by Simon Capstick-Dale

Cape Town's Mad About Sushi

Where to get your sushi fix in the city

Where to get to your raw fish fix in the Mother City
Where to get to your raw fish fix in the Mother City
When eating sushi became in-vogue overnight and eating raw fish somewhat of a cult phenomenon, restaurants selling the stuff started popping up all over Cape Town. When this happened I was convinced it was just another soon-to-die trend in the fickle Mother City and that soon there would be an over saturation of knife-wielding sushi chefs and a whole whack of very unhappy restaurateurs forced out of business. But I was sorely mistaken. Eating sushi is still as popular as always – if not more than ever – and there are a bunch of really awesome places to enjoy what has become a culinary pastime for many Capetonians.

Willoughby & Co
A landmark restaurant in Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront opened way back in 1992, Willoughby’s is an authentic Japanese kitchen serving – amongst specialties like soft-shelled crab and oyster shooters – quality sushi in the middle of a shopping complex. They are open for lunch and dinner seven days a week but don’t take bookings so get there early to reserve your space at this über popular eatery. 
Tel: +27 (0)21 418 6115
Web: www.willoughbyandco.co.za

Sevruga
Also located in Cape Town’s picturesque waterfront, Sevruga is the younger sister of Beluga in Green Point, which long-time restaurateur Oscar Kotze opened up several years before this new gem. The sushi here is fantastic and the great news is you’ll only pay half-price between 12-6pm from Monday to Saturday. There’s no better way to eat your sushi than accompanied with a long drink and even better news is that cocktails are also half price then.
Tel: +27 (0)21 421 5134
Web: www.sevruga.co.za
 
Kyoto Garden Sushi
Cape Town’s fairly new kid on the block but already recognised as one of the best in Cape Town, Kyoto Garden Sushi has a very minimalist Zen-like atmosphere which isn’t very common among many of Cape Town’s other sushi restaurants. It is a bit more expensive than your average sushi spot but you certainly get what you pay for. This is real Japanese food. Over and above the sushi (which is fresher than you’ve ever tasted and you’ll no doubt find to be positively delicious) – they even serve things like Fugu (pufferfish) – which can be lethally poisonous and therefore must be carefully prepared to remove toxic parts from contaminating the meat. It’s also probably the only place in town that serves real wasabi from the grated root as opposed to the mixture of wasabi powder with horseradish and mustard served in most establishments.
Tel: +27 (0)21 422 2001

Wakame
Location, location, location. Wakame's breathtaking views spread from the old Lighthouse at Mouille Point to the gleaming lights of Table Bay. Not to mention the whales and seals you might spot in the sea below, Wakame also boasts Cape Town’s most commanding view of Robben Island. With raised wooden decks and green tea antiqued walls, 3-metre long fish tanks and cherry wood counters, Wakame is just as pleasing to the eye as the palate. Pacific Rim blended with asian fusion and a hint of French is what comes from the kitchen, including an assortment of dim sum, fish dishes, meat, poultry and some of Cape Town’s finest sushi. The fish skeleton that hangs from Wakame’s sushi bar is their mascot called "Chi".
Tel: + 27 (0)21 433 2377
Web: www.wakamebistro.com

Minato
You don’t come here for glitz or glam. However, that said, Minato is by no means a dive. Located slap-bang in the middle of the city centre, the sushi here is excellent and because the prices are so reasonable, it has become a favourite among many of Cape Town’s sushi addicts. With bright lights and plastic chairs, Minato most interesting feature is the eccentric character that runs the restaurant with his wife. Even if it says "full" on the door, it can happen that you are let inside, if Mr. Minato is in the right mood. Minato has a large menu and offers some interesting alternatives to your standard sushi fare. The sushi plate offers a taste of everything and the Sushi Boat filled with huge slices of sashimi is a big hit.  
Tel: +27 (0) 21 423 4712
 
The Square at the Vineyard Hotel
The Square is a magnificent glass-roofed restaurant at the 200-year old Vineyard Hotel & Spa. The indoor trees are a lovely touch and your dining experience will be enhanced by harp or piano music and the tinkling sound of the restaurant’s waterfall. The Square is one of two restaurants in the Vineyard Hotel and it’s sushi bar offers an interesting and exciting menu available for both lunch and dinner. There is a full sushi menu on offer but you’d do well to follow a sushi or sashimi starter with a crispy duck and mango salad, or something else off the extensive à la carte menu. Sushi is half price between 5-7pm daily (excluding platters).
Tel: +27 (0)21 657 4500
Web: www.vineyard.co.za/pages/the_square.htm
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