Reviewed: Melville’s new must-try dive bar

Smoking Kills Bar is Melville’s new hole-in-the-wall dive bar with an unpretentious look and feel. Having taken over a part of Mootee Bar next door, the seemingly unassuming new neighbour is all about the rum, with a few Cuban sandwiches thrown in.

Fast facts

Food type: Cuban
Cost: R95 average main course
Star ratings: Food and drinks: 3; Service: 5; Ambience: 3


The small menu includes a build-your-own-sandwich option – choose either the cheese-only version or the one where you can choose one meat and two veg. If going for the former, choose blue, brie, swiss or mozzarella; while the latter is best enjoyed with pulled pork, juicy pickles and eggplant cooked in coconut. The meal is a generous portion the size of two fists, but don’t skip the perfectly seasoned curly fries to accompany it.

If you have the space, warm churros are a treat, especially in cold weather.


Anything goes here, which makes it a welcome haven for smokers and imbibers. Sit at the bar and chat to the friendly hostess, who can match your mood to one of the seven rum cocktails, like the Fresh to Death with pineapple, lime and bitters, or the Sweet Thrills with sweet vermouth, coconut, maple and cassia rum.


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Grab a seat, we’re keen to meet! #rumcocktails #rumbar #smokingkillsbar #newbar #melville #rumbitch #hang #chill #vibes

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This could easily become your new hangout spot, with staff remembering your name and drinks order. All bar staff are warm, knowledgeable and welcoming.


There’s little fuss or frill in this pet-friendly shabby-chic space. It’s simple, with a playlist of soulful music that allows you to still hear the person across from you and enjoy great value for money.

Best for…

Perching at one of the bar tables to catch up with friends after a hard day at the office.

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

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