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Reuben’s at One&Only Cape Town

Cost
R165 avg main meal; Breakfast for Non-residents R350 per person; R175 for Children under the age of 12; free for children under the age of 5; Sunday lunch: R350 per person
Ambience
Classic elegance
Food
Bistro fare, Modern, South African
Payment
Amex, Mastercard, Visa
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Critic's review

Richard Holmes

Food
The local celebrity chef may not often be in the kitchen at this flagship restaurant, but his stamp is firmly on the menu here, with a mix of upmarket bistro cuisine and reinvented South African flavours.

The recently trimmed-down menu begins with tapas-style ‘Table Toppers’ built for sharing: the generous portion of fragrant lamb bobotie samoosas is well worth a try. Order one of each of the five dishes and you’ve got a cracking shared starter for a small group. More traditional starters offer a mix of Reuben staples and tweaked bistro classics. The signature chilli-salted squid is there, but so too a beef tartar that's been given an Asian twist with ponzu-cured cucumber and a topping of sous vide egg yolk.

The standard of cooking has been ramped up a notch on this new menu, and it shows on the main courses. Gone is the predictable selection of wood-fired grills – in their place is an inventive range of main courses that will particularly keep meat-lovers happy. The signature pork belly tops the list, but don’t miss out on the veal loin with smoked carrot puree, or line fish with saffron linguine. Vegetarians are left with only one option: a smoked beetroot risotto. The cooking, quality and plating is high across the board here, but then so are the prices.

Drinks
The ever-charming Head Sommelier, Luvo Ntezo, is amongst the best in the business, and his wine list here is a pleasure. The triple-volume glass-walled wine loft is home to the hotel’s substantial collection, which includes rare wines from exceptional vintages and oddities such as Waterford’s sought-after Library Collection of wines. There’s an excellent selection available by the glass, too. As you’d expect, though, prices are steep across the board.

Service
Efficient, knowledgeable and friendly wait staff deliver superb service, although in such a large space the personal touch can be absent.

Ambience
It’s a cavernous space that needs a crowd to lend a little atmosphere, but from the stemware to the table settings there’s an upmarket feel throughout.

And…
There’s an excellent cheese offering on the dessert menu; be sure to leave space.

(September 2016)

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

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  • Greg Landman

    Food
    Chef Reuben Riffel’s cuisine has always relied on the use of the freshest ingredients available seasonally, which he combines with ethically sourced meat products. A straightforward approach to cooking, with generous portions and bold flavours, adds to the pleasure of dining here. While there are excellent starters to be had, try the Table Toppers, which are designed for sharing. Order three or four for the table – they are slightly bigger than tapas portions but enough to go around. Try things like pork belly with pea purée, chilli ginger and caramel jus, ham croquette and crackling (delicious), salmon tostardos with avo purée and green chilli dressing, and crispy chicken wing confit with roasted apple and spiced pumpkin velouté. Go on to pan-fried line fish (Cape salmon when we were there) with fish cream, crumbed mussels, and ras el hanout caramel, delightfully fragrant. Carnivores will just love one of the excellent cuts of Chalmar beef – fillet, sirloin, or rib eye – perfectly done in their top of the range Big Green Egg ceramic cooker, with all the trimmings. Also available is grilled Norwegian salmon or Karoo lamb chops done the same way. It does seem a bit of a cop out to order the artisanal cheese platter to end the meal, but one like this deserves mention: the superb selection includes Karoo Blue, Lanquedoc, Langeberg Cheddar and Isinyani goats’ cheese.

    Drinks
    The spectacular wine list features the best of the Cape and many others from around the world, housed in a magnificent three-storey tall glass wall, all under the sure hand of master sommelier, Luvo Ntezo.

    Service
    Friendly and informed of what is going on in the kitchen; it’s a pleasure to be waited on by professionals.

    Ambience
    The room is a large one and the triple volumes do not help to create a cosy ambience. So book a table at the edge of the room or, better still, in summer, or when the weather is good, book a table outside overlooking the Marina, very romantic.

    And …
    Enjoy a cocktail in their excellent bar before dining, or a digestif afterwards.

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  • Greg Landman

    Food
    Chef Reuben Riffel’s cuisine has always relied on the use of the freshest ingredients available seasonally, which he combines with ethically sourced meat products. A straightforward approach to cooking, with generous portions and bold flavours, adds to the pleasure of dining here. While there are excellent starters to be had, try the Table Toppers, which are designed for sharing. Order three or four for the table – they are slightly bigger than tapas portions but enough to go around. Try things like pork belly with pea purée, chilli ginger and caramel jus, ham croquette and crackling (delicious), salmon tostardos with avo purée and green chilli dressing, and crispy chicken wing confit with roasted apple and spiced pumpkin velouté. Go on to pan-fried line fish (Cape salmon when we were there) with fish cream, crumbed mussels, and ras el hanout caramel, delightfully fragrant. Carnivores will just love one of the excellent cuts of Chalmar beef – fillet, sirloin, or rib eye – perfectly done in their top of the range Big Green Egg ceramic cooker, with all the trimmings. Also available is grilled Norwegian salmon or Karoo lamb chops done the same way. It does seem a bit of a cop out to order the artisanal cheese platter to end the meal, but one like this deserves mention: the superb selection includes Karoo Blue, Lanquedoc, Langeberg Cheddar and Isinyani goats’ cheese.

    Drinks
    The spectacular wine list features the best of the Cape and many others from around the world, housed in a magnificent three-storey tall glass wall, all under the sure hand of master sommelier, Luvo Ntezo.

    Service
    Friendly and informed of what is going on in the kitchen; it’s a pleasure to be waited on by professionals.

    Ambience
    The room is a large one and the triple volumes do not help to create a cosy ambience. So book a table at the edge of the room or, better still, in summer, or when the weather is good, book a table outside overlooking the Marina, very romantic.

    And …
    Enjoy a cocktail in their excellent bar before dining, or a digestif afterwards.

    October 2015

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  • Fans head here when Franschhoek seems too far away and they need a chef Reuben Riffel fix. The vast space may appear impersonal but the waiters and sommelier (special mention to Luvo Ntezo) are friendly and charming. Local ingredients are showcased for foreign visitors and locals alike. Reuben does magic with pork. (EO mag 2014)
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  • Food
    Reuben Riffel took over what was Gordon Ramsay’s Maze and, after some teething problems, has emerged with the kind of food for which he is noted. The winter menu includes items like French onion soup, chicken liver parfait, and warm duck salad – all delicious. For mains, order miso-cured salmon; light-as-air gnocchi with fried porcini mushrooms, butternut and crisp sage; soy-braised pork belly; lamb shank; or creamy prawn and chicken curry. The best dessert is the glazed lemon tart. (Menu changes seasonally.)

    Wine
    With a wall of bottles well into the thousands, one could be spoiled for choice.

    Service
    Loosened up considerably, but still attentive and smooth.

    Ambience
    The triple volume space has huge columns down the middle, reminiscent of Dubai airport. Not conducive to tres intime moments, it’s best at night when things take on a better glow.

    And...
    Take advantage of the valet parking, life is too short to park elsewhere and walk. (GL, October 2011)
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User reviews

  • Won't be back. Service atrocious. Food mediocre. Speed=0.
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  • Our first visit to Reubens at the One & Only was in December 2014, when we had a fabulous experience all round, so much so that we decided to take a special lady there to celebrate her 85th birthday. There were a few things that we feel need to be noted, we are locals who like to return to special places and recommend to our friends and family, however, we may not be able to do this. The staff were attentive and we did get a very warm welcome from the front of house. We had requested a side table, knowing the size of the restaurant, and the fact that there are "visitors" who come in quite casually with their children etc, may not be that special to them to eat at Reubens, but it is to us given the high prices of the items on menu (we are earning Rands after all). We also mentioned that we would like the side table because it was a special occasion. We insisted on this and were eventually given the last side table on offer. Unfortunately the main sommelier was not there (he certainly made our first experience at Reubens most memorable), but our waiter for the evening was attentive and good. The oysters were we felt not shucked properly as they had shell shards in them. They were also not checked before leaving the kitchen as one shell had nothing in it, this was rectified immediately with 2 oysters to replace the one. The main meal chosen by two of us was Norwegian Salmon with a side dish of mash potato and sauce and one with mash potato and spinach, we each had requested one seared and one medium. The meal came to the table direct from the kitchen, without our waiter serving it, and we did not know which was the seared and which was the medium - a bit of confusion. My fish was cold as was the mash, the spinach was a bit warmer - the plates were not piping hot as they should be in a restaurant of that "standard". We were pleasantly surprised with a treat for the birthday girl and she was served a lovely chocolate slice with candle and a happy birthday message on a chocolate disc - a lovely touch to end the meal served with 3 glasses of Graham Beck cuvee brut sparkling wine. Please Reubens, do something about the AWFUL piped music that thumped in the background like an amateur percussionist, who has lost his music and can only remember the first two bars of music - truly distracting and unecessary. The one thing we really do enjoy about this space, is that the acoustics are perfect and we were not aware of anyone else's conversation, or any other background noise - so the music spoilt that wonderful quietness that is so rare these days in a restaurant. We did wonder if the drop in standard was due to Reuben not being around much anymore.
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  • The one & only time I will ever eat @ Rubens has been & gone..... three of us went for dinner, an avid meat eater, a veg/pescaterian and an all rounder, we started with two starters, the Gratinated Healey's aged cheddar cheese custard, rainbow roots, moskonfyt, macadamia nuts, fragrant leaves and leek ash, a beautifully tasty presented dish, that smoothness of the cheese custard working well with all the other elements of the dish. Second starter was the delicious tender succulent melt in your mouth House-smoked pork belly with apple and saltana chutney, ham croquette & pork crackling, the croquette crispy on the outside with a soft inner and crackling that crackled. We were off to a good start, now eagerly waiting our mains, our waiter informed us that the Springbok Loin was a better option than the Karoo Lamb rump, so opted for the former, which was grilled (medium) walnut-honey compote, creamed savoury savoy cabbage, medjool dates & pinotage jus, the verdict is bleh and yuck!! I must find out if the dog enjoyed it. I was toying with the idea of a Cape Malay curry and asked if it was on a par to a Bo-Kaap curry and the waiter was honest and agreed nothing beats a Bo-Kaap curry. Thus decided to share the Line fish (kingklip)for two accompanied by two sides & a choice of sauce, one option grilled, the other salt cooked, we choose the latter, it was suggested not to fillet the fish as would be firmer when cooking. Now in our mind a salt baked/cooked fish, would be one packed in a salt crust, we were informed it would take twenty minutes after the starters were finished, thinking of the cooking procedure had no problem. On presentation of the whole fish, head to tail, skin and all, no sign of the salt Firstly I don't like to see the eyes of something I'm about to eat, fish skin also not a favourite. The meat was overcooked & dry, the side dishes of greens & honey glazed root veggies spot on. We waited for our chosen sauce of Ginger, chilli & lemongrass, did not arrive, we had to find a server twice & ask twice for the sauce, where upon a foamy lemon butter sauce was presented. Another main not completed and wrapped to go. The floor manager compensated with glasses of Graham Beck Brut, only two consume alcohol, so appletizer was provided for the third. Now onto the dessert, another several requests for the desert menu. The One & Only group claim to be the creme de la creme of exclusive hotel choices, should the service, standard and choice of sub let restaurants maintain this supposed high standard, a very disappointing evening and our decision to do 'dives' in future, not 'dives' in disguise. The dessert was never ordered as our tolerance level had expired. On exiting saw the pastry station and on the eye looked good. Cost for this experience R386.00 per head including 10% service and only two glasses of wine, a water and an appletizer.
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  • There have been few times in my life as a 'Good food aficionado' that I have had a truly unbelievable experience in all aspects of a night out...Wine and Dine at Reuben's One and Only was definitely such an occasion!

    To Reuben Riffel and Robertson spices I can say with confidence that this is my combination: The One and Only CT, the chef team at Reuben's, Graham Beck wines put to justice by a perfect pairing from sommelier Luvo, great service from our waiter Siya and ofcourse the ever-cheerful company of One and Only brand ambassador Aubrey.

    Food highlights included slow cooked lamb shoulder that was truly cooked so slow it took its time falling apart from the simple touch of your fork. The baked yoghurt, I don't know what word could possibly describe such a spectacle other than unforgettable!

    No longer will I only associate Graham Beck wines simply with their MCC, the rest of their collection is amazing. The Coffeestone Cabernet was set apart as the wine of the evening for its pure sophistication and class, a wine that will be a great addition to my excuse for a wine cellar! The Game Reserve range, of which we tasted the chenin blanc and shiraz were both so elegantly smooth an paired fantastically with the butternut risotto and lamb loin respectively.

    Many thanks to all who were involved to make this night special for all who attended.

    The self-elected Good food aficionado.
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  • Once again, Reuben's at One&Only disappoints. Raw prawns, cold fries and slow service. If you are looking for a fine dining expereince, go elsewhere!

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  • We had a reservation 25th May at 19,30 and would like to make a few comments.

    1. We have eaten before at Reuben's in Franschhoek and both agreed it was a great experience.
    2. What a disappointment not to have the same experience at the One and Only.
    3. We were seated next to a service station having to watch and smell all the left overs in the dinner plates on a continuous basis during the evening.
    4. The Irish coffees were ice cold and were served in wine glasses. I realised that is why the coffee were cold, the glasses would have cracked as the person making them obviously did not realise the glasses should have been tempered for a hot drink.
    5. I noted stains on the carpets everywhere.

    I am sorry, but the restaurant did not do justice to the Reuben's we know!

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  • Last night our dinner club went here for our monthly dinner. We all agreed the food was excellent, the service was superb. The decor out of this world. Very impressed with the friendliness and knowledge of the staff. A definite winner.

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  • I looked forward to eating at Reuben's Waterfront and read up on them a lot. The waiter recommended the butternut soup and pork belly, - "it made Reuben famous". The butternut soup did not meet my expectation - did not taste any butternut and consistancy very thin. The pork belly was disappointing as well. The service was very good and the waiters friendly but I will not visit Reuben's in the Waterfront again.

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  • I wanted to spoil my dad. We both really enjoyed the meal here. Great meal and nicely presented. Great service! Coffee could have been tastier, Rosetta roastery, maybe? Thank you.

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  • What a disappointment! I had the winter lunch special today. It was bland, boring and simply tasteless. I could have had better veal schnitzel, potatoes and suerkraut at a cafetaria on the German autobahn! Reuben's touch was lost compared to meals I have had at his Franschoek restaurant. My husband was served grilled fish with half-done vegetables with no sauce - dry and unappetising.

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  • What a disappointing meal. I had looked forward to this. On Sunday's they have a lunch buffet. The salads were unimaginative and unseasoned. The main courses were nothing special either, though, as a pescetarian, I did not taste the meat, which I understood from my companions were quite nice. The nicest part of the meal was the dessert. The rest - most disappointing. The setting is beautiful though.

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  • Sunday Buffet at Reubens was brlliant! No compromise on food quality, great service, awesome location. Highly recommended!

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  • We had dinner at Reuben's on Monday 8th August. Generally the service seemed a little iffy from the moment we were seated. There seemed to be a bit of confusion with our drinks ordering, and when we were to received the menus and our drinks.
    I also found the wine line (in excess of 25 pages) a bit overwhelming compared to the two page menu.

    I ordered the Blue cheese tart starter and the pork belly main; while my other half ordered the prawn salad starter and the fillet main. Great depth of flavours in the food. The food was delicious and very well presented. I highly recommend the blue cheese tart starter - if I could have licked the plate I would have. Overall a great meal with wonderful flavours.

    Even though our waiter was friendly and keen; and our food arrived promptly; the management just needs to resolve a few minor service issues to enhance the dining experience.

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  • We had dinner at Reubens at the One & Only on Monday night. We found the menu well balanced and quite good, the wine list seemed a bit overwhelming with an excess of 20 pages compared with the 2pg menu. The service was a little iffy but the food more than made up for it. Prices were reasonable. I highly recommend the Blue Cheese Tart starter. It was SO good I nearly licked the plate! Excellent! I also had the pork belly main, which was very good. Hope the management can improve upon the quality of the service. We will definitely be going back to sample more of the menu.

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  • In a word AWESOME! We left Beluga after terrible starters, to be wowed by Reubens at the One & Only. The food was incredible, service excellent
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  • Great depth of flavours in the food. The ostrich was delicious and very well presented, the polenta however was disappointing. Overall great meal and attentive service.
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  • Surprisingly delicious and perfect service.
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  • Disappointing, expected much better. The squid was deep fried and not mentioned such as on the menu, the restaurant is very big and unpersonal, the table next to us were on cellphones all the time but staff did not say anything about it. All together not the restaurant youd expect in a 5 star hotel.
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  • Very inviting and sociable ambience, with a sense of warmth from the staff. Food and service was excellent. Prices not too ridiculous and good value for money. Great place to dine.
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  • Had dinner last night at Reubens at O&O. Interior not changed at all from when it was Ramseys Maze, but menu was great, as was the food we chose. Lighting was too bright, not helped by fact that there were very few diners, so dimming would heve helped. There was a screaming child of about 3yrs in the restaurant, which does not help ambience. Am not sure if this is the type of restaurant young children should be in, but I guess that is the issue of being in a hotel.
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  • I had the pleasure of a relaxed Sunday lunch at Reubens this past weekend. The service was wonderful - all staff were friendly and engaging. The food quality and preparation - lemongrass-scented tomato soup and the signature crispy pork belly - was outstanding, and the presentation was great. The complementary toffee-fudge and black-cherry pastille petit-fours were an unexpected surprise over coffee. Highly recommended... I will certainly be going back.
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  • We visited Reubens last night and it was a mixed feeling experience. The ambience and food was excellent but they definitely need to improve their service. When we arrived we had to wait for a wine menu (we asked for it eventually). Overall service was under par and little rough around the edges, however it was still a good experience.
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Menu

Set menu - Reuben's at The One&Only - A la carte Menu - updated in January 2017 Reuben's at the One&Only - A la carte Desserts Menu - updated in January 2017 Reuben's at The One&Only - Summer Lunch Menu - updated in January 2017 Reuben's at the One&Only - Counter Cocktail Menu - updated in January 2017 Reuben's at The One&Only - Desserts Menu - updated in January 2017 Reuben's at The One&Only - R1095 Tasting Menu - updated in January 2017 Reuben's at The One&Only - Tasting Menu - updated in January 2017

Facilities

  • Accepts credit cards
  • Accommodation
  • Booking required
  • Breakfast
  • Child friendly
  • Cocktails
  • Dinner
  • Food
  • Functions
  • Licensed
  • Live entertainment
  • Lunch
  • Parking
  • Serves food
  • Smoking
  • Wheelchair
  • WiFi

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