Venues

SHIO

SHIO
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  • Phone Number O64 661 7474
  • Location 49 Napier Street, Cape Town, South Africa, 8001
  • email info@shio.co.za
  • Opening Hours

    Lunch: Wednesday to Saturday 10am to 3pm

    Dinner: Monday to Saturday 6pm to 10pm

Cost
R220 - R250
Ambience
Contemporary cool
Food
Asian, Modern
Payment
Mastercard, Visa

Critic's review

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.

  • Ambience
  • Service
  • Food
  • 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.

User reviews

  • 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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Facilities

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

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