Review: Embrace inclusivity and indulge in flavourful fun at Honey & Dora

Fast facts

Restaurant name: Honey & Dora

Address: 55 Prestwich Street, De Waterkant

Phone number: 021 745 6650

Opening times: Monday to Friday 7am to 11pm, Saturday 8am to 11pm, Sunday 9am to 2pm

Average price of a main course: R180

Corkage fee: R50 wine, R100 bubbly, max two bottles per table

Parking situation: Street

Food type: South African home-style, burgers


The food can be described as old-fashioned traditional but often with a twist – like bootie cupcakes: sweet mince in phyllo pastry. And who wouldn’t want a Bacon Bacon Burger? A flame-grilled, house-made beef patty, covered with melted cheddar and American cheese, crispy bacon, and thick-cut slow-roasted smoked bacon.


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The butternut squash protein pancakes with Greek yoghurt, nut butter and granola are legendary for breakfast or brunch; and the Orange Chicken – deep-fried pieces of chicken breast covered in a sweet and spicy orange sauce, served with rice and vegetables, is one of JP’s personal favourites. Yes, there are lots of dishes that will induce guilt among the weak, but honestly, life’s too short. And besides, there are salads and stuff like that too. Okay, three salads.

If you can’t decide which burger to have, the Sewing Machine Sliders – beef or chicken, three in a portion, one with mac and cheese – are a good way to go. An absolute winner, though, are the bacon and cheese BBQ fries. Exactly what it sounds like: a bowl of chips topped with melted cheese and lots of bacon.


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For dessert, go super retro with chocolate-covered frozen bananas coated in nuts (we will not be taking questions on any implied symbolism) and served on peanut butter mousse. The lemon tart is vegan friendly, and do ask about the selection of daily cakes, tarts or treats.


Drinks are in the name: Dora. This is a reference to the famous gay language Gayle, which Wikipedia describes thus: “Gayle originally manifested as moffietaal (Afrikaans: literally, “homosexual language”) in the drag culture of the Cape Coloured community in the 1950s. It permeated into white homosexual circles in the 1960s and became part of mainstream white gay culture.”

Born of a dark history when it was illegal to love those who looked like you, it comprises many female names, like Dora. A useful but by no means complete glossary is sprinkled throughout the pages of the menu to help you get started.


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Drinks include wine, beers, spirits, signature and classic cocktails, and some non-alcoholic beverages. Except not one non-alcoholic beer despite being listed. There hasn’t been for several weeks, which is a bit of a problem.


It’s never been anything but friendly and enthusiastic, and if bartender and all-round nice guy whose heart sometimes gets trampled as a result Nick Savvides has you in his line of sight, and he’s not too busy mixing cocktails, he’ll be there to catch any service balls that have been dropped.


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Neon-drenched and filled with décor items close and dear to JP’s heart, this place is intensely personal, with stories to tell. The décor “blends elements from a silk flower business and inherited sewing machines with modern touches. A three-generation display of sewing machines honours the legacy of JP’s mother, Sonja, as well as his grandmother and great-grandmother. As a heartfelt tribute to his late mother, JP created Honey & Dora, and this sentiment is beautifully reflected in the vibrant Jungle Bar, that comes alive with a burst of natural green colours. Notably, the bar is also adorned with vibrant silk flowers sourced from Sonja’s flower business.” It’s gloriously camp, and JP’s past is intricately interwoven with his present.

Then there is the Slay Room – private or not, you decide whether you draw the curtain or not, but it’s filled with mirror balls and sparkles and an intimate space to entertain your fans on comfy couches.


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Honey & Dora has indoor and outdoor seating (you can smoke outside). Even if it’s just for a Gail and a Constance to catch up with Aggie, this is the Beulah place for it.

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

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