The Melting Pot Cafeteria

3 Reviews
Light meals, Modern
Phone Number TBC Opening Hours Dinner

Dinner: Tuesday to Saturday 6pm to 9pm

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R75 avg main meal
Light meals, Modern
R75 avg main meal
Family friendly, Groups, Quick meals
Mastercard, Visa
Accepts credit cards, Food, Lunch, Serves food

Critic's review

  • Ambience
  • Service
  • Food

Tessa Purdon

John’s travels are a clear influence on the light and vibrant menu that showcases elements of Thai, Vietnamese and Korean street-food cuisine. The menu, made for sharing, is small and changes frequently. Highlights include the bún thịt nướng (a light salad with cold rice), vermicelli noodles, mini pork skewers, fresh herbs and cucumber finished off with a zingy and moreish dressing (a winner). The tom kha kai coconut broth with tomato and mushrooms has very subtle, especially in comparison to punchier dishes on the menu like the sensational tuna tataki with a cucumber and orange miso emulsion.

Other popular options from the latest menu include an intensely flavoured fish taco with a curry emulsion and a tangy tamarind dressing that makes your taste buds hum. The Persian lamb flatbread is meaty and moreish, enhanced with creamy hummus and a cooling cucumber raita. Meat-lovers will want to place a second order. If you can’t decide what you want, go for ‘one of everything’ option on the menu (seven dishes for R550).

But don’t forget to save space for chef van Zyl’s affogato or a portion of piping hot churros with chocolate sauce.

The drinks list is concise, with some enticing options. Summer calls for a glass (or bottle!) of the crisp and light Spider Pig Bro-Zay rosé or a refreshing locally brewed lager.

Service is personal and friendly but sometimes detached, with little explanation of the ordering system or menu.

The simple but functional space, with its long cafeteria-style wooden benches, has an unpretentious and laid-back energy. It’s light and airy, with pops of greenery and large Victorian windows looking out onto Cape Town’s busy Wale Street.

Best for…
A casual catch-up with friends or a spontaneous date night.

(December 2019)

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

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User reviews

3 Reviews
    Had a fabulous light lunch at The Melting Pot yesterday - what can I say? It was superb food that was unbelievably flavoursome in every way. If you like to try something different on your palate, give this restaurant a try.
    As previous fans of John van Zyl's pop up with the same name, we were delighted to learn that he's found a permanent home for his Asian street food concept in Wale street. They don't take bookings, but are situated above the Gin Bar in Cape Town, so we were quite happy to take a chance on a Friday night at 7pm, thinking we'd go for a drink first if we needed to wait. We got lucky, and the last table for two before the waiting list started, and continued for pretty much the entire time we were there. The space is spacious and casual, with a vibey atmosphere. Sage, John's wife, runs the front of house with one other waitress and both were incredibly welcoming. John operates the pass, with a sous chef and two staff in the kitchen. It's actually quite remarkable that such a small staff contingent can be so effective. You order your food and drinks at the bar, and it gets delivered to your table as it gets prepared. We opted for the "One of Everything" and a bottle of Spider Pig Rose, which was more than enough for two people. The food comes to the table as it's prepared, and came out at a comfortable rate, giving us enough time to savour each dish, and take a break before the next one arrived. My favourite was the tuna tataki, and my partner declared the Brick Lane bagel his favourite. John is a clever chef, who understands Asian flavours incredibly well so each dish delivers on flavour and presentation. I would hope he changes his menu often, to keep regulars excited to try new things. We've been big fans of his from his Thali days, and this new venture does not disappoint.

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