Just three months old, the Mother City branch of the well-known Joburg eatery Blondie Bar has been attracting Capetonians like bees to a honey pot with its unique buzz.
Restaurant name: Blondie
Address: 71 Kloof Street
Phone number: +27 72 169 8671
Opening times: Tue – Sat from 12pm to 11pm; Sun from 12pm to 10pm; closed on Mondays
Average price of a main course: R85
Corkage fee: no corkage
Parking situation: Limited parking in a busy street
Food type: Mediterranean-inspired small plates
Best for: a relaxed catchup with a group of close friends
Blondie’s menu is completely unexpected. You would be forgiven for thinking that pizzas and burgers are the order of the day here, given its trendy, Palm Springs décor and buzzing location on Kloof Street.
Instead, what you’ll find is an intriguing selection of Mediterranean-inspired food. The dishes are designed for sharing, although the portions are large enough for you to get by on one dish paired with a side if you’re just peckish.
The short rib comes highly recommended and is fall-off-the-bone ready to be devoured in a rich harissa tomato sauce. It’s best enjoyed with a side of chips, which aren’t your traditional fries or wedges.
Rather, the small potato squares are deliciously crispy, served with an atchar mayo. Vegetarians are also well catered for, with a highlight being a meltingly soft whole aubergine drenched in a tahini sauce whose nutty savouriness perfectly complements the aubergine.
If aubergine doesn’t appeal, opt for the charred lettuce – the taste of the beautiful Romaine wedges is completely transformed when seared, resulting in an almost meaty flavour. All-in-all, while you may pop in to Blondie for a quick cocktail or beer, you won’t be disappointed if after-work drinks roll over into dinner.
Blondie has a small, specialised beverage list with a few signature offerings. A particular favourite among the locals is the Paloma. The cheerful ruby-hued tequila- and grapefruit-based cocktail is served on ice, with a slice of tart grapefruit and a salt-rimmed glass – the perfect summer cocktail that’s both citrusy sweet and tart with a pop of salt, and, of course, loaded with tequila!
Despite a limited wine selection, they have some unique options, like Katemba, an inexpensive South African-Portuguese drink consisting of equal parts dry red wine and Coca-Cola. Served by the jug-full, Katemba is best-enjoyed sharing style by the whole table.
The service is a bit haphazard and, while friendly, the servers are rather inattentive, so it would be wise not to visit if you’re in a rush. The menu knowledge is good, though, with accurate descriptions of each dish.
One thing to note: the restaurant staff do not wear masks and there is no visible hand sanitiser on the tables or at the eatery’s entrance.
With a laidback and relaxed atmosphere, Blondie welcomes you with a buzz, as local patrons young and old escape the hustle and bustle of Kloof Street.
With high ceiling fans and splashes of colour against a white backdrop, Blondie features quirky decor items such as its wall of old-style tumble dryers used for storage. With an open-plan setting, the indoor seating features benches with long tables for a relaxed dining experience.
This pairs well with the food on offer – served on small to large vintage-esque glass plates. The outdoor deck seating offers a fresh breeze from the summer heat and is best complimented by a cocktail in hand.
Although it is not family-friendly due to the loud music and indoor smoking, Blondie is an ideal spot to grab a quick bite or a round of drinks with friends.
Eat Out critics dine unannounced and pay for their meals in full. Read our full editorial policy here.