Ilse van der Merwe
Genki serves freshly made sushi and Japanese tapas. They only use the freshest sustainable fish and seafood and everything is made to order. On the menu you’ll find individual portions as well as large platters, and they have a specials board that features items like prawn dumplings and soft shell crab.
For the meat hungry, the pork ramen is a must - a generous portion of dark fragrant broth with noodles, mushrooms and aromatics. Relatively new on the menu is a small range of steamed buns filled with either pork scratchings or prawns, or try the spicy prawn dumplings with a soy based dipping sauce. The deep fried crispy white bait also comes highly recommended (and yes, they’re served whole) with a punchy ponzu dipping sauce. Another favourite remains the tempura-style calamari tentacles served with a spicy mayo and soy dipping sauce - well priced too, so it doubles up as a popular kid’s choice (there is no separate kids menu, but kids are extremely fond of Genki).
There are many vegetarian options that include deep fried tofu, miso soup, edamame beans and many others. Sushi is consistently fresh en beautifully made, and can also be ordered as a takeaway. Dessert options are limited but eye catching.
There are many well priced tapas-style items, so order a few and share it with your table. You pretty much can’t go wrong - everything is great.
The wine list features a decently priced variety of local and imported wines and beers, as well as sake. You’ll also find wine items by the glass, as well as coldrinks and spirits.
Friendly, well informed, efficient enough, but low key.
Genki is situated in a quaint courtyard in the absolute centre of town. The cobblestoned paving, beautiful shutters all around and charismatic neighbouring shop fronts paint a strong European-feel backdrop to this Japanese-style eatery, though it works perfectly in this upmarket Stellenbosch area. You almost feel like you are sitting in a perfectly sculpted movie set, tranquil enough to sip many glasses of wine with friends and forget about the reality of life. The owners are mostly on standby at the shop, welcoming guests, taking bookings or physically cooking in the kitchen. This is a place where many people will truly feel at home.
A relaxed glass of wine after work with multi-courses of sushi and tapas going into the evening. Kids love to roam free in the courtyard around the small fountain.
Eat Out critics dine anonymously and pay for their meals in full. Read our editorial policy here.
This little spot is perfect for a quick meal during the week, or a leisurely one in the sunny courtyard on a weekend. There’s a wide selection of Asian tapas and sushi on offer, all freshly made to order. Start with steamed salty edamame beans, yakitori chicken or pork skewers, crispy calamari tentacles, tempura prawns, vegetables, line fish or shiitake mushrooms. Other starters include agedashi tofu – tempura silken tofu with bonito flakes and teriyaki sauce – soups and salads such as sashimi; tofu, wakame and tomato; crab and avocado; seared tuna and avocado; or octopus salad with cucumber, wakame and sesame seeds. Mains include myriad varieties of sushi and hand rolls including the likes of the Roof Rack – four rainbow rolls topped with sweet soya and sesame oil and four spicy tuna rolls topped with tempura rock shrimp. There are also tempura rolls filled with prawn, salmon, tuna, shiitake mushrooms, avocado and cream cheese. You’re truly spoilt for choice. There’s also a selection of sushi and sashimi platters, ranging in size from 10 to 50 pieces. For dessert, try black sesame ice cream with miso salted caramel, an interesting combination of flavours and not overly sweet, banana tempura with ice cream, or a cheesecake spring roll with ice cream.
An authentic selection of hot and cold sake, plum sake, Japanese whiskies and beers round out the experience. There are also local beers and ciders on offer, as well as soft drinks, oolong and green tea, and coffees.
Casual, but warm and welcoming.
Quiet and cosy in the small interior dining area, which is decorated in traditional Japanese style, and light and airy in the outside area.
Try one of the daily specials, which may include the likes of ramen with pork belly, daikon and a perfectly boiled egg, or a bento box containing a selection of sushi.
Eat Out critics dine unannounced and pay for their meals in full. Read our editorial policy here.