Upper Bloem

12 Reviews
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Modern, Tapas
Phone Number 0214331442 Opening Hours

Sunday to Monday Close; Tuesday 6pm to 9m; Wednesday to Saturday 12pm to 5pm and 6pm to 9pm;

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R100 avg main meal: Lunch MenuR250pp incl 6 sharing plates over three courses, Dinner Menu R450pp incl 9 sharing plates over three courses
Modern, Tapas
R100 avg main meal: Lunch MenuR250pp incl 6 sharing plates over three courses, Dinner Menu R450pp incl 9 sharing plates over three courses
Groups, Special occasions, Views
Mastercard, Visa
Accepts credit cards, Booking required, Dinner, Food, Licensed, Lunch, Parking, Serves food

Location and contact

1 Winston Place, 65 Main Road, Green Point, Cape Town

Critic's review

  • Ambience
  • Service
  • Food

Zola Nene

The restaurant serves a set menu that is divided into three sections, each consisting of three dishes. Every plate is made to share. The first wave of dishes includes Henry’s signature croquettes, this time flavoured with smoked snoek, accompanied by a lightly cured kabeljou served on a crunchy sago crisp. The Cape Malay-style onions are an ode to pickled fish and have a wonderfully mellow tanginess and spice.

The second wave brings with it delicately spiced carrots served with sharp goat’s cheese. The plump, tender mussels are served in a deliciously light and flavourful broth studded with samphire and spiked with herb oil. The quail ‘Kabaab’, as it’s called on the menu, is a take on the Scotch egg – a soft-boiled egg surrounded by shredded beef on a bed of tender sweet beetroots. It makes for a truly sublime mouthful.

The third wave is the heartiest and richest: duck breast with quince and a crisp almost poppadum-like crisp (on the menu it is referred to as a samosa crisp). The beef short rib is accompanied by crisp nuggets of sweetbreads, as well as thinly sliced pickled tongue and fresh green apple that gently cuts the richness of the dish. A definite highlight is the triple-cooked potatoes. Almost fondant-like in texture, it’s sprinkled with a spicy crumble and I could honestly have eaten an entire bowl of it.

The dessert selection is an optional extra and comes served on a board to share. The ‘After school’ is a fun play on nostalgic tinned fruit with evaporated milk. The strawberry lollies are thin caramels studded with popping candy and satisfyingly bitter curry leaf. There is also a delicious truffle included from My Sugar, a local Sea Point confectionary.

Each item on the menu, with its tastes and textures, is carefully curated to evoke a nostalgic memory. This is a refreshing and honest taste of Cape Town as told through the palate of a Capetonian chef.

The drinks menu is extensive, offering local wines and craft beers. There is also a selection of liquors, including Japanese saké.

The space is beautifully decorated. Tables lined up against the wall allows patrons full view of the open-plan kitchen. The chefs work meticulously and relatively quietly in the kitchen as they plate up the food.

The service staff is well rehearsed and trained, with each having extensive knowledge of the menu. Service is attentive and timely.

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

(May 2018)

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User reviews

12 Reviews
    Finally there is a place, a trendy restaurant that has taken Cape Malay cuisine to another level. We recently experienced their 9 course sharing plate dinner and enjoyed different products in unique style, taste and presentation. Great to have this alternative dining venue now in Cape Town, certainly recommended for foodies wanting to experience the diverse flavors of the Cape Malay cuisine
    I'm not much of a fan generally of SA food turned into shi-shi tasting morsels. I am a South African, and I grew up with all the tastes and flavours which typify SA grub - sosaties, bobotie, frikkadels, bunny chow, etc. I like them all, but truly SA cuisine (and I hesitated to use this word) is about large and robust flavours which mostly lend themselves to equally large and robust portions. Turning this into sand and foam and suchlike fluff is a wretched, gut churningly revolting idea. My wife booked at Upper Bloem because I asked her to book a nice restaurant in Cape Town for the Cape Town Cycle Tour weekend. She was unsupervised and, clearly not having the same qualms about fine SA cuisine as I do, booked here. I arrived at the restaurant vowing that that my spouse's brief lunge at independence could not be allowed to repeat itself in future, and eyed out possible nearby burger joints for a proper meal afterwards. With this introduction of sad misgivings, you of course know that the meal was good. It was superb. Better than superb because it was such a delightful surprise! Chef Andre is an enormously nice man. He is unassuming, and I would guess a great boss - there was no shouting or histrionics from the open plan kitchen, just calm deliberate cooking and plate after plate of delicious food. Andre has identified flavours and smells which, to a South African are immediately recognisable but also strangely unfamiliar. He takes the punch of smoked snoek and isolates just the subtlest hint in a spread for bread. Blink and you'll miss it. Turn around and go back. In fact, that is how I think of many of the dishes presented to us. Try them and then go back again, and again to discover their subtlety, complexity and layers. Dinner is served in 3 sharing courses. Each course comprises three separate dishes. Don't be fooled though, it is a proper tasting menu. The bread is lovely as are the various butters ..... the wild garlic is most definitely unusual (its difficult not to be polarised about this one). My favourites were the ostrich bunny chow - a delicious one bite morsel (if you don't know what bunny chow is, click here It has nothing to do with bunnys), the mussels in a tin - hands down the nicest thing I have eaten in years, and the buffalo curds and whey - man! You will want desert and you won't be disappointed by the Malay spiced carrot cake (if you have less of a sweet tooth), or the ginger bread semi-freddo sandwich (if you do). The service was attentive and knowledgeable and it was overall a delightful experience. What a find! Thank you Andre for the amazing meal and the large dose of humble pie, I wish you every success.
    This is honestly the best lunch I’ve had in a long time! From the bright and modern interior, to the attentive and warm service, the experience is only surpassed by the delicious and nostalgic tapas-style dishes. The menu is a standard R195 per person (lunch) with optional extras for the bread board and dessert. Starting with the bread board (totally worth it for the additional R35) with the more-ish seaweed butter and snoek paté, followed by the Cape Malay-style onions, with their intense smoky flavor (definitely a highlight), and then on to two more courses that are superbly cooked and well-presented, each course was delicious and perfectly portioned. Even so, by the time the not-too-sweet koe-sisters were served, I was definitely full! I really enjoyed the presentation style: it’s completely unfussy and social. They’re not clearing your plate and bringing new cutlery after every single bite, and that was totally fine with me. The service is good but you’re also not constantly answering the dreaded “Everything okay?” question. Other highlights are the non-alcoholic cocktails (the “grape-thyme” was divine and refreshing) and the triple-cooked potato (I had a hard time deciding between this and the Cape Malay onions as my favorite). Compliments to the chef and staff. I cannot wait to return for another lunch and to try out the dinner menu!
    What an amazing Experience this was ?????? @upperbloem Definitely brought the flavors of proudly Safrican dishes in a fine dining experience ? Each dish served was absolutely YUM! I would Definitely recommend and cannot wait to try their Din Dins ?
    The food is served in a tapas set menu style of three courses. Each dish was bursting with flavour. We also did the wine pairing which was well worth it- someone had put some careful thought into it! All in all a new Cape Town gem!
    Amazing food!
    Food with a wonderful smorgasbord of local flavours. The service was excellent.
    Delicious food - lovely flavour combinations. Excellent service!
    Upper Bloem is fabulous. The staff are attentive, friendly and proactive. The food was vibrant and delicious. The plating was beautiful and meticulous. A must...
    Fabulous food, great vibe and service was excellent. Seems like a seasoned restaurant rather than a new kid on the block well done
    Had the most wonderful experience at this new addition to the restaurant scene last night. The waiters were so attentive without imposing. We chose one tasting menu with wine and the other without. Generous carafes of delicious and well-paired wine meant that we could share each one. The food is beautifully plated and every mouth full delicious. Flavours well balanced and thoughtfully combined. Love the Bo-Kaap take on the flavours and the addition of indigenous plants like spekboom and suur vy. A must if you're wanting fine dining without pomp and ceremony, ambience is relaxed and comfortable. Highly recommended, especially if you want a taste of Cape Malay flavour in small punchy bursts of flavour.

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