Galjoen: new sustainable seafood restaurant from Belly of The Beast team

Neil Swart and Anouchka Horn of Belly of the Beast fame are set to delight diners with a new restaurant in Cape Town’s Harrington Street in the East City Precinct. The new spot will open in early 2023 and will take the name Galjoen – South Africa’s national fish (also known in KwaZulu-Natal as blackfish or black bream). 

“We couldn’t help being drawn to the galjoen,” says Neil. “These fish are adaptable, able to change their colour to blend into their environment. They are tough, able to swim in rough seas, and handle numerous collisions with the rocky shores. We cannot but admire these characteristics and would not have made it through the pandemic without some degree of them ourselves.”


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The restaurant concept will bring sustainable seafood to the fore with a seasonal tasting menu where the number of courses will vary depending on what is available. This ties into Niel and Anouchka’s philosophy of keeping things local and small-scale. Neil says that sustainability can mean different things to different people. 

galjoen restaurant

“Our approach is to serve only what is responsibly caught locally. If it’s not from South Africa, it’s not going on the menu.” The team takes cognisance of the SASSI list and works with local suppliers including Abalobi to support sustainable small-scale fishing communities.  

“We are also very conscious of waste. We serve a set tasting menu – and work on reservations only – which means we all but eliminate waste. We know exactly how many portions of fish we will need on any given night. At Belly of the Beast, people often ask us whether we would like to have a bigger restaurant. We feel that by serving only a handful of guests we can really focus on every element on the plate and make it as tasty as we can. Having a set menu also means we can plan perfectly and serve the freshest food possible.” 

While the space is still a work in progress, guests can expect a semi-industrial environment that makes you feel that you are sitting in a harbour – with a hint of 80s seafood restaurant décor that Neil remembers from when he was growing up.  

Galjoen will be serving dinner from Tuesday to Saturday at 7pm and lunch from Wednesday to Saturday at 12.30pm.  

Guests can visit the restaurant website to pre-book or to buy vouchers. You can even buy a chair in the restaurant! 

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