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Venues

SHIO

SHIO
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Cost
R220 - R250
Ambience
Groups, Special occasions
Food
Asian, Modern
Payment
Mastercard, Visa
Corkage
R60 per bottle

Critic's review

Katharine Pope

Food

The extensive Japanese-inspired tapas menu makes deciding what to order a fiendishly difficult undertaking. In fact, it’s probably best to order some snacks to nibble on while you tackle the task. Edamame beans in a tangy dipping sauce and glorious, golden duck fat fries with truffle salt and ‘bull’s eye’ mayo make good candidates. Portion sizes vary depending on the dish, but the food is so full of flavour that two plates – or a maximum of three – should be more than enough per person.

Next, make sure you order at least one portion of the forbidden black rice risotto. Made with a gloriously fragrant tom yum coconut cream, it’d be thoroughly moreish even without the crayfish popcorn on top. From the tochi (land) section of the menu, the pork belly roast with red miso and nashi pear sauce is predictably good, as is the beef fillet tataki with miso aioli and coconut cream.

On the veg side, the tempura butternut with pickled butternut and ponzu mayo is a surprising triumph that’ll make you wonder why batter and deep-frying has been reserved for just onions all these years.

All of Morrisby’s dishes are full of punchy flavour, and the majority are well-resolved. Possibly the only dish that doesn’t get our vote is the yellowtail sashimi, which gets a little lost beneath a layer of fuji apple and sweet potato crisps.

Finish with a Kyoto coffee with Nikka black whiskey, coconut cream and a cinnamon doughnut, or a rather too-subtle banana cream pie with a good peanut butter ice cream.

Drinks
Sip on a signature cocktail, sake, Japanese beer, or a bottle of wine from the well-curated list.

Service
Staff are friendly and natural – but make sure to let them know if you’d like them to stagger your order. Else you’ll find some of your fellow diners hoarding three dishes at a time while you wait for one.

Ambience
Although the interior is buzzy and edgy, the more relaxed terrace overlooking the street is the place to be on balmy evenings.

(August 2018)

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

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  • Linda Scarborough

    Food
    Passionate chef Cheyne Morrisby, known for his flavourful Asian fusion tapas at Hout Bay darling Cheyne’s, brings his skills to the city bowl at SHIO. Named after the Japanese word for salt, this eatery lives up to its name, delivering big savoury hits in large portions.

    The waiter encourages ordering around three tapas each, but the servings are so generous and fully flavoured that you might only manage two and half a dessert. The menu is divided into Umi (ocean), Tochi (land), Chikyuu (earth) and Amai (sweet), and if you’ve been to Cheyne’s before, you’ll know just what to expect.

    You might struggle to choose from the many appealing options, including everything from trendy poké and nori tuna tacos to yakitori chicken, crispy pork belly and firecracker prawns. Umami, the fifth taste, abounds in the duck-fat fries sprinkled with truffle salt and crushed nori, which is served with mayo. The beef short-rib gyoza (pan-fried dumplings) are parcels of tender and sticky meat, softly flavoured with warming spices. The golden strips of salt-and-pepper calamari provide a zestier counterpoint, with aioli and a tangy dipping sauce. The beautifully cooked duck breast is one of the winners of the night, served on flat little dumplings filled with sweet ginger-rich flavour.

    For dessert, the sweet-potato churros are perfectly crunchy on the outside and chewy inside. They’re a little less light than the traditional Spanish dough, but nevertheless delicious dipped in circles of tonka bean chocolate sauce and what seems to be miso butterscotch. They’re served with slightly crystallised black-sesame ice cream. Other options include the kicky Kyoto Coffee, served with Nikka Black Japanese whisky, espresso-and-coconut cream and a delicious-sounding peanut-butter shake.

    Drinks
    SHIO’s cocktail game is strong: If you want something more daring than the delicious Saigon Smash – made with Musgrave pink gin, crushed raspberries, makrut lime and basil – why not be bold and order the Dirty Ninja, made with vintage vodka, sriracha, soy, wasabi and celery? The bartender can whip up a virgin version of some of the cocktails if you’re driving. There’s also sake, Japanese beers and some carefully chosen wine options.

    Service
    Booking a table is handled efficiently, with a follow-up SMS to confirm, and staff on the night are fine. The food comes out pretty quickly and the flavours go a long way, even when sharing, so you can summon up a feast and then decide if you want more later on.

    Ambience
    Adjoining the Grey Hotel, SHIO is edgy, urban and modern, with dim lighting and touches of charcoal and red. A massive painting mirrors the street-art theme. The choice of very beautiful hand-made crockery in hues of turquoise and amber shows care and pride.

    And…
    It’s a very sociable style of eating and perfect for this part of the city.

    (September 2017)

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

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  • Nikita Buxton

    Food
    The cleverly thought-out menu at SHIO has something for everyone. It’s all about tapas-style eating here, which means you can share with the table or order a few dishes for yourself.

    The Earth section features many vegetable dishes with the likes of duck-fat fries and grilled tofu salad, but it’s the spinach ohitashi that hits the spot. This Japanese salad is made up of raw spinach leaves, a slightly spicy sesame dressing, and crushed roasted peanuts for crunch. It’s moreish, light and full of umami flavour.

    In the Sea portion of the menu you’ll find melt-in-your-mouth yellowtail sashimi with crisp apple slices and yuzu grape gel, oven-roasted kingklip, and crispy soft-shell crab. The chilli-salt squid served with green-chilli caramel and a lime-and-ginger aioli has that popcorn effect – you keep going back for more. With West Coast rock lobster now on the SASSI red list, we’re happy to hear that they’ve replaced this on the menu with sweet and plump tempura prawns. Sadly, there were no tuna tacos available; we’ve heard they’re something special.

    For something meaty, there’s everything from duck to pork belly chashu. We recommend the beef short rib gyoza, though. These golden half moons are filled with spicy, unctuous meat, Fuji apple, tamarind and chilli. Great for hungry diners.

    End off with the tonka-bean dark chocolate. This ultimate dessert bowl is filled with thick, smooth ganache-like chocolate and topped off with coffee gel, black-sesame snap and a miso butterscotch that perfectly offsets the bitterness. It’s rich and definitely needs to be shared.

    Drinks
    The wine list is small but has a few by-the-glass options as well as bottles ranging from reasonable to expensive. There is also a small selection of sake and good dessert wines.

    Service
    Friendly, informative and swift.

    Ambience
    SHIO is a perfect vibey night-time spot: moody, dark and edgy. Neon red signage adds a glow to the navy walls and a feature wall of Japanese graffiti adds drama. If it’s a lovely warm day, nab a table outside next to the cobbled street.

    And…
    End your meal off with a kick and order the Kyoto coffee with double espresso, Nikka Pure Malt Black Whisky, and coconut cream.

    (January 2017)

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

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User reviews

  • This month Friends of the Vine were lucky enough to host their October Pinot Noir tasting at Shio Restaurant, in the heart of the popular, and very vibey De Waterkant. Shio Restaurant, at The Grey Hotel, is a Japanese-inspired fine-dining restaurant with a beautiful twist. Shio offers a selection of various Japanese dishes, with a tapas style, but my suggestion would definitely be to try their mouth-watering 10 Dish Kaiseki Experience for R350 p/p, only on the menu till the end of this week! It was unforgettable and unlike anything you will ever experience! A carefully crafted multi-course Japanese dinner experience, made up of beautifully plated dishes, is presented by restaurateur and chef, Cheyne Morrisby and his warm, pleasant and efficient waitrons, in a meticulously prepared, exquisite way that blows you away when each set of dishes (usually brought in a set of two or three) are presented. My personal favorite were definitely the Yellowtail sashimi served with a liquid kimchi, lime pickle wasabi oil coconut gel and crispy onions and the Tokyo beef with roasted shiitake, gochujang cream, black caviar and nori dust. The night ended off with a 50% dark chocolate, poached nashi pear gel, cashew praline with chocolate and toasted sesame ice-cream, all while enjoying beautifully paired South African Pinot Noir wines in the the low-lighted laid back atmosphere and listening to the latest trendy music in the back ground. Great, high quality food and excellent service that left us planning our next visit at the very first bite- I will definitely recommend this restaurant. This place is perfect for groups or a casual date night but gets filled up quite quickly so make sure you book in advance to avoid disappointment. Thank you Shio for hosting us and exceeding all our expectations! ​
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  • My favourite! Best vibe and food for a special evening out!
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  • This restaurant is overpriced and inconsistent in their standards of food. They also do not take seriously complaints about suspected food poisoning. The first starter we had, which I believe was yellow tail sashimi was delicious. I thought immediately I had chosen the right restaurant to eat at. After that we had the soft shell crab, which for the special you have to pay extra for, and let me tell you it was beyond average, and actually pretty disgusting. There was firstly hardly any meat on the thing, secondly I suspect it was frozen and not fresh because the meat was mushy and floury. It had no flavour. In the moment I did not complain because I was on a date and did not want to make a scene. I would not recommend eating this. Then, if I remember correctly we had the beef terayaki, not sure on the name but it was thin slices of raw beef. This was very average and it had raw onion and garlic that completely over powered the dish. Then we had the lamb gyoza, which were actually really nice, flavors were spot on, only thing I would say about this is some of gyoza were burnt on the outside, which indicates to me that the chef does not care about standards. Then we had the pork belly. Boring and overly sweet. The duck fat fried chips were nice but nothing special or worth R65. The pudding we had the pear desert, it was nice, but again just nice, nothing special. My real issue started with this restaurant after I called to inform them that I suspected that they gave me food poisoning. The manager on the phone was rude and implied that I must show him proof of what had happened. Overly defensive in my opinion. I told him I was merely phoning to inform him that I suspect I might have gotten food poisoning from their restaurant and told him what I ate. He wasn't really interested in this. In my opinion it is important to tell restaurants when you suspect you have been poisoned so they can deal with what could of done this or hopefully help them identify what could have caused something like this.The manager on the phone told me he would talk to the owner and get back to me which they have not. Poor customer service.
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  • Any true foodie knows that eating out is not just about food but about the experience as a whole and from the entrance of Shio Restaurant to your table, you will undoubtedly be wowed. Shio Restaurant offers modern Japanese cuisine in a very stylish setting, with seating inside and out, and a smooth interior to boot. A number of choices on the menu make Shio Restaurant a delightful experience, as you can visit so many times and still find something new to try. A number of choices on the menu make Shio Restaurant a delightful experience, as you can visit so many times and still find something new to try. I can highly recommend you try the following items from their 4-course menu that’s beautifully curated. Lucky Pizza served with Tuna Tataki, wakame, anchovy aiolio and wasabi truffle salt. The Forbidden Black Rice Risotto was highly recommended by friends and the friendly waiter at Shio Restaurant. I would also try the Pork Belly Roast served with red miso and nashi pear sauce, toasted cashews and crackling. I can also highly recommend the BBQ Duck Breast. I ended off the evening with one of the most mouthwatering desserts I have ever tasted – their Banana Cream Pie served with miso butterscotch and peanut butter ice cream. Shio Restaurant also has a great selection of sake and delicious cocktails – try the Dirty Ninja (Vintage black vodka, spiced tomato juice, lemon juice, sriracha, soy, wasabi and garnished with a stem of celery.
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  • Shio is perfectly situated in the Cape Quarter on Napier Street and the decor is stunning, quirky and contemporary. The food sadly is inconsistent - I am a huge fan of Cheynne's in Hout Bay and my first dining experience at Shio's was awesome .. I was blown away with the taste and presentation sensation. Sadly my recent trip last week was not as good which I am sure was just a off night, so will be back as the special for R250 per head is fantastic. This is a foodie spot deluxe but just needs to standardize - so that whenever you go it's remains first class! Make sure your phone is charged to take foodie pics!
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  • I was pleasantly surprised by SHIO when we went for dinner. Their menu was reasonably priced but the food was absolutely incredible. The service was friendly and I will definitely be back soon.
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  • My new favorite tapas style venue except that some of the portions are bigger than normal tapas so I only have enough room for 2 - sigh. Great when you're with re someone who's happy to share. The crispy pork belly, firecracker prawns, risotto are the stand-out dishes for me...oh! And the tuna tacos - they're fantastic.
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  • Enjoyed a lovely evening at Shio- perfect restaurant for pre- drinks or clubbing dinner- with upbeat atmosphere & trendy crowd. Food was sublime. It's tapas style but the portions are good enough for 2 people to share- we had 6 different dishes (4 would have been ok though), the standouts were the forbidden risotto and the short rib beef gyio (think that's what it's called), however all dishes were delicious. If you are used to city bowl prices it's pretty average from a cost perspective. Service was good- quick, perfunctory & otherwise they left you to get on with it (what we like). Recommended! Maybe go early and have a drink at the pooltop bar and then enjoy dinner downstairs.
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  • Shio was recommended by a friend and I was thankful for a last minute reservation a few days later. My friend and I loved the vibe of the small restaurant. It was a cooler evening so we sat inside but it looked like there were a few small tables outside. We ordered 6 of the tapas style plates to share, enjoyed a nice bottle of pinotage and of course had to give in to have dessert. All the dishes were unique and flavorful. While the truffle fries smelled delightful when they arrived, the taste did not match. The service was okay. Keep in mind, I'm from the US and likely evaluate service differently than you might. I enjoyed the fact that we were not rushed, but it did take quite a bit of time to flag down our waiter to order dessert. This might have also been due to a large party that required a fair amount of attention. Overall, I'd highly recommend a night out at Shio!
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  • I think we had high expectations. However the waiting time and price promoted this. We ordered 6 dishes (2 of us sharing). The spinach gomae was divine, the sashimi good! But then it sadly started to lack. We had to send back the chilli squid as was unpleasantly tough, tasteless & chewy. Lastly the Forbidden Risotto, made little sense, served with two scrumptious tempura prawns and a bowl of 'tom yum cream' and black rice. Was more like a 'dipping sauce' - with not much to be dipped. Lastly. R32 for purified, gassed tap water doesn't do it for me sadly. Will give it a 2nd go once they teething is over.
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  • We had a fantastic meal, Cheyne's food is always delicious and this was no exception. Hard to pick a winner (we tried 9 dishes) but the firecracker prawns were ordered again they were so good. We didn't order the forbidden risotto but having seen it at the table next to us we will definitely try it next time.
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Menu

Set menu - Menu currently unavailable.

Facilities

  • Accepts credit cards
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
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  • Lunch
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  • Serves food

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