First taste: Cheyne Morrisby’s new Fire Monkey

Fire Monkey is Cheyne Morrisby’s new venture into Cape Town’s southern suburbs, in the upmarket Cavendish shopping district. As with chef Cheyne’s other restaurants, you can expect the best in contemporary Asian fusion dining. Across the menu, Thai, Vietnamese, Japanese and Indonesian flavour profiles all make an appearance. 

Fire Monkey

Fire oysters, crispy garlic and shallots. Photo by Katy Rose.

Fast facts 

Cost: R135 average à la carte main meal; R300 for four dishes
Parking: Street parking on Protea Road
Food type: Asian fusion small plates
Star ratings: Food and drinks: 5; Service: 5; Ambience: 5


With over 20 dishes on offer across vegetarian, seafood and meat-based produce, the menu lends itself to adapting to most diner’s preferences. Tuna tacos are a firm favourite – crisp wafers with fresh tuna tartare, créme fraîche, avo and a touch of kewpie mayo offer textures that come together in a playful way and flavours reminiscent of the best California roll you’ve ever had. 

The yellowtail sashimi is served on a beautiful raised dish, almost like a stage. Sitting in just enough lime and ginger dressing are slivers of fresh yellowtail, topped with pickled daikon and red onion for some crunch. 

Fire Monkey

Yellowtail sashimi, lime, sesame, ginger and chilli. Photo by Katy Rose.

The Wagyu short rib gyoza is a set of four crispy parcels that burst with a rich beefy filling. Be sure to grab some of the pickled cucumber and black vinegar dressing to appreciate the full flavour burst. 

Fire Monkey

Wagyu short rib gyoza, pickled cucumber and teriyaki jus. Photo by Katy Rose.

The Japanese fried chicken wings are a must-order – the salty, spicy, sweet and sticky coating hits all the right spots. Get stuck in with your fingers; a finger bowl is graciously offered to clean up afterwards. Don’t miss the grilled edamame beans, either, which are toasted in kimchi butter. 

Fire Monkey

Chicken satay with grilled corn and tuna tacos. Photo by Katy Rose.

Eight dishes between two adults makes for an abundant amount of food. Dessert offers options of coconut cream sago, an ice cream sundae, sesame cheesecake and a Kyoto coffee with Nikka whiskey.  


Cocktails, beers, sake and wine are on offer. The wine list is compact and strikes a great balance between old favourites and some smaller labels. There are also some exceptional Japanese whiskies on offer.


Proactive, coordinated and attentive. Small-plate dining could lead to a cluttered table, but the staff whips away each empty dish immediately to make room for the next one. 


The dining room is open, with sleek wooden tables and benches. Tables are communal, so expect to be seated adjacent to other diners. The room has a soft hum, with the open kitchen adding some energy but without the noise and clamour that sometimes afflict open-plan restaurants. The gritty wall art, food plating and light fittings make Fire Monkey an Instagram goldmine. 

Fire Monkey

The Fire Monkey interior. Photo by Katy Rose.

Best for…

Well-travelled foodies looking for a fun evening. 

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

Brought to you by Retail Capital, sponsors of the Eat Out Retail Capital New Restaurant of the Year Award. Want to find more new restaurants in your city? Check out our new restaurants section.

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