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The Mess Restaurant

  • Location 0214183910
  • Phone Number Shop 110, The Rockwell Hotel, Napier Street, Green Point, Cape Town
  • email info@themess.co.za
  • Website URL http://www.themess.co.za
  • Opening Hours

    Lunch: Fridays (in summer) 12noon to 3pm

    Dinner: Monday to Saturday 6pm till late (kitchen closes at 10pm); Sundays closed

Cost
R120 avg main meal
Ambience
Contemporary cool
Food
Contemporary fare, Tapas
Payment
Mastercard, Visa
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Critic's review

Ami Kapilevich

Food
It’s all about the sharing at The Mess, where tapas-style tasters are encouraged for starters, and even the mains can be enjoyed by more than one. Owner Carlene de Gouveia’s enthusiasm for fresh fusions and seductive stalwarts is infectious.

It’s clear that a lot of thought has gone into producing a balanced menu, where delightful surprises like pickled goat’s cheese spread and soft-shell crab with smoky mayo as starters share the stage with crowd favourites like aubergine melanzane and squid with chorizo.

Speaking of sharing, the tapas-style eatery emphasises experiencing as many dishes as possible, so the trio of mezze spreads (confit duck, white bean and tahini, pickled goat’s cheese) on the yoghurt-and-thyme flatbreads set the mood.

The beef tataki gets a drizzle of ponzu dressing, and tuna ceviche on wonton tostadas are generously plated. Mains consist of a selection of Angus beef or pork loin ribs with separately ordered sides and sauces. The saffron lamb neck is a triumph. All in all, the starters are an adventure that leads you to a destination where the mains are delicious and unpretentious – with a confident flourish.

Drinks
Owner Carlene’s experience in the wine industry shows in the selection of her wines. Expect a glamorous selection of the Rupert family’s higher-end offerings and some intriguing options in between. Word to the wise: Enjoy a glass or bottle of white with the starters, and a spicy Shiraz with mains.

Service
We are generally impressed with the friendliness and attention levels of the staff, but one or two queries could have been dealt with a bit more confidently. (For example, there was no merlot on the winelist, and the waitress couldn’t give a reason for this.)

Ambience
Some people will enjoy the fact that The Mess is situated at the corner of The Rockwell, which means that it is one of several restaurants along the tucked away strip in De Waterkant. Others might turn their noses up to it. It depends entirely on your mood and reason for eating out on the night. The Mess has fabulous food that deserves to be shared and celebrated with good company, and if the weather is good (no wind or rain) the outside area has a vibe that suits this social style of eating. That’s not to say that you can’t enjoy a romantic or intimate meal here, but for the full experience, gather some friends and treat yourselves to a modern-day banquet of note.

And…
Vegetarians are catered for with four gorgeous starter options and a Cape Malay curry main.

(February 2017)

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

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User reviews

  • What a great unassuming place. The food is so astounding its unreal. The whole sharing plates thing really makes this the kind of place to be social. Cant wait to return!
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  • Fantastic new restaurant in the heart of Greenpoint! Amazing share plates, great weekly specials and the pork belly is divine! 100% recommended!
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  • Great Food. Epic Service. Will definitely be back because there is so much to try!
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  • We decided to try The Mess for dinner with friends. The potential is there, but it's not worth the wait. We waited 2 hours to get 4 tiny tapas dishes. We had the flatbreads with goats cheese and dukkah and the duck confit rillette. It was good but small. Then 30 minutes later the slivers of beef tataki arrived. 30 minutes after that the micro tuna ceviche tacos arrived, underwhelming us with flavour. At this point, we were starving and after waiting another 30 minutes we canceled the rest of our orders. The waitress was left on her own to explain why everything was taking so long, while the owner never left the kitchen. After all this, they still brought one more dish, the cauliflower and mushrooms. We could've gone without those. During all this time waiting we went through 2 bottles of champagne, and at R275 a bottle, that was our quota, so we sat at the table thirsty and hungry for the rest of our snack.
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  • I'm always excited to try new places, but the Mess let me down (I am spoilt for choice in Cape Town!) The place is nice, but acoustics not great, a bit noisy although it was half full.) The service was attentive and fast, the food just wasn't on a par I expected. The beef tataki was just swimming in soya sauce, the duck rillette had no seasoning while the flat bread was over-salty. The tuna ceviche on crispy tacos/nachos was good! We were too underwhelmed to try mains and left. Its early days so hopefully they will find their groove and flavours. Good luck Mess.
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  • Wow, wow, WOW! The only thing better than the atmosphere, service and company you bring is the food. Flat bread with the duck as a side - I could eat that all day, every day for the rest of my life. And if you're looking for a good taco, you have found the right place - it's almost a good thing the restaurant promotes eating with the hands because you won't be able to get the tremendous food down fast enough in any other way - far too delicious for that! The lamb neck just melted in my mouth and married beautifully with the creamy polenta. And what better way to top off the evening than with their dark chocolate lava cake - crispy top with smooth chocolate liquid inside then combined with the contrasting lime ice cream worked out surprisingly well! The Mess is definitely a place to return to and look out for - watch this space!
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  • A rustic, cosy atmosphere with very friendly and helpful staff. The owner played host for the evening and checked in with all the diners to make sure they have a great evening. We had an array of starters at our table, flat bread with dips, Pork Belly and Spicy Squid Tacos. The flat bread was very well seasoned and the goats’ cheese with honey dip was a hit. I’m not a taco person, but thoroughly enjoyed both the Pork Belly and Spicy Squid Tacos. The flavours were sublime and textures very complimentary. The fact that you had to eat with your hands while chatting away merrily with your friends / partners was most likely what was envisioned for the restaurant, so well done! For my mains I opted for the Saffron braised lamb neck, creamy polenta and braised baby vegetables. Oh my word! I would recommend this to anyone and everyone. Comfort food at its best! The de-boned lamb was tender and moist, the polenta was creamy, the vegetables seasoned and cooked to perfection. The meal as a whole was so delicate, yet incredibly satisfying. It was truly heaven in your mouth. I will definitely be returning to The Mess and try out some more of their amazing meals. They get 5 stars from me.
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  • A rustic, warm and beautiful restaurant. Perfect place to share a meal with loved ones as there variety of mouthwatering tapas will have you fighting for the last piece. For a relaxing evening of good food, good wine and excellent service, The Mess will be the best place to go. Absolutely a hidden gem, can't wait to go again.
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Specials

Street Food Dining at The Mess

Sporting a menu consisting of many decadent “sharing plates”, including tacos, ribs, beef tataki and more, the diversity in flavour from around the world will have many coming back to The Mess for more. They’re currently running two fantastic specials for winter. First, there are the west coast mussels, served with laksa and a French baguette for seafood lovers going for R88. For lovers of all things meaty, their hearty “Good Old Meatballs”, is a flavoursome tomato and onion ragout served with Fior de latte going for R95.

Take advantage of these specials while you can (They're currently running for winter, but this could change at any time!) as well as of their indoor heating!

Valid from - 2017-06-20 - 2017-07-31

Facilities

  • Accepts credit cards
  • Child friendly
  • Dinner
  • Lunch
  • Parking
  • Wheelchair
  • WiFi

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