Venues

Kitima at the Kronendal Restaurant

Kitima at the Kronendal Restaurant
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  • Phone Number 021 790 8004/6
  • Location Kronendal Estate, 140 Main Road, Hout Bay, Cape Town
  • email reservation@kitima.co.za
  • Website URL www.kitima.co.za
  • Opening Hours

    Lunch: Sunday buffet 12noon to 3.30pm

    Dinner: Tuesday to Thursday 5.30pm to 10.30pm; Fridays and Saturdays 5.30pm to 11pm

Cost
Set menu R295
Ambience
Classic elegance
Food
Asian, Buffet, Chinese, Japanese, Modern, Sushi, Thai
Payment
Amex, Diners Club, Mastercard, Visa
Corkage
No BYO

Critic's review

Raphaella Frame-Tolmie

Food
The vast menus offers a selection of Asian cuisine, including delicious dim sum – try the Golden Secrets steamed dumplings, which are filled with prawns, shitake mushroom and vegetables – and sushi, but the predominant focus is Thai food. Choose from a selection of soups, interesting salads (the mushroom salad is particularly tasty) noodle dishes, and curries. The dessert list is concise, but offers a good selection; with the delicate lime leaf crème brûlée to be recommended. There’s also an option of a set menu, which changes seasonally (two courses R185, three courses R230, or four courses R270).

Drinks
The substantial cocktail list from the Raya Bar and Lounge offers over 60 choices of interesting mixes, most with a Thai flavour injection, including some alcohol-free creations. They’re really yummy and the perfect precursor to dinner, but if cocktails aren’t your thing, there are plenty of well-selected local wines on the menu, with a few unusual blends, all on a reasonable price spectrum.

Service
The service is professional and friendly, starting with the smoothly-run booking system, which delivers a text message to your phone for confirmation. Staff members have been well-trained, and deliver efficiently and unobtrusively.

Ambiance
Housed in a Cape Dutch building typical of the 1700’s, the interiors are eclectic and attractive, with an Asian flare, and it’s almost always bustling (booking is advised).

And…
Many suggest that the success of this long-running establishment is thanks to the nod given to the ‘ghost of Kronendal’ Elsa Cloete, who lived at the farm in the 1800s, and died of a broken heart, having been forbidden to marry her soldier lover. A table for the phantom couple is laid at the entrance to the restaurant every evening as a sign of respect. – Raphaella Frame-Tolmie

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  • Bernadette Le Roux

    Food 
    There’s something for everyone at this restaurant, our Best Asian restaurant of 2013. Though the tome of a menu can be intimidating, it’s a good idea to start with dim sum (such as the ‘Golden Secrets’, a composition of diced prawn and shiitake-mushroom dumplings steamed in rice paper) or sushi, while you mull over what to have next.

    On the main menu you’ll find stir-fries, curries, noodles, roti and the like. Highlights are the Angry beef wok and Khao Soi Gai chicken with homemade noodles. The aromatic crispy duck pancakes are always tempting.

    Drinks 
    Even if you’re not having dinner, the Raya bar is a destination bar of note. It’s a good idea to reserve a table in the main lounge for drinks, although this does spill over to the courtyard outside. The house cocktails (aka ‘Kitimarismas’) are particularly good. Try the pineapple and chilli cocktail made with vodka, fresh pineapple juice and infused with sun-dried chillies. If cocktails aren’t your thing, the extensive wine list has plenty great options.

    Service
    Service is slick and attentive, with exceptionally trained mixologists at work behind the bar.

    Ambience 
    The historic Kronendal Manor sets a very romantic scene with separate dining rooms (all with roaring fires in winter), high ceilings and gorgeous lighting. The permanently set table at the entrance is for the resident ghost – which adds to the sense of enchantment throughout. Relax in the Raya Bar with a cocktail before going to your table.

    And…  
    The buffet lunch on a Sunday is a must. Chefs prepare dish after dish of spectacular Asian fare right in front of you. Pick and choose from a selection of dim sum and sushi before moving on to the variety of other dishes.

    (July 2014)

  • Many lingering buffet lunches have been enjoyed here on a Sunday. The feast of Asian delicacies is freshly prepared in front of your eyes; presentation is excellent and flavours are simply sensational. Start with dim sum or sushi, and pick and choose from all your favourite Thai dishes while you sip MCC (which pairs rather well with Eastern fare). Leave room for dessert! For dinner, the (supposedly haunted) historic building is gorgeous, with a warm atmosphere that’s thoroughly romantic. Cocktails at the bar make for a great night out too. (Eat Out Magazine 2014)
  • Food
    Kitima has maintained its status quo as one of the best Thai restaurants in Cape Town and repeated visits never fail to impress, delight and tantalise the taste buds. If you look past the immaculately set table for the ‘ghost’ of Kronendal and her lover from the 1800s, it makes for an even more exciting evening as waiters swirl around the myriad rooms carrying platters of sushi, dim sum (or ‘little treasures’ as the menu describes them) and steaming pots of Thai soups. For mains there are the usual pad Thais and noodle dishes from which to choose, but for something a little different try the phad chaa talay (mixed seafood wok-fried with Thai spices and herbs) or the pla neng ma nao, which are melt-in-the-mouth steamed fillets of kingklip or Norwegian salmon on Chinese cabbage with fresh lime and chilli.

    Wine
    The extensive wine list is fairly reasonably priced; however, steer clear of the Cellar Collection if the boss isn’t paying.

    Service
    Staff are beautifully attired, friendly and extremely helpful in pairing food with appropriate wines. They complete the dinner experience.

    Ambience
    Within the restrictions that a heritage building brings with it, owner Kitima Sukonpongpao has transformed the various rooms in the restaurant into a little piece of the East, with tasteful wall hangings and furniture. The bar area complements this with an extra twist of simple décor and design that keeps it always humming with happy patrons.

    And...
    The Raya Lounge, and its different components in the veranda, terrace and garden, is perfect for a quick bite and a cocktail with a Thai twist. (PU, October 2012)
  • Bernadette Le Roux

    Kitima makes some of the best, authentic dim sum. The restaurant has separate rooms, which are cosy and atmospheric, making it the perfect place for a romantic night out. The bar is vibe and serves excellent cocktails. The menu is extensive and can be overwhelming, but I usually always order the dim sum and crispy duck pancakes. Curries and stir fries are also good.

User reviews

  • Kitima is an absolute gem. You definitely need to book for this one as they are quite popular and very busy. They have an extensive list of very creative(and delicious) cocktails, and we love arriving a little early to sit at the bar and have a drink before we are seated. The bartenders are very knowledgeable and skilled, and have even made me a bunch of tester cocktails when I couldn't make up my mind. Kitima has a few different sections to it, and the ambiance changes hugely depending on where you book. We have eaten in almost every section and apart from a bad experience with an incredibly rude drunk man in the lounge through the back we enjoyed them all. The food is great, I have ordered the Tom Yam as a started every time I have been there, and every time I finish it I want to immediately order 3 more bowls. It's so delicious! I am not a big dessert person, but I once ordered the cheese cake and it was one of the best I've ever had in Cape Town, which I definitely wouldn't have expected from and Asian restaurant. Totally worth a visit or 10.
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  • I visited on Friday evening and had one of the worst meals ever in Cape Town. To kick off with one, of our starters was incorrectly cooked so quite rightly the kitchen refused to send it out but they didn't have any more of the dumplings so we had to choose a replacement - disappointing but these things happen. Then when the starters arrived the prawn balls, which are meant to have melted cheese in the middle, were luke warm and the cheese was still a solid block in the middle as the heat of the cooking process hadn't got to the middle. When the main courses arrived both were luke warm at best and the prawn dish had prawns that were still translucent in it. We sent both the dishes back. When the new main courses arrived the prawn dish was nice and hot but the beef dish was as cold as the first time, so had to be sent back a second time. It was only on the third attempt that the beef dish turned up at the table hot. At no point during the issues we were having with the mains did the maitre d or management come over to apologise. The portion sizes for the mains was on the small side (very few prawns in the prawn main) and the dishes definitely lacked the vibrancy/depth of flavour you would expect from a quality Asian restaurant. The service throughout the meal was poor - the waiter had too many tables to look after and was very stretched. Our water was never topped up, we had to grab his attention to order food and drinks, we had to ask for cutlery so we could eat our main courses, we also had to call out many times to get his attention to chase our drinks/ point out the issues with the food temperature. We ordered more drinks at the end of the starters but they only turned up when the 3rd attempt of the main course arrived and after asking our waiter twice for them. We asked for our bill promptly after the mains and still hoped/ expected an apology from someone senior - but nothing materialised. On leaving the restaurant we pointed out how poor our experience had been to the senior waiter - he had the audacity to say he knew we'd had an number of issues with our meal but was still not apologetic!! For the prices charged you expect a much better dining experience - with so many great places to eat in Cape Town there is definitely no need to make the effort of driving to Hout Bay for Kitima. I've had a much nicer and tastier experience at Thai Cafe. Avoid!
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  • I've been to Kitima many times and always enjoy it. Remember to make a reservation in season as it gets very busy, and go early to enjoy a cocktail at one of the bars. The service is friendly and effective, decor intriguing and interesting. The menu is extremely extensive and can be a bit daunting. The trick is to ask for some guidance or you could be disappointed with your choice. Their dim sum is very good and I loved the Angry Duck paired with egg fried rice. Great wine menu too.
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  • Managed to grab the last table in the lounge on a busy Sunday buffet and loved every minute of it.

    Finally a true Asian restaurant that does not pretend flavours and compromises on ingredients.

    The Dim Sum definitely some of the best I have had in SA so far.
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  • Lovely layout for a restaurant, warm and stunning service. Loved the place!
    Nothing like restaurants in Thailand - way more clean, beautiful etc.
    Food was great! We had at our table - dim sum, curry and sushi and everyone loved it!

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  • Had a lovely 30th birthday celebration at Kitima last night and I can highly recommend this restaurant for a special celebration. Service is attentive but completely unobtrusive and the food (a set menu in our case) was of excellent quality - fresh, full of flavour and presented with elegance. The venue itself is very special and has a real charm. Though we were tucked away and could enjoy our own private celebration, we didn’t lose the sense of being connected to the rest of the restaurant or the ambience. It is a slick, efficient operation with friendly, cordial service and offers a touch of the exotic. Thank you, Kitima, for such a memorable evening.

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  • Cape Town's most romantic restaurant. Gorgeous setting, amazing service and a very large Asian menu. I look forward to trying it again.

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  • What a gorgeous venue! Great cocktails, friendly, helpful staff. The big let down is, well, the food! Very average Asian cuisine. Had a few average meals at Kitima and definitely won't be back. Cape Town has some amazing Asian restaurants with authentic dishes. Kitima's seafood curries are laden with mussels... strange choice. Prawns and linefish would be amazing which unfortunately do not form the basis of this curry. The spring rolls are over fried. The pad thai is a simple dish to get right with fresh flavours. Kitima's version is bland and boring. Inconsistent food, had a great starter on one visit then the following visit the same starter was terrible. I have addressed these issues with the owner and he has excuses for all my constructive criticism. Great venue, just don't expect great food.

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  • The setting is wonderful, a lovely atmosphere, great service and divine food, definitely worth a visit.

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  • Okay, all of the reviews are true! After holidaying in Hout Bay for many years, this was a treasure to discover. Food, service, ambience and affordability all rolled into one divine experience. Book now - highly recommended for a lovely night out.

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  • Well, I never have to look for best Asian food ever. Thank you Eat Out for having your review of Kitima on your website! The best 2 Duck dishes ever. The crispy duck and pancakes with plum homemade sticky sauce and Duck with divine orange glaze . For me the best restaurants are now in Cape Town and not in Franchhoek and Stellenbosch anymore! Loved the ghost table as well!

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  • The espresso martini is so good, that I was told about it in Antigua, where I was having one of their (not as good) espresso martinis - I keep coming back for more at Kitima - slurp!

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  • What a gem of a place. Great service, with a huge variety of items to choose from and a fabulous wine list. You can be assured that I will be coming back again and again...

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  • Amazing ambience with the best Asian food in the country by far! And do try the cocktails, they are taste perfection!

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  • We visited this restaurant for the first time ever on Saturday night. The drive to Hout Bay from our side of the world (on a dark and rainy night) was somewhat nerve-wracking, but it was more than worth it!

    Upon arrival we were greeted by a lovely hostess who took the time and care to look me in the eyes and greet us with genuine warmth before directing us to our table. This being our first time there, we were hugely impressed by the decor and ambience. The various little rooms make this large restaurant feel cosy and they add a unique edge to the whole experience. I wasn't expecting this - from the outside the old Cape Dutch manor looks pretty bland! The 'ghost table' in the entrance hall is a quaint touch that amused the younger members of our party to the point that photos had to be taken of the gorgeous ensemble. This beautiful table is set for the ghost of Elsa Cloete who is said to haunt the manor to this day!

    Of course I had to sneak off to the bar area for a quick ciggie first. I was pleased I did, as the bar area is small and cosy and the barman was absolutely amazing - the epitome of chivalry! A lounge bar on the way rounded the whole thing off, adding a laid back air to the experience.

    The menu is huge, and such a vast selection requires some thought. We took our time with the menu, enjoying a glass of red while we pondered the options. From what I could gather, their cocktails are well made and the wine list has a great selection. Having said that though, we'd brought our own wine, as their corkage rates are very reasonable.

    The waitress was interested and attentive, without bringing on a bout of claustrophobia. She expertly decanted our wine whilst making some well-considered suggestions from the menu.

    We settled on, amongst other things, a few Dim Sum to start - the Potstickers (Geaw Za) were absolutely gorgeous, as were the Golden Secrets. Delicate and full of flavour without being overpowering. The portion sizes were just right and the excellent prices almost made me want to order two starters!

    The main courses had extremely generous portions, and the flavour combinations were a Thai food-lovers dream. Perfect sushi and curries (the Gaeng Massaman / Peanut Curry being my favourite!) and the younger members of our group really enjoyed the Kitima's Wok. By the way - two portions of rice are more than enough for 3 curries!

    We had the Espresso Martini for 'dessert' which was a perfect finish to an all-round outstanding experience.

    10 out of 10 for this wonderful establishment.

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  • My wife and I met with lovely friends of ours last night, Kitima is mid way between our houses. We ate here 2 years ago; we were delighted to find that Kitima has kept up its high standards! Between us we had as our mains Duck pancakes, Massaman Curry, and Kingclip in sweet spicy dressing, all were excellent! Only downer was the long life milk in the cappucino!
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  • We happened to be visiting Cape Town and had no idea there was a 1 week waiting list for reservations, so we just pitched up and were lucky enough to get a table early in the evening. Beautiful restaurant and great staff, but the food was less than mediocre. All the food lacked authenticity and the complexities of flavour Thai food should have. My Thai fish cakes were eggy and rubbery, and my Pad Thai was bland and the sweetness was the overpowering flavour. My husbands ostrich red curry stir fry was spicy but that was it. What happened to the careful balance of sweet, salty, sour and spice that Thai food is famous for? Definitely too much hype for the food at this restaurant.
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  • I have been trying to get a booking here for ages. Finally, my schedule and Kitimas allowed us to meet. I had heard so many good things about this elusive restaurant that I, the self-appointed foodie connoisseur, was actually looking for the flaws within this slick, well-oiled system. How disappointing. I found absolutely none and, for Cape Town, this is refreshing. Great food, great service, great ambience. Thank you so much!
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  • Best restaurant in Cape Town.
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  • Had a lovely birthday dinner here. Beautiful decor, nice music, and great service (best waiter Id had in years). The food was great too!
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  • What a great restaurant. Everything was excellent. Our waiter was SEKO who was outstanding - we tipped him 20%. Visit this place!
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  • An awesome experience all round!
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  • In reply to Chris comments below we would like to state the following, The dish that Chris had been served (and appears on her bill) was in fact Paad Ka Phrao (minced sirloin, wok-fried with green beans, onion, sweet peppers, basil and a hint of chilli)and not the dish called Phad Chaa! To our knowledge the misunderstanding of Chris order had not been brought to the attention of the waiter or the manager - which would have resolved the issue right away...!
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  • I had dinner with five friends at Kitima last night. Everything was superb except the main course I ordered. I quote my choice from the menu Phad Chaa Beef 80(with lemon grass) Ostrich 95Choice of marinated slices ofostrich fillet or beef sirloin wok-friedwith the chef’s tantalising selectionof Thai herbs, lemon grass, greenbeans, rhizome root (Chineseginger) and garlic I ordered the beef. I received chilli mince. Surely when the menu states, marinated slices of been sirloin, then you dont give someone mince. I was actually shocked. Unbelievable. Pile of mince for R80! Shocking. The rest was awesome. I do think quality will suffer at this establishment as they have a huge menu. I think quality over quantity should be key.
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  • What a fantastic meal. Our waitress was friendly and passionate about what she does and she was really happy to advise on dishes and was very knowledgeable. The appetisers were quick and delicious- we ordered more half way through and they were quick to come too. The main course was a bit slow but it was busy and they apologised, and we hadnt really noticed the wait. The duck was fantastic, though the Korean beef was a bit more subtle in flavour, so it wasnt as good but might have been because of the combination that we ordered to share! The prices were not too bad either. The portions were a very decent size.We would definitely recommend and would happily go back.
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  • What a gem! I had dinner with some friends at Kitima and we were all blown away by the establishment. The gracious hosts ensured that our table was well looked after and the service on the evening was impeccable. Our food came beautifully presented, perfectly cooked and I would even go as far as saying it was the best Thai food Ive had the pleasure to enjoy. Well done to the owners on creating a restaurant of which they can truly be proud!
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  • As one of the owners of KITIMA, I would like to respond to the review sent in by Carla on 6 Jan 2010, We are generally taking every complaint very seriously and try our outmost best to constantly improve on our overall performance.It is therefore very unfortunate that Carla and her friends did not seem to have been satisfied with the quantity of food they were served on that night - while I noticed that there were no complaints regarding taste or quality and there seems to have been no criticism regarding any other aspects while being at KITIMA’s.Carla and her friends were sitting in our lounge/bar area (not the dining rooms) and pre-ordered the ‘Gourmet Canapé Menu -D’ that can best be described as a ‘selection of delicate snacks’ comprising of, (per person) 2 Chinese spoons of Salmon Samui (4 pcs Thai style marinated salmon sashimi), 2 Chinese spoons with a heap of Thai beef salad, 2 Chinese spoons with a heap of Thai Prawn Salad (4 medium size prawns), 2 Duck Spring Rolls and 2 Laughing Buddha’s (diced prawns mixed with sesame seeds, coriander, spices and then deep fried) – each of them about 1.5x the size of a slightly flattened golf ball. I think any of our regular customers can confirm that all our food portions are very generous in size and also reasonably priced. Our Canapé Menu’s, besides only being served in the bar/ lounge, are not intended to replace a full dinner meal and should definitely not be seen as a set of starter and main course. I think the person that did the booking should have informed her/his friends that she/he only ordered canapé snacks to go with the drinks. Anyone still hungry could have then ordered more food from our rather extensive lounge menu.
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  • Overall impression as you walk into the restaurant is fantastic, good decor, great vibe but thats is where unfortunately the night ended for me. It was a friend’s birthday and we had to have the set menu because there were 14 of us. So we had set menu D at R155 per person. At R155, I expected to get at least a starter and a decent main course. The starter was three Chinese spoons, one with a prawn (tiny), one with a cucumber and beef salad and the last a salmon rose. That is a tasting, not a starter.Main course was one duck spring roll (small) and one Laughing Buddha which was the size of a Herzog Cookie. I guess it’s called a Laughing Buddha because the restaurant has the last laugh while you walk away still hungry and somewhat poorer!My friend was extremely embarrassed to say the least.Poor show Kitima, who do you think you are? Nobu? I think not.
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  • As a Hout Bay resident, I am proud to recommend this gem to anyone. My parents visited at the end of July and we took them there for Sunday lunch. And for two old people they were stunned. They really enjoyed the food. I have never seen my dad have so much fun with his food. Trying to eat with chopstick, I still giggle when I think about it. My mom, although a bit restricted in what she eats, did not hold back. She tried a bit of everything on the buffet, and she finished all that she dished up. As a rule I don’t do buffets, but Kitima just does it as it should be. Small quantities, fresh at all time, and piping hot food. On every other visit it has been amazing. One thing though, the wine and the cocktails are a bit expensive, but something’s are worth paying for. It is truly highly recommended and the food is great.
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  • I dreamt of the Red Roman last night! What a spectacular way of preparing it! My partner and I shared mains, and his crispy duck (wow!) accompanied it superbly. Everything tasted fresh, exciting and different from things wed had elsewhere, from our cocktails, to dim sum, to mains. Our waiter described all dishes in delicious detail with the perfect amount of enthusiasm, and his recommendations were spot on! His service made the experience even more. Its a bit of a drive from town to Hout Bay, but well definitely be back for to treat ourselves again and again!
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  • Totally lost the run of itself. Arrived at 7pm, got served first course at 8.45, having waited an hour to get a menu.When complained later, was told, many of our clients have to wait, by an arrogant manager with a smurk on his face. What a pity!
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  • The new bar area at Kitima certainly starts the evening on the right note. I can highly recommend the snack / starter platter, especially if youre in a group of four to six, and money is not an object. Those prawn cake thingies are exquisite. The service is professional, if a tad demure. I had the China Town duck, which is almost as good as Chef Pons. Certainly meatier. Rice portions are not the most generous - but just enough for two people to share. All in all, a fantastic retaurant with down-to-earth prices and a great, intimate ambience. Will definitely be back for more.
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  • From the UK we thought the food was adequate but with all the Hype disappointing.The food tended to be bland and the sources thin.We ate 8 dishes which included Hot & Sour soup which would have been better described as Fish Soup - it had absolutely no kick.The staff were very smartly dressed follwing the footsteps of Nobu in London.pity there was no dress code for the Guests as we sat with persons who appeared to have come straight off the beach. We are extremely well travelled and are not criticising just for the sake of it but it goes pretty low against world competition - sorry will not be recommending or returning.
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  • Exquisite. The old manor house is beautifully decorated with an amazing attention to detail. It feels like you have walked into a Bond movie! The food is fantastic - there is a huge variety on the menu, and all the dishes I sampled were blessed with delicate, subtle flavours. The cocktail menu is extensive, and it delivers. A truly magical experience.
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  • Dropped in on the off chance, after having to see a client in Hout Bay and because we had so enjoyed Kitimas in the City. What a treat. We were a bit underdressed, but that did not affect our enjoyment of the truly outstanding Thai food. We also had cocktails and dim sum to start. Perfect and original whisky sour, and dim sum with roasted chopped garlic on the side - wow! Knocks spots off any other Thai establisment in CT and I think Ive eaten at most. Promise to dress better for the glamorous surroundings in future. Thanks Kitima and crew.
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Menu

Set menu - Available on website

Facilities

  • Accepts credit cards
  • Booking required
  • Child friendly
  • Cocktails
  • Dress code
  • Fireplace
  • Functions
  • Parking
  • Smoking
  • Takeaways
  • Wheelchair

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