Black Sheep is something of a best-kept secret that’s perhaps not so well kept after all. This busy brasserie is known for its daily blackboard menu of interesting dishes using seasonal ingredients.
The smoked snoek trout with pickled onions, dune lettuce and toast was a winner, with a perfectly creamy texture and delicate, smokey flavour, offset by the crisp lettuce and pickles.
Other starters didn’t pack as big a punch – the mullet escabeche with a corn, chicory and chorizo salad was overpowered by vinegar-heavy dressing. Roast brinjal salad with a yoghurt dressing and caramelised onions was simply lacklustre.
The mains revived things, in particular the fresh, home-made pappardelle topped with a rib-sticking springbok ragù and generous amount of parmesan. Grilled hanger steak had great flavour and was well cooked but was let down by the anaemic thick-cut chips and, again, an overly acidic mustard dressing.
Dessert, a simple almond tart with gooseberry compote and crème fraiche, ended things off on a sweet note.
The wine list is long and well written, with a great mix of larger wineries and smaller independents, and a decent selection available by the glass. Expect to see Spider Pig to Jordan to Fable Mountain, and everything in between. Beers on tap, and a vast selection of local spirits are also available.
From the moment you walk in, you’re taken care of and made to feel welcome. The wait staff here are clued up and comfortably talk you through the dishes of the day, as well as being speedy and efficient.
As you’ll find out when trying to get a reservation, Black Sheep is a well-loved restaurant, so you can always be guaranteed a warm, buzzy vibe.
Comfort food in a vibey neighbourhood gem.
Eat Out critics dine unannounced and pay for their meals in full. Read our full editorial policy here.
Have you ever had maggots in your food? After tonight, I have. I've eaten at the Black Sheep before and it was not amazing, but very good. Tonight, however makes me wonder if it was just a bad night, or really what standards they are setting for their food safety and customer service.
I went with a friend for an early dinner. We ordered a couple of beers, three starters and two mains. The starters came out: seared tuna salad, marinated sardines and an heirloom tomato salad. All very tasty, especially the tomato salad. As my friend was picking at the last few tomatoes and cheese, he balked when part of the salad started moving. A small maggot, squirming and probably wondering why we had interrupted his dinner. The waiter noted our concern, the maggot and then took the dish away. Instead of the manager coming over, he sent back the original waiter who offered that "the head chef would like to make it up to you. What can we make you?" We asked for him to make us a quick exit because...why do I have to explain this? He genuinely insisted that the presence of a maggot was an indication "of how fresh the salad was." We asked for the manager. Louie came over and said he had "heard of an issue with our meal." Speaking of maggots, Louie said that it was unfortunate that "they had not cleaned properly this time and had missed one."
We want to leave, I told him. I would leave it up to him as to what he thought was the correct course of action to remedy the situation. He said he would take the salad off of the bill, but insisted nothing else. As someone who eats out a lot, but really as a person who has just previously been to any other restaurant, I said that was really a poor response. However, I said he could do whatever he wanted to do, but after 5 minutes I was leaving. Gravely, he insisted that he would be forced to call the police if we didn't pay.
Now, I'm not sure what restaurants you eat at, but while I am prepared for a number of things, I certainly don't expect to be served a maggot and then be purposely misunderstood and threatened. Any of those things--individually or together. Maybe Louie, the manager just started at Black Sheep and thought his reaction and treatment was reasonable? Maybe Black Sheep makes it a habit to hire incompetent staff? Maybe maggots are the new super food? Maybe I'll never find out, because I'm not going back.
We dared dinner on Valentines Day at this Cape Town institution.
What a treat it was!
The restaurant was packed, even at our 20:45pm booking.
The wine list is extensive and balanced. We found an easy drinking merlot at a palatable price tag. The idea of European room temperatures for red wine is a little lost on most restaurants in SA but at least the waitress didnt obviously roll her eyes at our request for ice.
The food menu is written on a black board as it changes daily based on ingredient seasonability and availability. I love this about a restaurant. We did feel a bit sorry for the couple seated by the black board as everyone was staring in their general direction for most of their valentines dinner.
We started with the asparagus rolls and chilli squid. Another thing I love is a seriously thought out dish, perfectly executed with balance and delicacy - from a bustling kitchen.
Both dishes were sensational, with great respect shown to the ingredients. The chilli on the squid was a little on the light side, but all the flavours were perfectly balanced and worked in harmony.
For mains we ordered the kingklip and Vietnamese chicken legs. After a short discussion with the chef re the spice level of the “crying tiger” dressing, I was not disappointed. Both dishes, again balanced and executed perfectly, were spectacular!
We didnt have space for dessert, but passing plates looked amazing.
Service was flawless. From arriving at the door until you leave, a host of staff pay close and careful attention to your comfort and enjoyment. We felt like “regulars”, even though it was our first time there.
The place was bustling with people and the atmosphere welcoming and comfortable.
It is not hard to see why this place has been successful over many years. It was our first visit but definitey not our last.
The food was great . Simple and tastey. Daily menu changing depending on what the chef can buy fresh . I sm not a vegetarian bur had a lentil coconut curry with halomi and butternut as main loved it ! Almond tart for pud mmmmm
After a brief hiatus, the Black Sheep is back to impressing palates and lessening wallets.
Set in an elegant, modern space in trendy Kloof Street, the restaurant always seems to be abuzz with Cape Town’s elite.
The blackboard style menu changes often, making it difficult for a finicky eater like myself to plan ahead. Perhaps this is a good thing, because I arrived without predispositions, and ended up being pleasantly surprised by the varied and interesting choices on offer.
Everything we had was stellar, from the mains to the desserts to the wines. In contrast to this was the service, which was lackluster and slightly indifferent.
Beware: the prices aren’t cheap, and the wine list in particular knocked us back quite a few. Also, be aware of a service charge for parties of six and up.
All in all, delicious food in a charming setting makes Black Sheep the perfect venue for a lively celebration or a cheeky weekend splurge.
Kelsey le Voy
The food at this restaurant never fails to impress and satisfy. I have been here a couple times and it's become my go-to option for any event or celebration. Intimate dinner dates or a party of 6, Black Sheep's menu and vibe consistently improves and rewards the eater. Their menu changes often and so you are able to try new dishes and flavour combinations every time you visit. Something I revel in.