to impress and satisfy. I have been here a couple times and it's become my go-to option for any event or celebration. Intimate dinner dates or a party of 6, Black Sheep's menu and vibe consistently improves and rewards the eater. Their menu changes often and so you are able to try new dishes and flavour combinations every time you visit. Something I revel in.
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  • This is an overpriced, pretentious restaurant that is always, for some strange reason, overbooked. Maybe because hipsters dig it, who knows? I have eaten there a few times and it was never good. The only thing that made it good was the company I had at the time.
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  • I still cannot believe how incredible my experience was at this restaurant last night. I was on a date, and he booked a table for two at Black Sheep. He didn't know I was vegan (I didnt know he'd booked dinner after our show) and the car ride to the resturant was stressfull. As one often has to be in situations like this, I apologised to the waiter as soon as he arrived, told him I was vegan and that I'd try not to make his night too hellish. 5minutes later, the chef was at my table, he asked me what I felt like eating- he gave me the option of a couple of different flavours and 20minutes later I had an Asian inspired meal straight out of heaven. By far THE MOST DELICOUS vegan meal I've had since living in CT. I'm so impressed. I highly recommend this place to all.
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  • After getting REALLY lucky to find a table for four during peak dinner time, without a booking, we were seated in a bustling and friendly atmosphere. The other tables were full of trendsetters seemingly discussing the latest in fashion and political strategy. The host and owner is a warm yet boisterous kind of fellow who speaks in the kind of foreign accent which alludes to great food. The waitress was professional and brisk in her duties and we never had to look for her, nor wish she would go away. Black Sheep saves on printing paper by keeping the menu on a large chalk board to the one side and my gosh is the chef a creative one. While there are no more than 10 items on the mains menu, they are all so intriguing that we struggled to make up our minds. It was so refreshing to see bold dishes, like rabbit liver and heart kebabs, duck and the diaphragm of a cow. We decided to be bold in return and were richly rewarded. The flavours were all just right and not a single complaint could be heard throughout the place. Our table greatly enjoyed the; fish, duck, rabbit, pork and diaphragm, despite the pricey wine and would return in a flash... if we could only get a booking.
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  • Perfectly lovely Monday evening spent at the Black Sheep (great that they are open on Mondays!). Menu seemed more extensive than the last time I visited - fantastic selection of options. Most of our table opted for two starters - I had the sweet potato soup and the ribs with a side of spicy kimchi, which together made a very satisfying meal. Note: if you do want to order the roast lamb, this needs to be done in advance and for a minimum of 6 people.
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  • I was so excited to dine at Black Sheep for my birthday. I called weeks in advance and requested that they seat us at a nice table and told them that it was a special occassion. When we arrived that night they had given us the worst table in the joint, crammed in right next to the kithen. I requeted that we r moved as there were still tables downstairs that had not been occupied, but they said that there was no space available. The food was mostly good, but the lamb was EXTREMELY fatty (more than 50% of the lamb on the plate was unrendered fat) and the kudu dish was nearly inedible due to the godawful pungent and bitter garlic sauce it was served with. All in all I was badly let down by the very poor service and inconsistent quality.
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  • Rarely does one find the all round perfect experience. Suffice to say Black Sheep is one of these rare gems.
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  • I loved this place and cant wait to go again and try other items on the menu. They were fully booked on a Tuesday night but got us in for an earlier seating at 6.30pm. The place is inviting, the service attentive. And the food absolutely delicious. The carrot and cumin soup was velvety, and the dill oil gave it a nice 'pop'. The Tuna Tartare with sauce gribiche sauce was out of the world. Both were good sized portions. The kingklip was well cooked and the Yellowtail Indian curry was delicious! We shared the almond tart for dessert - yummy. Go and try this place out.
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  • We had an excellent dinner party last night for a friend's birthday. Due to the size of the group, we were booked two tables at the back of the restaurant on the lower level, and although all floors were jam-packed, the position of the tables and exclusive service meant we felt quite separate from the crowd - ideal for a "private" event.

    The restaurant catered a "set" menu for our group, consisting of 3 starter dishes, 4 main course dishes, and a pavlova for dessert. All the dishes were brought to the tables to be shared - a lovely way to eat with friends.

    Two amouse bouches to kick us off (a pea and mint crostini and falafels with what I assume is a dijonaise sauce), followed by antipasto platters, asparagus and parmesan phyllo spears, and an heirloom tomato salad with pesto and croutons. Mains were a lentil, haloumi and butternut curry with coconut rice; roasted hake in Asian broth with pak choi, ginger and coriander; roast chicken breast with artichokes and olives; and a hanger steak with shoestring fries and peppercorn sauce. Dessert was a delicate pavlova with tart berries.

    The amount of food was more than suffice for our tables and each dish more delicious than the last. It cannot be an easy thing to cater for a group of 18 on top of a fully booked service, but the kitchen produced consistently high quality food, pleasingly presented, and timed exactly so we did not notice a pause nor feel rushed between courses.

    The service was great from our dedicated waitrons - on hand when necessary but unobtrusive. Only a noticeable absence at the end of the evening when wanting to request the bill, but this was a very minor slight on an otherwise excellent dinner service from the waiting staff.

    For only R200 a head, the value for money was, I felt, unrivalled. There are few bistro style eateries offering the same quality at this cost, so it is no surprise that the restaurant is always full and requiring reservations.

    Saving the best for last, I need to point out that the kitchen went above and beyond for one of our party who has recently discovered she has an aversion to lactose and dairy. Whilst the rest of the table tucked into fresh cheese, creamy sauces, and of course the decadent dessert, our lactose intolerant friend received dairy-free versions of each dish that were not only beautifully plated for one, but as delicious as the standard versions.

    The team at The Black Sheep has much to be proud of, and I look forward to my next visit.
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  • No wonder this awesome place is always fully booked!
    We booked a table at 7 and overlooked the restaurant bar area which was very comfortable.The service was sublime, we were not rushed into ordering and had the table for the evening, so inlike some restaurants that have 2 sittings! The menu was on a blackboard, and because the choice was so varied i ordered 3 starters! the first 2 were asparagus wrapped in phyllo with parmesan sprinkles , which were delicious and an inventive way to serve asparagus, very delicate and more-ish, about 8 generous spears, the second starter was mushroom and parmesan jalousie, which was tasty chopped mushrooms in a crust, ooohh, Im salivating just thinking about it, and pleased im going back next week for other dishes to try as the menu changes daily according to the season.....my friend also had the mushroom jalousie as well as tomato salad with croutons and goats cheese. All the dishes were beautifully presented, so much so that I photographed them!!!!! We ended with her ordering almond tart, which we couldnt finish as we had a foodie overload. No wonder you can never get a table there! R200 a head including a well deserved tip, a glass of wine each and a people watchers paradise!!!only a little loud at peak time! Interesting choice of main meal, like rabbit, hanger steak, curry, try it, you' ll be a happy patron!
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  • I chose the Black Sheep Restaurant for my 75th birthday as I love Jonathan's cooking. My wife, two adult kids and a friend had a great evening. We all enjoyed each of our respective courses and when we left it was to everybody singing a chorus of praises and thank-you's. Jonathan has, thank goodness, not gone the route of food deconstructionists who serve little 'ice' floes of meat adrift on a plate and linked by artful sauces. It was real food; fine ingredients treated imaginatively and respectfully. Service was excellent with Jorge there and our waiter Didier looking after us in the best possible way. We all will return!
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  • Had a wonderful dinner there last night. The Pork Belly was outstanding, service was brilliant and the restaurant has a great atmosphere. Highly recommended, will most definitely be back.
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  • Lovely vibey restaurant, delicious food and great personal service - my new Kloof Street favourite! We were made to feel very welcome and loved the fact that one of the owners and the chef both came out to check on our table and have a friendly chat.
    PS - they sorting the acoustics out and soon the restaurant should be less noisy!
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  • Despite specifically booking a table at the front of the restaurant by the windows (for the view) we were squeezed into the back, near the bathrooms and kitchen, where it was incredibly noisy and frantic with all the coming and going staff on a tightly packed Saturday night. While we waited for ages for our food (it was close to an hour and a half), the meals were absolutely delicious and very good value for money. My seared tuna starter, priced at only R45, had plentiful strips of fish and a great dressing with lots of tangy, fresh Asian leaves, but the avo listed in the dish was replaced by quacamole, which was a little odd (and disappointing). My Eton mess dessert was a generous helping of delicious berries, meringue and cream. All in all, Black Sheep is a great, vibey place with lovely food and it's clearly enjoying the attention a new place on Kloof street gets, but you'll have to be very patient. Perhaps with time they will be able to manage crowds better and the staff will gain more experience.
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  • Had a fantastic meal, great service by friendly efficient staff, a definite must on my return for dinner list.
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  • Loved it but a tad loud at the back by the kitchen, where they did very kindly squeeze us in, as they were fully booked and full last Friday night… Great Maitre d' and good service too - intriguing, unusual and flavourful food and an unconventional and therefore interesting wine list. Will definitely return.
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  • What a great spot! Fantastic vibe, helpful friendly staff and an extensive well priced menu. Hard to fault.
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Menu

Set menu - Updated daily, check website

Facilities

  • Accepts credit cards
  • Beer served
  • Booking required
  • Child friendly
  • Cocktails
  • Dinner
  • Fireplace
  • Food
  • Functions
  • Licensed
  • Live entertainment
  • Lunch
  • Parking
  • Serves food
  • Vegetarian
  • WiFi

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