You’re in the Cape… you’re on the coast… you have a thing for Sushi? Join the club! I have been to several sushi restaurants and whilst we have our favourite favourites that we will always make sure to order when having sushi (I’d confess to salmon roses) I can’t really say that any two restaurants are alike. I thought to list some of the places I have been to and enjoyed some good sushi…
I think it important to initially point out that opinions naturally vary and what I might term ‘good sushi’ might not be what others term good. For example, a particular family member of mine (and I will love you forever and always) refuses to have sushi with that yummy mayo with the sprinklings of salmon roe on it… apparently that’s rather westernized (but what would I know, I rather like it but will share that I have found a completely mayo-free sushi spot if you are of like mind with said family member! More on that below)….
But first! To the restaurant which converted me: Saigon. This is, interestingly enough, a Vietnamese restaurant which serves the most amazing dishes! It’s not cheap, but it’s really rather good! They make excellent dim sum and the salmon roses are on steroids they are so big! Take note, this is a rather posh restaurant so whilst you might not want to arrive in your shorts and slops, you’ll definitely score when the little lady handing out Thai backrubs comes and pummels the stress out of your shoulders (again not free, but really good!!)
Saigon: Corner Camp and Kloof Street, Cape Town 8001 call 021 424 7670
The next little gem of a place to try out is the quaint, totally relaxed, great value for money ‘1890‘ in Observatory. Their sushi is outstanding. They do serve the mayo-salmon roe variety, but it’s fresh and fantastic value for money! The ambiance is ultra-casual and an absolute favourite of mine. I recommend booking as I am not the only local who flocks there!
1890: 40 Trill Road, Observatory, Cape Town call 021 447 1450
A little further out …ok perhaps a lot further out but totally worth the drive, is a restaurant called ‘Lemon Butta‘ in Willowbridge. They serve magnificent, somewhat unique pieces of sushi with wonderful fresh herbs and fabulously yummy dipping sauces (in other words, you aren’t limited to your soya-wasabi combo).
Lemon Butta Willowbridge: Carl Cronje Road, Cape Town 7530 call 021 914 7250
A lot closer to home is the all famous Takumi. You totally have to book to get into this one but it’s without fail a totally memorable experience! The Sushi master Papa San (who is rather famous in the Cape Town Sushi fraternity, locals will recall his presence at Minato or even funnier still as the ‘Douglas Green’ character from the ads on TV) will personally check on you to make sure you are happy with your meal. You might want to take note of the house rules, they are rather amusing! (And tongue in cheek!) The look and feel is contemporary yet minimalist – very modern and ‘chique’! Don’t let this put you off though; it’s one of ‘the’ places to get sushi!
Takumi: 3 Park Road, Cape Town 8001 call 021 424 8879
Whilst there are a good ten other sushi spots I’d like to share, the last one for today will have to be, the eye opening Kyoto Gardens. This is without a shadow of a doubt possibly the most authentic sushi I have found. I was served fish I don’t even know how to pronounce, there was absolutely no mayo in sight and the snacks (yes, there were snacks served!) ranged from fresh endamame beans to pickled bamboo (I think) and crab claws (which make for very interesting table decor). They serve a fantastic fish ‘jewel of the sea’ soup (at this point I would like to confess that I personally did not brave the soup but my father was well impressed, so it’s a reputable source for me!). Lastly, the deserts were out of this world. Bright, green tea infused crepes and ginger ice cream are just some of the unique delights awaiting you. Highly recommend you pay this one a visit!
Kyoto Gardens – 11 Kloof Nek Road, Cape Town 8001 call 021 422 2001