A meal here always starts with a basket of moreish bread sticks, creamy hummus and a salty tapenade. If you’re lucky – or eat it fast enough – this will even be replenished swiftly before you order your starters.
The menu changes daily, but you’ll find light tapas items to kick things off, or bigger appetisers like risotto and pink prawns. Soups might include the likes of spicy chickpea-and-chorizo, which offers a pleasant, lingering heat. For mains, pulled lamb gnocchi is cloud-like and comes with a rich sauce of tomatoes, peas and artichokes. Vegetarians are also always catered for with dishes like generously filled butternut lasagna. If you’re here on a date, order the paella to share. The crème brûlée for dessert never disappoints.
A board labelled ‘wine friends’ will keep enthusiasts happy with some great local bottles and new wine gems. Kudos for a well-assembled and interesting selection of well-known and off-the-radar wines at very reasonable mark-ups. And an extra pat on the back for the range of quality wines offered by the glass. What a pity that my two first choices were out of stock! However, the service is friendly and knowledgeable on the extensive wine list.
The welcome was rather abrupt, with a hand waving us to sit anywhere in a largely empty room, despite the fact that we had booked well in advance. But the broad smile from the staff and willingness to please more than made up for that.
The décor is Bistro 101, with brown paper tablecloths and smallish tables close to each other. This is one of those restaurants that needs people to create the atmosphere.
The sidewalk tables are great for people-watching in summer; and the standing gas heaters are a welcome addition in the winter.
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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.
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?
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.
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.
My reservation is confirmed via telephone on the day – a nice touch.
Eat Out reviewers dine anonymously and pay for their meals in full. Click here to read our editorial policy.
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.
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.
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.
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.
End your meal with a classic, perfect crème brûleé.
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.
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 is fairly smooth, although our own server is a little absent. Chalk it up to inexperience.
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.
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.
Lisa van AswegenThis 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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
Beside the arrogant owner who is quite cliquey this is a nice place with good food and friendly service (again, owner excluded).
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.
Great service. Cosy enviroment. Awsome 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.
A great standby for consistently good 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.