Venues

Willoughby & Co. (V&A Waterfront)

Willoughby & Co. (V&A Waterfront)
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  • Location +27214186115
  • Phone Number Lower Level, Victoria Wharf, Waterfront, Cape Town
  • Opening Hours

    Monday to Sunday 11.30am to 10.30pm

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Cost
R175 avg main meal
Ambience
Comfy & casual, Hip & happening
Food
Japanese, Seafood, Sushi
Payment
Amex, Mastercard, Visa
500

Critic's review

Nikita Buxton

The restaurant does not mess around when it comes to the menu. The list of options is almost daunting but we find peace when we get to the familiar sushi menu. To mix things up a bit, we start off with some lighter starters. The hot and spicy tom yum soup is great for cooler weather: The generous portion of broth is filled with plump prawns and has a moreish flavour. Tofu lovers can also enjoy a slightly smaller portion of soup with the complex tofu miso.

But if it’s sushi you’re after, you’re in the right place. From the standard California rolls to the famous 4x4 rolls with creamy rock shrimp, each bite of sushi is well made and full of fresh flavour.

Besides the wide selection of sushi and platters, there are a number of cold and hot Japanese dishes from which to choose. The options include satisfying grilled crispy rice topped with hot and spicy salmon or chopped prawn; rich salmon grenades (salmon roses filled with spicy chopped salmon and mayo, and topped with tempura and spring onion); grilled yakitori chicken; and crispy yet tender soft-shell crab with ponzu sauce.

If you can fit in anything else, the desserts include classics like mille feuille, crème brûlée and malva pudding. Feeling stuffed to the gills, we opt for a kick of whiskey Dom Pedro to round off the meal.

Drinks
The reasonably priced wine list boasts some good local options with nearly all available by the glass. If you’re lucky, you’ll be offered a wine taster in the queue or at your table by an on-site wine farm rep.

Service
The restaurant is known not to accept reservations, but the wait is rarely long. (You can also enjoy a complimentary glass of wine while you wait.) Food is served speedily to turn over tables, and the staff are knowledgeable but appear a little rushed.

Ambience
With the majority of the tables located in the thoroughfare of the shopping centre, the ambience leaves a little to be desired. If you’d prefer, there is seating inside at the counters.

And…
There is a wine store and fish counter inside with some great take-home options.

(June 2016)

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  • Raphaella Frame-Tolmie

    Food
    Strange as it might sound, Joburgers sometimes dream of this Capetonian establishment’s 4 x 4… It’s not a large car they’re hankering for however, but one of the most popular signature dishes from the Japanese kitchen at this reputable seafood and sushi restaurant. The combination of Rainbow Reloaded (rainbow rolls with 7-spice, sesame oil and spring onions) with Creamy Rock Shrimp (spicy tuna inside a maki roll, wrapped in soy bean paper topped with rock shrimp tempura) is entirely satisfying. Besides a wide selection of sushi, there are other hot and cold Japanese dishes, including robatayaki (barbecue-style Japanese cuisine) and tempura on offer. The soft-shelled crab with ponzu dressing is particularly light, crisp and moreish. There are a few seafood pastas, and of the more traditional seafood dishes, the baby sole, when available, is delicate and perfectly cooked. Ordering a side of grilled calamari tubes to accompany the English fish and chips will go far to please a healthy appetite.

    Drinks
    The wine list is almost entirely local, featuring a good selection of favourites, many available by the glass, and most within a comfortable price range.

    Service
    It’s no surprise that there is almost always a queue to be seated (they don’t accept reservations), but it’s unusual to stand very long, and you’ll often be offered a wine tasting while you wait. Service can vary from charming to perfunctory, but staff is well informed about the menu.

    Ambiance
    The majority of the tables are located in the thoroughfare of the mall, so there’s little left to the imagination. You can also opt to sit inside at the counters overlooking the food preparation.

    And…
    If you’re more inclined to feast at home, there is a fish counter, which should be first port of call to pick up the freshest of fresh fish, as well as a wine shop, where you can enjoy a quick tasting.

    (August 2015)

  • Lentswe Bhengu

    Food 
    With a beautiful sushi bar at the centre of the restaurant and a full staff compliment of Japanese chefs, it’s no wonder that Willoughby's has a long-standing reputation for some of the best sushi in town. Sampling delights like the Rainbow Reloaded roll might convince you as well.

    The extensive menu does, however, also include non-sushi options, such as a few pastas and a nice selection of mains with seafood as the star. The Japanese Kitchen section on the menu offers some very interesting choices. A must-try in the hot part of this section is the crispy soft-shell crab – pure joy, and served with an option of different dips. On the cold section of this menu, the seared beef tataki is also highly recommended: consisting of seared, thinly sliced black-pepper fillet topped with crispy garlic and spring onion as well as a spicy garlic dressing, it’s heaven for any garlic lover and full of interesting textures.

    Portion sizes are fair, and overall you can look forward to an excellent marriage of flavours in the food.

    Drinks 
    They offer a smallish, serviceable wine list, ranging from a few easy drinkers like Fairview to a couple of excellent wines from Ataraxia. All the wines are available by the carafe, averaging R35-R63.

    Service
    A fair number of waiters are on hand to take care of patrons and to ensure that traffic flows nicely. You’ll find them well versed on the menu and able to recite specials with ease.

    Ambience 
    Although this family-friendly restaurant is located in a mall, you soon forget about this little detail, wrapped as you are in the buzz of the many satisfied customers enjoying their food.

    And…
    Note that they don’t take reservations, so if you arrive on balmy nights or summer weekends, you’ll have to fall in with the line of hopefuls snaking out the door. They do, however, do takeaways and also have a deli section with fresh fish.

    (July 2014)

  • Sushi, sushi, sushi. It’s so good you’ll forgive the mall location. Their consistency is legendary – as proven by their constant stream of diners. Order tuna sashimi salad and Rainbow Reloaded, or any sushi rolls. (EO mag 2014)
  • Food
    Some people say this is the best seafood in the city and they may be right. Certainly, the Japanese kitchen offers superb value for money with tempura dishes; fabulous salmon miso yaki, marinated and grilled with a special miso sauce; and the grilled beef fillet teriyaki. The menu is vast but all eyes are on the seafood, like homemade fishcakes; English-style fish and chips; prawn and fish curry, either Thai or Cape Malay; and seafood gumbo with chorizo sausage. Desserts include the usual suspects, but try the Italian grappa, a shot of espresso, biscotti, or a liqueur chocolate for a sophisticated ending.

    Wine
    Excellent wine list with various options on how to drink: by carafe, glass or bottle.

    Service
    Usually very good, but can slow a bit when they are really busy.

    Ambience
    Once you’ve been, you’ll know why diners stand in line in a busy shopping mall to eat here. Intimate dining is out of the question, but it’s nice and busy and very Cape Town, watching the passing parade go by while they watch you just a bit enviously.

    And...
    Do visit their tiny wine shop, either to choose wine for your meal or to take some home – at very good prices. (GL, October 2012)

User reviews

  • Arrived here at 3:30pm there was no one to seat us so we sat at one of the many open booths however after being ignored for 10 minutes the very rude manager said that table was for 5 people and he had no open tables for 2 people. Eaten here many times love the food but won't eat here again and deal with an attitude like that
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  • They've recently renovated the one section of the restaurant to include cute little couched booths. We got seated here which was great. I ordered my standard meal (the 4x4) and must admit that it was amazing as always.

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  • This place offers some of the best sushi I've tried. Very fresh fish; their rice is certainly above average and portions are generous(a great fish-to-rice ratio). Considering portion size, pricing is not bad at all. My girlfriend and I are salmon rose freaks. To date, Willoughby's takes the top prize in our book. Sure there's a queue; which fortunately we had been briefed on. The wait was approximately 20min. Staff attending to the queue were very attentive and the complimentary wine was welcome. Service is a bit on the slow side but the waiter was very knowledgeable. This is a really busy place so we didn't mind the slow service. Willoughby's is certainly an example that great food requires patience and a little more money. But no doubt we shall be back!
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  • Worst service ever! This is absurd! And the food is not worth the que... The only reason I ever come here is my step-father who insists on coming here...
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  • First ever visit to Willoughby & Co for lunch yesterday. It was full to the brim, but staff were patient with us and got us seated quickly. We ordered several items from the menu and it took a while longer than expected to come. However, when it finally arrived, I was in heaven. My husbands sushi was not the best he's had. He had ordered the Tempura Prawn Roll which was dry and tasteless. We only realised afterwards that it stated on menu that it would come with a tempura sauce (which was absent from dish). Fortunately, everything else we ordered, was absolutely delicious. We'll be back.... Let's hope that it's yet another fantastic experience!
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Facilities

  • Accepts credit cards
  • Child friendly
  • Dinner
  • Eat Out reviewed
  • Food
  • Licensed
  • Lunch
  • Parking
  • Takeaways
  • Vegetarian
  • Wheelchair
  • WiFi

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