Venues

The Lighthouse Café (Simon’s Town)

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Cost
R100
Ambience
Comfy & casual
Food
Burgers, Pizzas, Steak
Payment
Mastercard, Visa
Corkage
R40

Critic's review

Sam Linsell

Food
The Lighthouse Café is a quaint and buzzing eatery on the Main Road in Simon's Town, owned and run by Brett Rathbone and his wife Heleen. It’s a popular haunt for locals and tourists alike, with a large menu that includes pizzas, pastas, casual meals and a good seafood selection.

Beer-battered fish and chips is a top seller, as are the beef and chicken burgers. The pizzas are delicious, with crispy bases and generous toppings. Brett has a background cooking in the south of France and it shows. The seafood sourced from Kalk Bay Harbour is super fresh and well cooked; the calamari steak strips are tender and flavoursome, served with a small Greek salad. All the bases are covered by the breakfast menu, available until 11.30am. This is a great place to stop for a quick coffee and cake, too.

Drinks
The conventional wine list is fairly big, given the size of the restaurant, and reasonably priced. They have a good range of drinks and cocktails, too.

Service
Service is quick and attentive, because the waiters are right on hand.

Ambience
The decor can be described as shabby-chic meets beach house meets Provence. It’s quaint and inviting, if a bit contrived. The busy space is usually busy but has a relaxed vibe. There are a few pavement tables if you felt like watching the people go by.

And…
The Lighthouse Café is a popular stop-off point for cyclists peddling around the Southern peninsula.

(September 2016)

Eat Out critics dine anonymously and pay for their meals in full. Read our editorial policy here.

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  • Service
  • Food
  • Bernadette le Roux

    Food 
    Chef proprietor Brett Rathbone is not only a renowned ex-Johannesburg restaurateur, but has cooked extensively in the south of France. It comes as no surprise that his Provençal-style menu is packed with Mediterranean flavour, and this restaurant is a welcome addition to this seaside suburb.

    Dishes like the seafood tagliatelle with fresh mussels, clams and prawns and the moules mariniere grace the á la carte menu, and if you’re lucky enough to see the cinnamon-apple pork belly or the spicy chorizo mussel pasta on the chalkboard, don’t hesitate with that order. Steak is a signature dish here. The pizzas are delicious and for the health-conscious there’s a best-of-both option that comes with salad.

    Drinks 
    The wine list has a good selection of by-the-glass options as well as a range of well-priced reds and whites by the bottle.

    Service 
    Not many a service goes by without the chef-owner in the kitchen and his wife Heleen working the tables in the front of house. The waiting staff knows many of the return customers by name.

    Ambience 
    This busy eatery, much loved by locals and tourists alike, has recently expanded into the building next door. The character-filled interior is light and airy and exudes warmth, with an eclectic mix of French-Provencal décor.

    And… 
    Booking, even on a weeknight in sleepy Simon’s Town, is essential.

    (July 2014)

User reviews

  • As owner of The Lighthouse Cafe I am responding to the utter rubbish that was written in the review about the food poisoning. We served the same Yellowtail to 11 other customers (some of the guests from the SAME guest house she was staying at) that night and no one else got sick. She had an allergic reaction to the Mackerel family of fish which means Tuna, Yellowtail & Mackerel. When we called the owner of the guest house in the morning he said she was fine?? We are the no 1 restaurant in Simonstown and work incredibly hard to keep our reputation, therefore my rating of 5 stars as this is what we get from 95% of our reviewers. Heleen Marx
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  • I went to Lighthouse Cafe for dinner a few days ago. I ordered their famous bouillabaisse. A few hours later I was taken down by violent food poisoning. The guest house were I was staying had to call the paramedics, who in turn called the ambulance and I landed up in hospital. I really felt like I was dying. I believe that what had happened to me was something called scromboid poisoning. This occurs when Yellowtail fish are caught and get stressed - they release a histamine which is poisonous to humans. While this may not have been directly the fault of the restaurant it did happen to me at their establishment. I know that they knew about it because the guest house I was staying at called them. They say that they are aware of this danger and are very careful about where they purchase their Yellowtail from. The very least they could have done was offer to refund me and follow up on how I was doing. They did none of this. I would therefore not recommend this place to anyone. Now, 4 days later, I have still not completely recovered.
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  • First of many visits to come to this charming, little place. Staff and owner were very attentive although there was quite a delay between ordering drinks and receiving them, they were apologetic as they were at capacity. The calamari steak with chips and Greek salad was fantastic with the calamari being some of the most tender I've ever had the pleasure of biting into. The chips were cooked to perfection - crispy on the outside and fluffy in the centre with a light dusting of spices. Even the salad was impressive with a creamy feta and well cured black olives. To finish off, the carrot cake and red velvet cake were sampled. Both were amazing and highly recommended for the R25 charged.
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Facilities

  • Accepts credit cards
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
  • Dog-friendly
  • Food
  • Lunch
  • Serves food
  • Takeaways

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