Named after the tart Asian citrus fruit, YUZU Kitchen and Bar is a new eatery on Kloof Street in Cape Town that marries Western and Eastern cuisine.
Conceptualised by chef Rikku Ó’Donnchü, who has worked in Michelin-starred restaurants around the world, YUZU aims to fuse a range of flavours and styles: East meets West, Tarantino meets South Africa, rock ’n’ roll meets ramen.
Ó’Donnchü has experience in a number of reputable eateries, including Thomas Keller’s The French Laundry (USA), Chez Dominique (Finland) and Merchants (England), and is also currently chef patron at Sevruga at the V&A Waterfront.
“The idea…was to create a place where I could combine and share all the things I’m passionate about, and bring them together in a really interesting and laid-back space,” says Rikku.
And an interesting space it is indeed. Visitors can expect a combination of Asian and Western design elements, including samurai swords and beer taps made from former weapons (nunchucks, a bayonet and a cleaver).
Walls are adorned with Tarantino movie quotes and a bang-on-trend if-you-didn’t-Instagram-it-were-you-even-there? quote in neon blockletters.
The menu presents interesting fusion dishes, such as Danger Dumplings (sweet-and-sour spicy pork dumplings, R54), Kung Fu Katsu (crispy chicken katsu burger served with wasabi mayo and fries, R110), and That Ol’ Cow (sesame-coated Wagyu short rib with a whisky-and-molasses glaze, masala mash and grilled asparagus, R225).
Ramen lovers can choose from six different options, including tofu, chicken, pork belly, smoked duck, kingklip and Wagyu beef (R105–R155).
A selection of sushi dishes is also available, from your standard maki, nigiri and sashimi (R50–R89) to the likes of uramaki (smoked duck tartar with sweet and spicy apricot-and-Szechuan mayo, R92) to beet- and gin-cured salmon rolls with lemongrass mayo and black-garlic rice (R110).
South African cuisine also gets the nod, with the likes of the snoek maki roll (R110), Ma se Malva (R59), and the Bain’s all-day breakfast shake (Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky, vanilla ice cream, caramel, peanut butter and banana, R72).
Find YUZU Kitchen & Bar at 75 Kloof Street (in place of the old Ocean Basket).