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Sloppy Sam

Sloppy Sam
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Cost
R140 avg main meal
Ambience
Comfy & casual
Food
Mediterranean, Middle Eastern
Payment
Amex, Mastercard, Visa

Critic's review

Greg Landman

Food
Hooman Saffarian runs this beloved institution of Middle-Eastern cuisine. Order a plate of delicious starters like creamy cod-roe dip, tzatziki, hummus, dolmades and pickled octopus – all made right there, which makes such a difference. These are served with piping hot soft pita. The meatballs are a favourite, with just a little bite to make them interesting, and the baked brinjal (bademjan) is redolent with garlic and topped with yoghurt in a very authentic style. Try not to fill up with the starters as the lamb dishes are legendary: try the lamb shank, slow roasted with fabulous roast potatoes, or the lamb's liver, which is very rich, served with mash. Other winners include excellent moussaka and pan-fried calamari. Finish up with some of the best baklava in town or halva with ice cream to really satisfy that sweet tooth.

Drinks
A small well-priced wine list with some great examples of the best of the Cape.

Service
Always smiling and friendly, very relaxed but attentive.

Ambience
The room has a mezzanine floor that overlooks the main dining area; it’s all very cosy. Once you step inside the place you could easily be in a part of the Middle East that you have always wanted to visit.

And…
A fiercely loyal clientele keeps them busy, so do book.

(September 2016)

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

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  • Greg Landman

    Food  
    Hooman Saffarian has quietly been building a loyal fan base here in Green Point for the last nine years, with the sort of food that appeals to Middle Eastern palates. Though he is Persian, the menu features many Greek and Turkish dishes that are great to look at and even better to eat.

    Starters include a gorgeous roast brinjal dip called bademjan, puréed with onion and garlic, topped with ultra-creamy yoghurt and mint, served with a basket of fluffy hot pita quarters. The meatballs, called kufteh, are walnut-sized and slightly spicy and one has to resist the temptation to pop them in like peanuts. Other mezze include great tzatziki and taramasalata, as well as pickled octopus, but the thing that has really made them famous are the excellent lamb dishes, like slow-roasted lamb shank served with the best roast potatoes in town, and grilled lamb chops marinated in olive oil and lemon. Fragrant with rosemary, they make you feel as if you're in another country. The excellent baklava is made for them by an Egyptian and cut in the traditional diamond shapes, served with rich, toasted almond ice cream.

    Drinks 
    They offer a good list of local wines, and real Greek Metaxa brandy as a digestive.

    Service 
    Service is warm and friendly, with Hooman himself overseeing it all from the open-plan kitchen.

    Ambience 
    Once you step inside you could easily be in the Middle East somewhere, with just the right kind of music playing and décor that tells you the owner spends a lot of time here – a kind of home away from home. There is a mezzanine level if you would rather be a bit more private. You’ll also notice much back-slapping and bonhomie from regulars who obviously regard this as a retreat from the cares of the world.

    And...
    They also do private parties and weddings, which would be great in a venue this size, just big enough to have fun in.

    (July 2014)

  • Food
    Surprisingly few people know about this restaurant considering it’s on a main road. Fans of lamb know about it, though. Whether you order the lamb ribs, the shank or any of the lamb dishes, you’re in for a treat. There are a few other options on the Greek and Persian-influenced menu for those not partial to lamb.

    Wine
    Offering three or so choices per variety, the wine options represent quite well-known estates, at quite reasonable prices. But by the glass is limited to a house wine.

    Service
    Service is attentive and not difficult to attract due to the cosiness of the restaurant. The owner/chef will also come out of the kitchen to check on everyone periodically.

    Ambience
    The restaurant is small and has a homely feel, thanks to a combination of the open-plan kitchen, mismatched chairs and stacks of non-perishable foods around the place.

    And...
    The octopus starter is a speciality. (DV, October 2012)

User reviews

  • What an amazing experience, a group of us went for dinner last night at Sloppy Sams, the waitress was extremely friendly and very sweet, she made us feel so welcome. We ordered a mixed batch of starters and they were all delicious. We each ordered a main and one of the mains came out but the portion was smaller than expected , ( still delicious ) we mentioned this to the waitress and about 10min later we had a whole new portion served to us, on the house along with an array of desserts. You don't find this type of hospitality anymore and it was so refreshing to know that the owner wants to keep his customers happy. We will definitely be going back there soon and I would recommend Sloppy Sams to whoever is wanting an authentic Greek meal and atmosphere.
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  • Always a great evening. Casual and relaxed and the very best lamb dishes.

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  • Another succulent dinner at Sloppy Sam's ended on a high note with a glass of their rose water based gentle 'Persian Delight', utterly delicious.

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  • The food is fantastic. The lamb shank and lamb ribs are a must. Try the homemade pistachio and cardamon ice cream, it is incredible. If you want a good meal made with quality ingredients and great service, Sloppy Sam is an easy choice. Loved it. Oh, and you get a shot of Rosewater dom pedro that is to die for.
    Just delicious, I can't wait to go back!

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  • Another great evening at Sloppy Sam. The lamb ribs are still as good as always. Hooman, the owner, still adds a touch of old school charm by greeting each one of his patrons personally. A rose pedro was the perfect finish to the meal. Friendly and relaxed service.

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  • Terrible experience. Owner was extremely rude to myself and friends. We were told to "get out if not ordering a main mea.l" I didn't even touch what I had ordered, I was so humiliated and shocked. I feel that we were discriminated because we were dressed casually - jeans and t-shirts.

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  • I have eaten at Sloppy Sam on numerous occasions and have never been disappointed , the lamb is always delicious, flavours abound. I have taken upcountry visitors there and they have also enjoyed...

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  • I love this place. Warm welcomes and good food.
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  • A wonderful surprise. Unpretentious cooking, fabulous flavour and large portions. Its like having a wonderful home cooked meal. You have to ask for extra wedges. This is a relaxed or romantic evening. Thanks for a great evening!
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  • Beautiful setting, generous portions, with the best lamb shank I have ever tasted. Friendly staff, and the owner and chef is an absolute gem, personally coming to check on us. The Persian-style tea is the perfect end to a wonderful evening. Will definitely be coming again!
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  • Really nice food (brilliant halva!) and relaxed ambience. Our waitress lowered the tone, though! She appeared bored and was very out of synch with our timing. I would probably return, but not in a great hurry because of the service.
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  • There is nothing sloppy about Sam......I am delighted that this is the closest restaurant to my home.A great neighbourhood restaurant; welcoming, friendly, unpretentious, proprietor driven....its just so easy to pop into for something to eat.... and I have never been disappointed. OK the menu doesnt seem to change and the wine list is fairly simple but at the end of the evening I always leave feeling very well satisfied. Lamb in various styles actually tastes of lamb and the calamari, baklava and various ice creams are equally delicious.
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  • What a delight it was to go to such an unpretentious restaurant. Our table of 4 thoroughly enjoyed themselves. The food was outstanding, from the humus, tomato, onion and anchovy salad to the Lamb Roll (completely out of this world) to the Baklava. We will definately be going back.
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  • We went there last night and had such a lovely evening. The atmosphere is superb - unpretentious, intimate and relaxed. The shank was definitely one of the best Ive ever had. Will most certainly go back.
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  • Sloppy Sams is one of those neighborhood restaurants that you frequent when you want home-cooked comfort food. Sam is always there running the place, from cooking your food, serving your food as well as saying good-bye when you leave. His Pepper Steak with Madagascar Peppercorns is to die for. Food is dependable and atmosphere is unpretentious and warm.
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  • I went there last friday and will definitely be back again. That was the best moussaka I have ever had, and my boyfriend loved his lamb dish. 5/5 for food, service was great. Was just suprised that the restaurant was not full? Winter hibernation I guess?Thanks for a lovely evening!
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Facilities

  • Alfresco
  • Booking required
  • Child friendly
  • Functions
  • Licensed
  • Parking
  • Takeaways

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