Venues

Lefty’s

Lefty’s
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Cost
R75 avg main meal
Ambience
Cheap & cheerful
Food
Bistro fare, Burgers
Payment
Mastercard, Visa
500

Critic's review

Clement Pedro

Food
Lefty’s has become a well known hangout for students, locals, business people and pretty much anyone who loves good grub and a few good drinks. Never complicated but always delicious, the food never fails on flavour. The menu is made up of about eight main dishes and a few desserts. It’s worth knowing that the quantities are limited, so if you arrive late, you might be left with fewer options. The classics on the menu are a must try; these include the famous fried chicken and waffels, veggie falafels and their delicious burger selection. If you are lucky to be there when their home smoked pulled pork sandwich on brioche bun is available, be sure to order it. In fact, just go ahead and order two portions. Also recommended are the chicken wings, wonderfully tender bites with a lovely crunchy and spicy crumb crust. This is good food that doesn’t break the bank at all.

Drinks
Awesome drinks is the name of the game; choose your favourite poison from their well stocked bar.

Service
Service is always personal and friendly, with the staff making a point of setting their guests at ease and making them feel welcome.

Ambience
An informal and very easy-going space, it has become a great place to meet for drinks after work, sitting in the bar area and catching up with friends.

And…
Gin fans will be delighted with their gin and tonic special: 2 x double gin and tonics for R40, definitely one of the best deals in town, and perfect for chowing down on their mouth-watering dive fare.

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  • Katharine Jacobs

    Watch out Power and the Glory and Clarke’s: there’s a new sheriff in town. Located in grungy Harrington Street, just down the road from Assembly, Lefty’s had all the credentials to become just another hipster drinking hole, but has fast been gaining a reputation for its food.

    “We are inspired by 'dude' food, street food and all-round pub- and booze-inspired fare,” explains co-creator Ryan McDonagh. (Obs locals will remember Ryan from Hello Sailor; in this venture he’s partnered with Jan Davids, owner of Marvel on Long Street). Katharine Jacobs ventures forth to find out what all the fuss is about.

    Food
    This is ‘drunk’ food par excellence. A changing blackboard menu features Southern comfort dishes such as sticky baby back pork ribs, a pulled pork ‘sammich’, smoked pork tacos, coffee barbecue beef brisket, and meaty burgers topped with oozing cheddar and served with matchstick fries. The chicken waffle with tender fried chicken, maple syrup and bacon probably stands out most to the first-time diner – it’s pretty good and less sickly than you’d imagine – but it’s the tender, sticky ribs to which I’d attribute the highest honour in the ‘dude’ food category: they are just damn delicious. (I’d be tempted to use stronger language, but this is a family-friendly site.) There are generally a couple of options for vegetarians, such as dhal bunny chow or the delicious beetroot and cucumber falafels (good enough to tempt meat lovers, too), plus one dessert option, such as a New York cheesecake.

    Ambience
    The restaurant takes its name from an eighties computer game called Leisure Suit Larry, in which a balding, synthetic suit-clad character tries his luck with beautiful women. The image of Larry in his dowdy leisure suit pretty much captures the atmosphere here. Comprising several interleading rooms, the space calls to mind an abandoned home – well, if that home were a squat. Low-rent furniture (of the melamine-with-stainless-steel-edges persuasion) fills out the interior in a haphazard kind of way, while black walls make everything appear slightly grimy. An outdoor courtyard offers a slightly quieter dining option away from the din inside – if you don’t mind the razor wire around the walls or the occasionally dripping pipe above. It’s the shiny and new open-plan kitchen, though, that gives the game away: this no dive bar. Or rather, it is a dive bar, but with some pretty outstanding food.

    Service
    The waitrons are rushed off their feet serving the sprawling dining area. But once you’ve managed to get their attention, the food is pretty swift in arriving, and they’re so apologetic about the wait, it’s hard not to love them.

    Wine
    A new bar area opened recently, which will hopefully reduce the congestion. There’s Alliance Amber Ale on tap, plus all the usual suspects on offer.

    And
    “You didn’t tell me how amazing it was!” our editor Abigail chastises me, returning from a meal there. This really is gloriously delicious food, made all the more so, perhaps, because it’s so unexpected. The downtown location, the décor and the low prices (all the dishes on the menu range from R50 to R60) are suggestive of far inferior flavours. But despite the busy bar buzz, the majority of the patrons seem to be there for the food. It’s just too delicious to say no.

User reviews

  • Without a doubt the best burger I've had in ages: messy, juicy and ridiculously delicious. And, bonus, the kitchen keeps going despite load-shedding.
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  • Te veel geld, te min kos.
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  • Overpriced and underwhelming. A beer and a 'sandwich' without trimmings for 86 ZAR is overpriced.

    The concept is also confusing. Its not a bar - no fuss ball, the arcade cabinets are merely decoration - and its not a restaurant with only 5 menu options (and no veggie option).

    Much better options in the area, and definitely not worth turning off your usual routes.
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  • Cheap and miserable. What an awful dinning experience. We had to wait for chairs, wait to get drinks, waited an hour for the food.When it finally arrived my burger was burnt and I was told that, that is how they make it as it is char grilled.
    Bullshit! it was burnt. I sent it back and did not eat anything else. Would not recommend it to my worst enemy, what a dump!
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  • A group of us visited Lefty's for the first time on Saturday night. Understandably it was very busy and, as walk in customers (i.e. no booking), we had to wait for a table. The vibe is relaxed and very low key so you do not really notice the time that you need to wait. Bartenders are also super friendly and aim to make the experience very personal.From time of arrival to receiving food was about a hour and twenty minutes, which would have been fine if the food lived up to the expectations - as a table we had the Kentucky Fried Chicken, Ribs and Asian Pork Belly bun. This all sounded fantastic at the time of ordering but the disappointment came when the food arrived at the table - R75.00 for 6 pieces of rib and no fries/wedges; R65.00 for asian pork belly on a burnt bun, again with no fries/wedges. Chicken fried waffles were good value for money, but could do with maple syrup served on the side as was overly sweet. And let me not forget to inform readers that a 500ml draft of Ale (the only beer on tap) will set you back R42.00.

    So overall, we loved the vibe, but expected a lot more out of the food - I suppose we were seeking that true "dive bar" experience.
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Facilities

  • Accepts credit cards
  • Beer served
  • Dinner
  • Food
  • Licensed
  • Parking
  • Serves food
  • Smoking
  • Takeaways
  • WiFi

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