Affectionately known as Forries, this pub has been around since time began. (I know this because my parents went there when they were at varsity.) It’s best known as a destination to watch the rugby or for students to consume as much draught beer as humanly possible before a night out. There’s also some surprisingly decent grub though.
Sporting pizzas, burgers, salads, a range of steaks, seafood and signature dishes like Provençal mussels and chicken madras (marked, amusingly, with the words ‘highly recommended’ in parentheses), the menu at Forries covers all the bases in the manner of slightly old-fashioned pubs. It’s a comfort to know that unlike most old-fashioned pubs, it’s relatively difficult to go wrong here.
Pizzas are wood-fired and thin, burgers meaty and flavourful, and salads hearty in the manner that helps to mitigate food envy. There’s also a new range of banting dishes that are delicious enough to be consumed by non-banters. There are jalapeño poppers filled with feta and brie, served with preserved green figs and wrapped in crispy bacon instead of batter – a good idea in anyone’s book. There’s a cauliflower pizza – with a tasty base made of cauliflower and parmesan – topped with streaky free-range bacon, roasted cherry tomatoes, avo, mozzarella, feta and basil pesto, and then there’s a soy-roasted pork belly with spiced crackling, apple and cinnamon purée, tenderstem broccoli and sweet potato wedges that gets rave reviews from my fellow diners.
With 11 beers available on tap, it’s unlikely you’ll be reaching for the wine menu. That said, the wine list is marked handily with tasting notes and Platter ratings, and there’s an extensive list available by the glass.
You might not receive silver service, but the staff members are hardworking and friendly, and service is relatively speedy, even on busy evenings.
The crowd is a mix of all ages: students, ageing sports fans who might once upon a time have been students, and young professionals. There’s also a decent kiddies' play area and a kiddies' menu, so families come here too. It can be a little rowdy on game nights, so it’s perhaps not the best venue for a quiet, romantic or restful meal. An outdoor area offers dining surrounded by ivy-coated pillars. A relatively new roof keeps things cosier out here in the Cape’s rainy winters.
The ‘King’s Table’ – a round, bar-style table – comes with a built-in tap, allowing you to pour your own beers from the 50L keg.
Bad service. We booked a table for the rugby on Saturday 26/03/12. Upon arrival the manager forgot to write down the reservation. With no apologies he tried to make a table that was in the throughfare between the kithchen and the toilets with hardly any view of the TV. Hence we went to a neighbouring restaurant to watch the game where we had good service and a great view of the TV. That's the last time I go watch the game at Forries.