The restaurant has the word ‘tavern’ in its name. You’re not expecting five star cuisine, so the stakes are quite low. If what you’re after is a selection of seemingly authentic Portuguese dishes doused in peri-peri sauce, then you’ve come to the right place. Their starters include chicken livers and deep-fried calamari rings.
My dining partner ploughed through their Portuguese fillet steak, fried with white wine and garlic, in record time, so it’s safe to say their meal was good. I ordered a half chicken and chips. The plate was orange so I’m sure not a chilli was spared. Next time I will try the prawns instead, which were highly recommended.
The desserts on offer include a traditional malva pudding and Italian kisses.
The drinks list lacks imagination. For a tavern, I was expecting a wider variety of options. I settled into my seat with a gin and tonic, which was well made. It’s not a bad wine list. It’s short and to the point, with familiar brands and a few standards like sherry and port. You won’t go thirsty.
From the minute I walked in, I felt welcome. It’s the kind of neat, ‘just-enough’ service that greets you with warmth and makes you feel like you will probably be back at some point.
The first thing my friend said when I sat down was, “This is like a tavern in a small mining town.” Which is absolutely on the money. My friend also said, “I guess the food made up for it” – so you get the point. It’s tip-toeing on dingy, with a boxing gym next door, and plastic garden seating. However, it’s warm inside, is in a semi-popular area in the Cape Town CBD, and the food is good so it walks a strange tight-rope.
The restaurant is pursuing an ‘unpretentious’ feeling, with heaps of comfort food and ample plastic red chairs everywhere. Come relaxed and come hungry. There is ample parking in the evenings, because the Canterbury Street parking lot is empty. Pop into the Fugard Theater for a show while you’re in the area.
Eat Out critics dine unannounced and pay for their meals in full. Read our editorial policy here.