Venues

Hallelujah

Hallelujah
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Cost
R85 avg main meal
Ambience
Cheap & cheerful, Comfy & casual, Contemporary cool
Food
Asian
Payment
Amex, Diners Club, Mastercard, Visa
500
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Critic's review

Katharine Jacobs

Food
It’s just so, so good. Simply select your tapas from the brief menu and wait for the magic to begin. Superbly succulent mussels make an entrance in a spiced broth with a clever house-made Chinese sausage. Even the fried bread – for mopping up the broth – is full of flavour.

The prawn dish is arranged, somewhat unassumingly, on skewers on a metal tray. But they pack an incredible punch: sweet, sour, salty, spicy – these are prawns with some real ambition. The accompanying steaming hot buns soak up the zingy coriander-lime salsa like magic clouds.

Next the beef short rib bowl arrives, with rice, kimchi and six-minute egg. The shredded beef doesn’t disappoint: it’s absolutely packed with flavour. There’s also a 12-hour duck on a soft ramen taco with almond ginger ‘hum-mush’ and fresh orange – fresh and tasty. There's also a veggie dish with barbecue sauce and miso brittle – good, but not essential if space in your belly is becoming tight at this point (it will be).

Dessert is usually limited to one option. Ours is a miso-grilled banana with a creamy coconut ice cream slathered in fudge sauce.

Drinks
A brief but well-curated list with an emphasis on bubblies – try an Avondale Armilla, Black Elephant Vinters MCC or an Ambeloui Christo if you’re after something different – or opt for one of the seven by-the-glass bubblies. Alternatively, try one of the trendy gin or bubbly cocktails, or a Triggerfish craft beer.

Ambience
Flamingo wallpaper and a surfboard on the wall sets the tone: this is a fun, hip spot. It’s a tiny space – and it’s usually buzzing with people, even during weeknights – so come early or be prepared to wait for a table next door at The Power & the Glory. Seating is of the bar stool variety – so perhaps not a place to bring your elderly grandmother or wriggly toddlers.

Service
On point, but not stiff or fussy. Dishes come out of the kitchen as they’re ready – but we found the timing to be perfect.

And…
Young chef Emma Hofmans did time at The Pot Luck Club before taking on the head chef position at Hallelujah – and it’s hard not to draw comparisons. One thing’s for sure: she knows what she’s doing with flavour.

(September 2016)

Eat Out reviewers dine anonymously and pay for their meals in full. Click here to read our editorial policy.

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  • Raphaella Frame-Tolmie

    Food
    Umami. You’ll get it in spades at this tiny Asian hole-in-the-wall… and then you’ll want more. The small plates are made for sharing (hard as that might be) and they’re flavour-packed. There is always at least one option of something seafood, meat, poultry, pork and vegetarian, and new items are introduced one at a time in rotation, so after two months there will be all new choices. Some items are so good they will recur – try the grilled prawns on steamed buns with coriander and lime sauce, or the 12-hour duck on soft ramen tacos with almond ginger hummus and fresh orange. Desserts are always imaginative and delicious.

    Drinks
    The list of MCC’s available here is generous (if a little pricey), and the wines are comprised of lovely and unusual local varietals. The rest of the drinks menu offers beer, fresh cocktail combinations and a whiskey and single malt selection.

    Service
    If you manage to nab a table without a bit of a wait, you’ll be using the establishment’s name in vain – they don’t take bookings for less than 4 people, and a maximum of 6. They also only accommodate two seatings a night, either 18:30 to 20:30 or 20:30 to close. Once seated, however, you’ll feel right at home, and staff members are forthcoming if you have any questions.

    Ambience
    Arguably one of the smallest, most quirkily decorated and Instagrammed venues in Cape Town. Embossed flamingo wallpaper clads the entire space, and there’s a surf-theme in many of the décor elements. It’s fun, fresh and feels international.

    And…
    Someone on the team has a good sense of humour, based on the bathroom designations, as well as the memes on the regularly updated website.

    (August 2015)

User reviews

  • My all-time favourite Asian spot. Flavour in spades. Go early and put your name on the list. Love the Chinese sausage and the mussels. And the prawns with the insanely soft buns and coriander sauce. I'd honestly rather go here than some other, fancier places in town.

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  • Had a totally amazing meal here. I didn't have a lot of expectations, so was very happily surprised. The prawns! The mussels! The coriander lime dipping sauce for the hot buns. It was all totally delicious, zingy and refreshing. It's not cheap - tapas dishes are around R100 - but it's totally worth it. Reminded me of The Pot Luck Club.
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  • Finally got to Hallelujah after months of hearing about it, and the push I needed was reading Eat Out's 'Accidental Foodie' post. What a treat -it was nothing short of delicious and exciting! The restaurant itself is tiny - they don't take bookings for less than 4 people, max 6; we weren't able to book for this reason, but were lucky and managed to be seated soon after we arrived. Everything we ordered was incredible so would recommend it all: the grilled prawns on steamed buns, 12-hour duck on soft ramen tacos, lobster roll and even the vegetable surprise, with its candied nuts! The only thing I would suggest is going with 3-4 people so that you can try most of the menu! ;) Will definitely be back
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  • We've been to Hallelujah a few times recently and have been super impressed every time. Lots of attention has been put into each and every detail and it shows with the final product. Highlights from the menu we tasted were the duck ramen taco, the pork belly steamed buns and the vegetable surprise. Happlelujah pie is a must dessert to share among the table.
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  • We visited on recommendation from friends and, yes, Hallelujah lived up to our expectations and more. The food was outstanding.
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  • This little hole in the wall next to the hipster joint Power and the Glory, is well worth a visit - if you can find a seat! (True, they do not take bookings for less than 6 ppl, so get there early (doors open at 6.30pm). The menu is small but I can recommend nearly everything on it, specifically the duck tacos which are amazing (We ordered 3 plates of them). Also try the pork belly buns with a side of pickles, the chicken wings with pickled celery and an amazing dipping sauce, the green papaya salad and the side of veggies We all ordered and shared. Delicious. The wine was good too. I'll go again, there is still the mussels, lobster roll prawns and tataki to try :)
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  • I phoned today to make a reservation for 10 people.

    I was told that I couldn't make the booking.

    They only take bookings for 4 to 6 people.

    Last time I checked 4 + 6 = 10.

    I wish you all the best of luck.

    Our dinner club will not be trying out your restaurant.

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Facilities

  • Accepts credit cards
  • Booking required
  • Dinner
  • Food
  • Functions
  • Serves food

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