Venues

La Boheme Wine Bar & Bistro

La Boheme Wine Bar & Bistro
Write a Review
Cost
R120 avg main meal
Ambience
Comfy & casual, Family friendly
Food
Bistro fare, Mediterranean, Tapas
Payment
Amex, Mastercard, Visa

Critic's review

Linda Scarborough

Food
An appealing mix of formal and cosy, this bistro offers a brief menu with enough options to suit most palates. The dishes range from Asian to French and Italian in origin, but strong flavours abound throughout.

After a complimentary snack of pitas with homemade humus and tapenade, we order some starters. The tender fried calamari – three strips, to be exact – on a bed of red-curry sweet potato is very tasty, but not if you’re looking for a big portion of scampi. Crispy pork spring rolls deliver what’s expected, and the steaming basil-and-tomato soup is a warming choice on a chilly night. Beetroot carpaccio with pecorino and classic caprese are the vegetarian options.

An unexpected raspberry sorbet palate cleanser makes us smile as we sip and await our next course. On the set menu of main courses, the steak au poivre is beautifully done, with a deliciously pungent crust of pepper, served on crushed potatoes with a creamy brandy sauce. The stuffed chicken breast is a good choice for the less adventurous diner, offering an easy-to-like combination of flavours with herbed cous cous and a great sundried tomato velouté. Going out on a limb to try the ostrich neck tortellini is rewarded with huge flavours – if not proportions. The meat inside the smallish portion of pasta is pretty scant, but the creamy roasted garlic sauce is truly delicious, delivering bucketloads of flavour, along with the sweet pea purée and delicate wilted greens.

The chalkboard dessert menu offers the usual suspects and crêpes with a few fillings. My crème brûlée has an exemplary crackable crust of sugar and beautiful texture, dotted pleasingly with vanilla. Suitably moist and chocolatey, the brownie will please fans of the cocoa bean, and the baked cheesecake is simple perfection.

The deal of three courses on the set menu for R180 is good value for money, but if you’re going to deviate, you can go for more elaborate mains like seafood paella (R320 for two), confit duck leg or cumin-crusted kudu. The tapas bites – patatas bravas, prawns, sticky pork ribs, grilled sardines – are popular with groups and to accompany after-work drinks.

Drinks
The wine menu is longer than the food menu, which is a good sign for oenophiles. There are loads of interesting local options per varietal, with appealing items like the Creation Viognier at an affordable R40 per glass. If you’re in a festive mood, why not order a jug of sangria?

Ambience
Despite our reservation and arrival to a nearly empty restaurant in the early evening, we are given a table outside alongside the thoroughfare and near the gap in the awning to the street. All my misgivings are swept aside, however, once we settle down and I realise how comfortable it is, with the area evenly heated by standing gas heaters, and decorated with charming fairy lights. A table here on the sidewalk would be first prize in midsummer. The brown paper tablecloth keeps the neighbourhood bistro theme. The interior of La Boheme is cosy and slightly smarter, with wooden chairs and soft lighting for a linger-longer kind of ambience.

Service
Friendly and efficient. There are loads of waiters around, who make us feel very taken care of. They arrive in a well-groomed group to swoop down and deliver our meals all in one go and replace cutlery when necessary.

And…
My reservation is confirmed via telephone on the day – a nice touch.

(September 2016)

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

  • Ambience
  • Service
  • Food
  • Sandiso Ngubane

    Food
    As the name would suggest, this Sea Point establishment is slightly off-beat in character. Walking in, you’re handed a wine list, but the food offering is displayed on mobile black chalkboards. There are a variety of tapas options, including glazed pork ribs and a serving of lemon, chilli and coriander prawns. A welcome snack of flatbread with hummus and chillies goes down very well. Starters include the likes of rabbit ravioli with mushroom, peppers and goat’s cheese, as well as a warming mushroom and sherry soup – both lovely. The mains menu offers some steaks, seafood and lamb chops. Pork belly on creamy mash will go far to satisfy those hunger pangs. The smell of a dish of ostrich meatballs, served with tagliatelli, spinach, spicy napoletana and pecorino is very alluring, and begs to be sampled on a return visit.

    Drinks
    La Boheme has an illustrious wine list, stocking a variety of wines from the Cape Winelands, mostly from Stellenbosch and Franschhoek, with a few Champagnes and sparkling wines thrown into the midst. All wines are available by the glass glass option. Bottles are mostly below the R200 price range.

    Service
    Helpful and well-informed. We did hover at the entrance for some time before someone came to welcome us, and our waiter often disappeared, leaving us to wonder, at one point, where het had placed our bottle of wine.

    Ambience
    Very relaxed and casual, with a mix of young and older patrons. Little witch-on-a-broom figurines a lá Liewe Heksie hang against the windows overlooking Sea Point’s Main Road, and wine bottles are dotted throughout the restaurant. The vibe is more restive and relaxed early in the evening, but when the younger crowd starts showing up, things get a little bit more lively.

    And …
    End your meal with a classic, perfect crème brûleé.

  • Katharine Jacobs

    Food
    Owned by Husband and wife team Faisal Khakoo and Anna Rasclosa, this Sea Point bistro has a deserved a reputation as one of the best in the ‘hood since it opened in 2009.

    The blackboard menu changes weekly, but runs the gamut of bistro-style fare. We kick off with a light but tasty beef carpaccio with caperberries and pecorino, and a wonderfully creamy chicken liver parfait with juicy red onion marmalade. The pork with gnocchi is excellent for mains: light little balls of gnocchi, generously cut pork and plenty of porky punch. Taking into account the European slant of the menu, beef curry is a surprising addition; however, the dish is rich with spices and totally moreish.

    After this convincing performance, the desserts are somewhat disappointing. The crème brûlée is more eggy than creamy, and the pear and cinnamon tart is technically what I’d call a cake with some slivers of pear at the bottom, plus it’s badly in want of a treacly sauce.

    Drinks 
    The winelist is extensive, with plenty of options in each price and varietal category. Vondeling, Tokara, Mulderbosch, Saronsberg and Warwick make appearances, along with wines from some lesser-known spots. There are five options of local bubbly, and you can also splash out with some proper Champagne by Bollinger or Ayala & Co. There are also several wines from France and Italy.

    Service 
    Service is fairly smooth, although our own server is a little absent. Chalk it up to inexperience.

    Ambience 
    Low lighting and cosy décor make this a great venue for date night or a meal with a small group of friends. Be aware that the tables are quite close together, though. There is outdoor seating for warmer nights.

    And... 
    The food is very affordable: R120 for two-courses and R145 for three courses as of October 2014, although some of the specialities, such as the chicken, chorizo and rabbit paella, are not included in this deal.

    (October 2014)

  • Food
    One of the best bistros in Cape Town, for sure. Simple food is executed perfectly and sold at very reasonable prices. A three course dinner will set you back R115; two courses for R95. For the quality of food, that’s seriously good value. Roast pork belly, balsamic fillet with mushroom risotto, seared tuna on fluffy, herbed potatoes: it’s good stuff. A tapas menu also provides some great options, like the irresistible grilled sardines. A paella to share between two is rapidly becoming the star of this menu; build your own or go with a traditional version of rabbit, chorizo and chicken.

    Wine
    With more than 60 wines available by the glass, this is a great place for wine lovers. Big names are there, but more interesting and obscure farms give diners a chance to try something they may never have heard of before.

    Service
    Like the food, it’s relaxed but still very good. Friendly, attentive and knowledgeable, especially considering all the wine options.

    Ambience
    Everything a bistro should be. Warm, bustling, and busy (but in a good way).

    And...
    In the summer, get a table on the pavement. It’s got that cool, European feel. (AF, October 2011)
  • Lisa van Aswegen

    This cosy neighbourhood eatery is always busy. Comfort food highlights include tapas, slow-cooked lamb, duck, pork belly and meatballs on pasta. (Eat Out magazine 2014)

User reviews

  • This used to be the best place in Cape Town, now it's a bit hit and miss. Sometimes you will have an AWESOME. But then literally the next night it will be a waste of time and money - the cheese on your pasta might smell off and/or the meat not cooked according to specifications. Most of the time it's still great though.
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Food
  • I love La Boheme. I can walk there, so often take friends and visitors to Cape Town. The staff are always pleasant and attentive without being OTT. However, I do notice that if Anna or Faizel and not around, the food quality does deteriorate a little. My meal on Tuesday was really not up to their usual standard. I did not complain as had guests with me and didn't want to make a fuss, but my food tasted slightly burnt and overcooked. This is not their usual offering, so it won't stop me from going back. Just an observation.
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Food
  • This place looks so unassuming but their food is absolutely amazing. Love the concept of black boards and ever-changing menus. Their food is so unique and well-presented. Make sure you book as this place is always packed!
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Food
  • Overrated and over seasoned cerviche. You can find much better food in this city. Disappointed.
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Food
  • I have been to La Boheme on a number of occasions and apart from the first time (when I ate duck which I find many restaurants struggle to get right, and a not so boozy brandy pud) I have been consistently impressed with the quality of the food, the changing menu, the affordable wine list, the professional staff (and their willingness to always try and make space). The tiramisiu is delectable and for those of us on a realistic budget this truly qualifies as a quality everyday eatery!
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Food
  • I have visited La Boheme on many occasions and have always had a fantastic time. Food is simple and delicious, wine list is decent and well priced, service is always friendly. It is always busy and bustling so there is always a great atmosphere. Love it!
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Food
  • La boheme in short - great food, big wine list, fair price, fair service and easy vibe.
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Food
  • Great food, awesome service!! Very well priced, a must when in Cape Town.
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Food
  • We had the pleasure of eating here yesterday evening. We were seated in a tent on the pavement on a table which was no bigger than an average sized tile. We were put on top of another couple literally shoulder to shoulder. All of a sudden the other table next to us arrived ,what a disaster. They were the most disgusting couple i have come across in a long while. They proceeded to knock over there wine on my lovely wife's feet after which he pulled a chair up next to my very unsuspecting neighbor and asked if he and his date would like to join them later. We had our starter which was great i had tomato soup and my wife the spring rolls. At this stage it was getting embarrassing and i asked for the bill. I was pleasantly surprised when the host offered me a table inside, we proceeded inside and had a fantastic main and desert. We rounded it off with a coffee which was also good. Please look into putting drunk patrons in a dark room at the back of the restaurant,as they were irritating everyone in the surrounding area.
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Food
  • <p> Consistently great food and service - never disappoints.</p>
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Food
  • Your review was correct, value for money was good. Now they seem to get greedy and prey on their popularity. Prices went up, no corkage, food quality went down, portions became tiny, menu becomes repetitious. There are definitely better alternatives on a bistro level in Sea Point. E.g. Richard's gives you excellent value for your bucks.

    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Food
  • If good food, great setting, good service and an excellent wine list is what you are looking for... look no further. Time and time again I have been back and will continue.

    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Food
  • La Boheme is supposed to be a bistro - a small restaurant serving moderately priced, simple meals in a modest setting. Well, La Boheme past that stage a while ago. The only thing that’s “bistro” about La Boheme is its name, La Boheme Wine Bar and Bistro. Everything else shows that this food spot in Seapoint is a moderately priced charming restaurant that offers excellent food.
    Initially I was pretty disappointed about the starter. Artichokes, olives & feta sounded promising, but my expectations were crushed when I took my first bite, dry, cold, and bland. However, I didn’t allow this little piece of boring cold pruschetta to put me in a bad mood and I hoped the main courses would make up for it. And did they ever!

    The crispy pork belly and wasabi mash with julianne vegetable apple and sesame relish was the best pork belly I ever had. Normally good taste often has to make up for the bad presentation, but even the food presentation was magnificent! And you know what? La Boheme changes its menu daily, but the pork belly is one of the specialities that can always be ordered. I’ll definitely be back for that one! I have a friend that comes down from Johannesburg every now and then, a huge fan of pork – and I can’t wait to take him to La Boheme to get his opinion.

    As the evening went along, we emptied our bottle of 2007 Paradyskloof Carbernet sauvignon and had the chance to chat a little with the owner Faisel. It was quite interesting to exchange a couple of ideas for recipes and talk food. He is definitely full of positive energy and listened openly to my feedback. We laughed together about the dry pruschetta and talked about his wife and how she influenced the name La Boheme. Faisel calls her tenderly “witch”, which means La Bruja in Spanish. Somehow he modified the word and then decided to call his bistro La Boheme. Small witches that hang on the windows are symbols of this little story between a Spanish couple living in Cape Town.

    Customers have the choice between a R120 three course meals or individual dishes from a slightly more expensive menu. The dishes are equally exclusive and well composed – a good selection of different food creations.

    I would like to give you a last snippet of advise. Should you ever feel like a chocolate brownie with ice-cream, I have tried this common dessert everywhere, trust me, and I better not mention names. The brownie at La Boheme was the most indulgent brownie with vanilla ice-cream I can think of. La Boheme is a good place for a romantic dinner or dinner with close friends. The atmosphere is intimate and the service very charming. Can you think of someone you really like and who you have wanted to take out for a long time coming, but haven’t found the right place for a magic date yet? La Boheme might be the right choice. Let me know how it went.

    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Food
  • The last few times I’ve been to La Boheme (now a long-time favourite), I’ve been a little under-whelmed. Nothing to really complain about, but the food, which had been so consistently excellent, felt a little “tired” or uninspired. However, after eating there again last night, my confidence has been fully restored. For the first time (in probably close on a dozen visits over two years) both my companion and I ordered off the a la carte menu, not the specials board. I had the beef fillet served with mushroom risotto, and it was the tastiest meat I have eaten in a very long time. I also tasted the duck, served with greens (and on request, roast potatoes rather than sweet potato), which was equally delicious. Creme brulee for dessert was good, if not “the best I’ve ever had”. The service was as usual friendly yet discreet – professional, in a word – and the atmosphere buzzy yet cosy. La Boheme is back on the top of my list – thank you and well done.

    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Food
  • Don't go to this restaurant hungry. The menu is said to be 'value for money' but the portions were small and every dish came under a mountain of rocket. Such a disappointment because the food is tasty and portions used to be bigger.

    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Food
  • Had a wonderful meal last night. We all had starters and main courses from the specials board and it was great value for money. All the dishes were filled with flavour and beautifully presented. Great wine list and attentive service. Will definitely be back.

    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Food
  • Service was horrendous! Waitress was an absolute nightmare - and for all the rave reviews I had heard the food was average at best. But service may have tainted my perceptions! Won't return though.

    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Food
  • Always excellent. You cannot get as good value for a top notch 3 course meal anywhere else in Cape Town. And the wine list is great. Service always impeccable. A firm favourite.

    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Food
  • We had a lovely meal at La Boheme Friday night. Such value for money, with their 2-course meal for R95. I highly recommend the boeuf bourguignon!

    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Food
  • We went there for a quick Friday bite and enjoyed great food, good service and delicious wine by the glass at very decent prices. Will go back to try the paella for sure.

    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Food
  • Beside the arrogant owner who is quite cliquey this is a nice place with good food and friendly service (again, owner excluded).

    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Food
  • This is a great little place on a busy corner in Sea Point. Very laid back and with friendly service. Food is all good - beef fillet with delicious risotto (just make sure they make the meat you want it...), kingklip tortellini is heaven, lamb chops yummy, and their beef curry feels totally Indian! Also the vegetarian springrolls are worth a trip! Creme brulee is the dessert I have had there and it's top notch. The only drawback is the cappucino - not up to standard. But by then I don't care! And sometimes service can be very slow.

    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Food
  • Great service. Cosy enviroment. Awsome food.

    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Food
  • I'm still dreaming of the meal I had last night. In fact, I could have it again for dinner tonight! Great flavours, warm atmosphere and very reasonable.

    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Food
  • A great standby for consistently good food.

    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Food
  • If you want good honest food presented in a very professional manner, then you will need go no further than La Boheme. Also, it is very keenly priced and the menu is extremely adventurous.

    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Food
  • What a great evening! My girlfriends and I went for dinner to La Boheme last night and it could not have been better - we love this place; the food, ambience and the staff were delightful. Well done Fiasal and the team - a real gem in Seapoint!
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Food
  • Ate at La Boheme again for the umpteenth time last night and absolutely loved it all. Incredible chicken liver parfait, great wines, incredible beef fillet and amazing service.
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Food
  • The most fantastic restaurant we have been to in a long time. Delicious food, excellent service and lovely decor. Cannot come more highly recommended.
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Food
  • In this life you get what you pay for.This is an inexpensive restaurant with poor quality ingredients.The food was bland.Very busy with a young crowd of locals.Not for me.
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Food
  • Little gem in the heart of Sea Point! Choose from standard or specials menu with very reasonable pricing. You will order more... Ambience is classy and trendy without the annoyance of trendyness. Wine list is great - no ridiculous mark-ups.
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Food
  • What great service! I went here last night and I was overwhelmed by the great service! And the food was fantastic!
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Food
  • Went to La Boheme on Tuesday night. All four people in the party had different dishes and we all thought the food was fabulous. Would highly recommend this restaurant. Well done.
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Food
  • Our friends have been telling us to go to La Boheme as they thoroughly enjoyed it, and we were not disappointed! A surprisingly good, realistically priced wine list, which is hard to find these days in Cape Town. The food was great and portions just the perfect size. Only negative - the inside environment is hot and too smelly, so try and sit outside if the weather permits. Other than that - a great new bistro!
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Food
  • What a fabulous evening! The food was amazing. Between the three of us we shared 3 specials (ONLY R110 for 3 courses)...fantastic! My favourites, starter, asia noodles with calamari, main, roast pork belly with mustard mash, dessert, crepes with caramalised banana and chocolate. Well be back!
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Food
  • Enjoyed the atmosphere and surroundings but wasnt particularly impressed with the food. Patatas bravas wasnt anything like Ive had before - it came in a spicy cream sauce whereas Im more accustomed to a tomato sauce but my knowledge of Spanish food is limited. Fillet was average and the pork belly was awful - the fat wast crispy and I ended up just scraping it onto the side of the plate.
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Food
  • Choice of food is not ideal for vegetarians or for those who do not eat cream, butter,or meat etc. Having said that, the restaurant/chef is very accommodating in trying to assist. There should be more choice of salad - both lunchtime and dinner time. Would I go back? Yes definitely as the ambience was terrific, lovely to have a restaurant such as this in the Atlantic Seaboard. Wish them all the best with it.
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Food
  • Definitly cosy enough to have a couple after work drinks. Sitting outside, watching people go by, sun setting, big winelist and a handful of friends.
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Food
  • Definitly cosy enough to have a couple after work drinks. Sitting outside, watching people go by, sun setting, big winelist and a handful of friends.
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Food
  • Having managed wine bar Caveau for a long time, Faisal now opened his own place. And arent we lucky he did! Its a breath of fresh air for Sea Point, which, in my opinion, needed exactly what La Boheme has to offer, a trendy bistro with great food, stunning wine (with no less than 60 wines by the glass!) and the service to go with it. All of this at very affordable prices, a two-course menu will set you back R85, a three-course R105.
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Food
  • A real find! Cosy seating area and really good food... Menu not too extensive so things seem to be done well. Attentive service. Will be back!
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Food
  • A superb night out was had. Food spot on! Well balanced wine list (very affordable). We were a table of 8 in this full restaurant on a Thursday in mid-winter. They clearly got it right. Well done Faisal and your team. Definitely will be enjoying this spot a lot more.
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Food
  • Fantastic value at R80 for a 2 course or R100 for three- without comprimising on quality and service.Well done.
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Food
  • Fantastic new gem in the buzzing heart of Sea Point. Well experienced chef, waiters and management work closely to serve am amazing feast of flavours and an impressive wine menu to go with them.A new favourite!
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Food
  • Great wine selection - 60 wines by the glass and fab food cooked in an open kitchen. Daily changing blackboard menu of seasonal food served in this small, smart gem of a bistro. Wonderful evening space with the most flattering lighting. Sea Point has long been lacking a smart restaurant with reasonable prices, so this one is well worth visiting.
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Food

Facilities

  • Accepts credit cards
  • Dinner
  • Eat Out reviewed
  • Food
  • Functions
  • Lunch
  • Parking
  • Serves food
  • Smoking
  • Takeaways
  • Wheelchair
  • WiFi

Write a review

Nearby Restaurants

Featured restaurants

Eatout