Tag Archives: bar

Dinner and our wedding anniversary at Brio

Brio Restaurant

Since this was our 13th wedding anniversary (we married young, by the way ;)), we decided to go to the classy Brio for fine dining, live jazz and a bit of style.

All in all, the evening at Brio was pretty darn good. The small jazz band was awesome and the warm and cosy atmosphere was perfect. I'd recommend a visit, but be aware that it is fine-dining, so don't expect to pay Spur or Ocean Basket prices!

Aqua Restaurant at the Cape Quarter

Aqua Restaurant at the Cape Quarter
Aqua Restaurant at the popular Cape Quarter in De Waterkant use to be known as Tank - remember beautiful Tank? Well, the new owners have spiced things up a little and seem to have expanded the place quite considerably. The best place to sit is outside, in the square, but unfortunately by the time we booked all the outside spots had been snapped up by those smarter than I.

Nevertheless, the experience was pretty good - the staff were friendly and smart, and the seafood platter was pretty darn yummy. The particular sushi dish that we ordered (smoked salmon and creame cheese) was unfortunately a fair to moderate disaster, so much so that we left some of it behind (can you believe!?). Kerry-Anne's heard that the other sushi is pretty good, so perhaps we just chose something out of our taste-range... and to be fair, who orders sushi with smoked salmon!? :) )

All in all, I'd visit Aqua again, although I'd be smarter next time and book a table outside. For details I'd point you to their website, but to be honest it's as much a disaster as the sushi was, so for more information, a map, and a few photos visit their page on Dining-Out.

The Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster

Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster

The Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster is a cocktail described in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy as "the alcoholic equivalent to a mugging; expensive and bad for the head.". Apparently, drinking one is like "having your brains smashed out by a slice of lemon, wrapped 'round a large gold brick."

Isn't that perfectly awful?

Kerry-Anne ordered this drink at Eastwoods Lounge, near Tyger Valley Center. She reported that the Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster never had the alleged brain-smashing effect on her and was fairly tasty, albeit just a little too sweet for her liking.

Tequila Town – tequila heaven

Tequila Town tequila
Some of our friends regularly organise get-togethers at a little bar on Buitengracht street known as Tequila Town. While I'm not hugely into tequila, I have to admit that it's a pretty sociable drink that quickly gets a party started. :)

Tequila Town serves a pretty large variety of tequila that should keep tequila connoisseurs busy tasting for quite some time. There's plenty of parking right over the road, and there's always one or two parking attendants keeping an eye over your vehicle.

Visit Tequila town in a group of four or more - it's bound to be fun!

Is beer cheap in South Africa?

Beer on tap
We have family visiting from Australia and one of the first things that they commented on is how cheap our beer is in comparison to beer that they purchase back home.

Our average local bottle store sells a fairly good variety of beer that costs about R130 for a case of 24. That obviously excludes expensive beers imported from Belgium or Germany - those easily cost R350 for a case of 24!

I guess it's clear that one can't simply convert AUD, GBP, or EUR to ZAR to compare - but it would be interesting to know how much locally brewed beer costs in various countries. Leave a comment on this post, and let's see if we're as lucky as our Australian family thinks we are. :)

To easily convert your currency to ZAR, try using Google.
For example, do a search for "20 GBP in ZAR".

Den Anker took my shoe!

Den Anker's shoe-beer
Den Anker is a popular upmarket restaurant at the V&A Waterfront that sells a large variety of dishes including super-fresh seafood.

One of the restaurant's most popular traditions is that patrons are required to hand over a shoe as deposit when purchasing one of these beers. This 8.4% Belgian Kwak beer is served in it's traditional round-bottom glass that by accounts is pretty darn expensive to replace, hence the clever shoe-deposit!

Keep it real

A pink cocktail

I'm so glad I didn't accidentally order this pink cocktail; I'd hate for an accusatory big black man to have spontaneously appeared next to me, like in this popular TV ad.

Kerry-Anne and I decided to take advantage of Leaf Restaurant and Bar's half-price sushi and cocktail special. Unfortunately for us, we quickly realised how it is that they're able to offer this semi-permanent special. The cocktails were filled with more ice and less alcohol than we'd expected, and the pieces of sushi were smaller than what we're accustomed to, plus the rice fell apart far too easily.

It's possible that the restaurant was just having a bad day, but unfortunately for them we're spoiled for choice in Cape Town, so we probably won't end up there again.

Painting the town red

Painting the road red
You may not have thought that I was being literal in the title of this post - but I am - I found a handful of guys with red brushes painting the streets of Cape Town red with buckets of red paint. Heck, I think they may even have painted that car in the background! (I'm kidding, but you knew that, right?)

Anyway, enough of my silly jokes - we're going to be giving one of you four tickets to Funny Bones, a night of comedy at the Purple Turtle (map) in Long Street on (this coming) Tuesday 23 November. To win, you'll naturally have to be able to get to the Purple Turtle on Tuesday evening, but in addition, you'll need to leave a comment on this post mentioning who the headline act for the evening will be. (Check out the Facebook event to find out.)

I'll leave the competition open until some time on Friday night, and then select a random winner using my famous inky-pinky-ponky random-winner-selection technique. :)

The Assembly

The Assembly
The Assembly, in Cape Town's Harrington Street, was once a warehouse, but since late 2007 has been a welcoming host to local musical talent.

Visiting Assembly is plenty of fun. What's awesome is that they have a slick website that's constantly updated with information about future events. As an example of slick, check out the upcoming Discotheque & Arcade: Mr Majestic's Cirque de Fantastic. Doesn't the event description sound just awesome? Did you notice that the page links to the individual artist's respective pages with detailed information and a calendar to let you know on which other nights they're playing? I found this site refreshingly different to the outdated and unmaintained sites I often encounter.

Check out their contact page for contact info as well as a map to the venue.

"In true Arcade fashion you’re invited to enter the world of enchantment where you will experience mischievous wonderment in marvelously epic proportions. The magic will course through your body overwhelming your senses, luring and bewitching you into the world of circus carnival, a world of charm, temptation, charisma and splendor." - Mr Majestic's Cirque de Fantastic

Pakalolo in Hout Bay

Pakalolo in Hout Bay
After enjoying an awesome dinner with friends at the you-have-to-book-far-in-advance Kitima restaurant in Hout Bay we headed down to Pakalolo (a local bar) to meet up with friends.

The bar (seen through the arch) has a beach/Mexican décor and atmosphere and often hosts live music and comedy shows. Pakalolo serves a variety of food, but appear to specialise in Mexican cuisine. I can't say that the evening entertainment grabbed my attention, or that the bar and atmosphere was my scene - but I can imagine that it's an awesome place to sit back, relax and enjoy snacks and a couple of drinks after spending time on Hout Bay Beach.

I'd pay it another visit during the day - for sure. :)

Karaoke in a pub

I took this photo a little while ago, while visiting The Crowbar. While I've never participated in a Karaoke evening - can you imagine doing this with a group of (mostly drunk) strangers in a bar? How insane! Isn't it amazing what just a little alcohol can allow one do? :)

I'm sure the evening was plenty of fun - I'd love to have been there (to watch). Although, on the other hand, a lot of intoxicated people singing like Bryan Adams? Erm, on second thoughts... ;)

Inside the Crowbar

Inside the Crowbar
As the title suggests, I took this photo inside the Crowbar on Waterkant Street. This particular section is the smoking section, evident by the windows and glass door that (more or less) seals it from the the rest of the establishment.

What's not so nice about this arrangement is that the smoking section has this awesome long bar counter to sit at whereas the non-smoking section has the 2 meter long space that you see in the top right half of the photo. This time around, or smoking buddies got the better end of the deal. ;)


While studying and in my early years of working in Cape Town I had a few friends who I often heard talking of their nights out in Cape Town's clubs and bars. It's sounded like huge amounts of fun, but for whatever reason I rarely (which means perhaps once) joined them. In retrospect I regret this.

While walking down the World Cup Fan Walk in Cape Town recently I came across one of their old haunts in Waterkant Street - Crowbar. For some reason I'd always had a picture of an actual crowbar in my mind when listening to the stories of the previous nights fun.

I found it strange that the bar was open late on a Sunday morning, and I guess wasn't surprised when I stepped inside to find that I was their only patron. In case you're curious about how it looks inside, the barman was kind enough to allow me to snap a few photos - one of which I'll share with you in my next post.

Quay 4 at the Waterfront

Quay Four
If you've been to the V&A Waterfront then you must at least have seen Quay Four, and I guess it's likely that you've enjoyed a drink and perhaps lunch on their outside deck while watching boats sail past the quays.

We've watched one or two football games at Quay Four over the past weeks, and of the places in the Waterfront to view the games, I'd have to rate it to be the place I've enjoyed the most. If you're around and if you want to catch some of the excitement, then this would be a great place to start. Only, allow me to suggest that you arrive a couple of hours before the match to ensure that you get a comfy seat with a good view of the television.

Mr Pickwicks – a “dodgy” restaurant on Long

Mr Pickwicks
Mr Pickwicks (map) is a small, and very popular, restaurant on Long Street. The only reason why I refer to it as "dodgy" in the title of this article is because it's not what one could call pretty, quaint, or upper-market - it's really fairly rustic. However, if you're looking for a great burger, with an awesome milkshake - this is definitely a place to try. They actually have an entire page in the menu dedicated to their assortment of awesome milkshakes! :)

Bar on fire

Bar on fire

In a previous post I mentioned Che Latino Café in Brackenfell. While sitting outside trying desperately to even vaguely fit in with an entire crowd of friends that I didn't know, out of the corner of my eye I spotted an intense red glow coming from the bar area.

I jumped up to... take a photo and capture the moment. Naturally. :) But I found that the bar wasn't really on fire; the barman was squirting a flammable liquid along its length, creating this spectacular scene. What was surprising to me was that the patrons seemed to hardly even notice that the bar they were sitting at had flames leaping from it! (Leading me to believe that this was more of a regular thing than a special occasion.)

Che Latino Café

Che Guevara

Che Guevara, depicted in the photo above, is an icon that you're likely to have seen on t-shirts all over the world. His face is often used as a symbol of revolution or political awareness, but has become pretty fashionable over the years - thereby losing some of the meaning that it may have had in the past.

Che Latino Café (map), in the suburb of Brackenfell, is a hangout for locals in the surrounding areas. While you'll see a few "oldies" heading to the back to gamble, I'd guess the average age to be about 20 years old. The bar area rocks to the sound of local bands while the patrons relax on couches, bar chairs and even spill outside to socialise while sitting at tables, a little way away from the loud music inside.

Café Caprice at night

Caprice at night

In the evening, Café Caprice (map), one of the restaurants that face onto the Camps Bay beachfront, transforms from its day-time beach-restaurant feel into a bar crowded with dozens of socialising people. While you'll find folk of all ages, most of the patrons seem to be in their mid 20s or early 30s, and are definitely ready to party.

Kerry-Anne was out with "the girls", so I spent a while here with two friends before we headed out for pizza at Col'cacchio. I'm not sure that night-time Caprice is quite my cup of tea, but I have to admit that (if you're single ;) ) there certainly is a huge amount of eye-candy all around.

Mercury Lounge – a club in Cape Town

Mercury Lounge

This emblem is positioned above the upper bar at Mercury Lounge in Cape Town. We've often driven past Mercury late at night, on our way home, and there have always been people going in and out. I've always wondered what it looked like inside, and what the vibe was like - and at last we got to find out when we were invited to go along and see local band Autopilot performing. More about that in my next post, but for now, let me give you a rundown of Mercury Lounge:

There are two sections, one above the other. The lower section has a bar, some seating, and a tiny dance floor. I didn't spent much time there, but I imagined that they would play beat-driven music - the kind you'd expect to hear at clubs. The upstairs section is way larger. There's a small stage where the live acts perform, two pool tables, a bar, plenty of standing room, and a very limited number of tables and chairs. The drinks are fairly cheap, especially Miller (I think they have some kind of promotional deal with SAB Miller), but on the negative side, their facilities were terrible. Dirty, falling apart, and generally very unpleasant.

Anyway, it's an interesting place to check out, so if you're visiting Cape Town and you plan on hopping from club to club, you may as well make Mercury Lounge (map) one of the places that you stop in at.

Shopping at a bar?

The shop at Kink Bar

I mentioned in the previous post that we visited Kink Bar Boutique for a birthday get-together. What I didn't mention though was that the bar's name contains the word Boutique because, while most people socialise downstairs, some people wander upstairs to the little lingerie and... well... toy shop. ;-)

Before fully realising the nature of the shop I took a walk upstairs to see what it was all about. Needless to say I was quickly scared off by the beautiful garments and the ladies browsing them. :P I didn't even have a chance to take in all the goods that were for sale. I've since taken a quick look at the catalogue on their website (rated 18+), so I have a pretty good idea of what I missed out on...

Birthday at Kink Bar Boutique

Kink Bar in Palm Street

We, together with a number of other friends, joined Catherine and Joe to celebrate their respective birthdays at Kink Bar Boutique - a popular hang-out that we'd never actually visited until the party.

Kink is a small bar, with a dark and red Moulin Rouge feel about it... and in fact, at one point I noticed scenes from the movie playing on the projector screen in the photo. We had a couple of drinks inside and then wondered out the front to chat with friends for an hour or two.

The people enjoying the vibe at Kink seemed unpretentious, friendly and easy to talk to. The girls were pretty, and I'm led to believe that the guys were generally not too bad looking either. :) Even the waitresses mingling through the crowd were friendly and seemed to appear at the right time, just as another drink was required.

Kink's a nice place to enjoy a couple of drinks with mates before heading off to one of the local dancing spots. I'm pretty sure we'll be visiting again sometime soon.

Roots Bar in Obz

Roots bar

Roots in Observatory, a bar with its own man-made beach, is quite unlike other bars in the city. Take a look here and here to see what I mean - isn't it awesome when people play with fire?

Apart from the beach-away-from-the-sea feel, at Roots you can have a few drinks with friends while watching sporting events on a big screen. They also host live music acts catering for a wide variety of tastes, from Reggae/Rock/Fusion bands like Tidal Waves to Afrikaans metal bans like Fokofpolisiekar.

If you're not sure where to find Roots, they're at 96 Station Road, which is right here on the map.

As our holiday in Bloemfontein and Johannesburg draws to an end, thanks again to Mandy for helping us out with our daily photos from Cape Town!

The Blue Peter – not rocking on a Saturday night

The Blue Peter

The Lower Deck Bistro at the Blue Peter has never been one of my favourite spots in Cape Town, although it seems a lot of our friends like it - I know this because we keep getting invited to things there. :) Usually these "things" are informal lunch-time meetups or sundowners, but this time it was an evening birthday party.

Although the birthday party itself was lovely (we got to see a whole lot of old friends we hadn't seen in ages), the experience pretty much sealed my impressions of the Blue Peter as A Place I Don't Want To Go To Again. As you may be able to tell from the photo, there weren't a lot of other people at the venue. In fact, there weren't really any other people at all. In fact... yes, I think you get the picture. This struck us as rather odd, given that it was a Saturday night.

Apparently the first members of our party to arrive had been told (at 6pm, before they'd even placed their first drinks orders), "Last rounds are at 21h45... as long as you know that." An odd start to the evening, wouldn't you say? By 20h00, after we'd finished our pizzas, it had become clear that the manager and his waitrons were rather keen for us to move the party elsewhere. We were obviously the only customers there by that time, and they'd presumably decided that getting an early night was a better option than wasting their time serving just one table. They hovered near the entrance, glancing over at us constantly, and the waitress passed a remark at one point that she was "just worried, because no-one's drinking", which wasn't true, of course - we just weren't drinking much alcohol. ;-)

All in all, it became pretty weird and uncomfortable, until we eventually left at around 9pm; and Paul and I certainly won't be going back if we can help it. If you don't mind being watched by the manager while you sip your latte, or having the waitress raise her eyebrows in disbelief when you order your whiskey without ice, then you'll probably enjoy it more than we did. :)

Yola: Synthasite rebooted – the ftv launch party

The Yola launch party at ftv

You may recall us mentioning Synthasite, a Cape Town Internet startup company making it big in San Francisco. Passing the 2 million user mark, and comfortably heading to 3 million, Synthasite has outgrown its name and was recently rebranded as Yola... a free platform on which novices and pros can comfortably build websites from scratch (well, not actually from scratch... rather using the online tools and building blocks made from scratch by the Yola developers!).

The party was plenty of fun - we saw loads of people that we hadn't seen for some time, met a few people we hadn't met before, ate a few snacks and drank a few drinks, danced for a while and generally had a pretty good evening. If you have a spare moment, visit our gallery section where I posted a few extra photos taken at the launch. :)

Party in a jukebox

Jukebox playlist

A fun thing to do for a party is to hire an old-fashioned jukebox... and I imagine that a fun thing to do during the summer holidays in Cape Town would be to hire a jukebox for a few days. :) I hired one for a party a couple of years ago, and it was a blast - quite literally.

These days the only boxes that you can hire are fitted with hard drives containing hundreds of MP3 tracks. I'd love to find one of these babies that still uses LPs. I guess that finding one, especially in a public place, would be nearly impossible. Please leave a comment if you know of a genuine jukebox that plays genuine LPs. We may just have to visit! :)

GeekDinner, in our Neighbourhood {Restaurant}

GeekDinner at Neighbourhood

Neighbourhood Restaurant and Pub hosted our merry group of geeky friends at Tuesday's bimonthly GeekDinner, code-named Naughty Naartjie.

I guess the first thing that I have to say about Neighbourhood is: "What a flippin' awesome venue!". The restaurant is located close to the top of Long Street (the vibrant side), on the upper level, from where you can watch passers-by migrating between nightclubs and bars. The restaurant owner kept an eye on the proceedings, and made sure that we had everything we needed. The service from the (beautiful) waitresses was unexpectedly attentive, giving us the feeling that they genuinely wanted to make sure that we were happy.

The buffet starter table was almost a meal in its own right, laden with trays of teriyaki and chilli chicken wings, chilli poppers, nachos, pita breads with hummus and tahina, olives, and a whole bunch of other yummy things. I had a pretty decent burger for mains, followed by ice-cream with chocolate sauce... and all of this was topped off with a great bottle of Merlot from our wine sponsor, Delheim (more about that in my next post though).

Apologies if it sounds like all we did was eat and drink :). In fact, there were a couple of good speakers who kept us well entertained in between courses and table banter. Thanks also to Bryn for the well-constructed slideshow karaoke*.

*Slideshow Karaoke: "...somebody prepares a set of slides on any topic they want (we've had "Etiquette when dealing with British Royalty", "Common problems with cement tiles", and "A primer on lesser known Norse gods"). Somebody else then presents a talk based on these slides without any prior knowledge of the topic, or of the content of the slides - always to amusing effect." - Vhata Vas Hyah

The Jacksons at fashiontv nightclub

As I mentioned, Kerry-Anne and I were invited to a friend's birthday party at fashiontv on Saturday evening. The theme was to dress like something or someone related to the famous Jackson family. Soon after arriving, I looked around at the stylish patrons in the club and realised that perhaps I'd taken the theme an inch or so too far... but, I'll leave that up to your imagination (and those with access to my Facebook photo gallery). :D

Needless to say, Kerry-Anne complemented the other exceptionally beautiful and sophisticated people. The music was loud, but not loud enough to make my ears uncomfortable; and what was pretty awesome was that while the DJ played, a guy walked around the bar area playing a saxophone in harmony with the DJ's tracks. It really was pretty darn impressive and created an interesting blend of hip-hop and pop music crossed with a live sax performance.

All in all it was a pretty good experience - the club wasn't too crowded and the dance-floor opened fairly late, giving people a chance to socialise. The drinks weren't cheap (about R20 for a 330ml beer), but not unreasonably expensive either, and there were plenty of places to grab a seat if you got tired of standing.

I think we'll have to visit again some time (so let us know when you're looking for a party ;) )!

Breakfast at Café Caprice

Cafe Caprice

Ever since James Small, a past Springbok rugby player, opened Café Caprice (on Victoria Road in Camps Bay) we've been meaning to pop in for a meal or drink. There's just never seemed to be space for us, though - we always seem to end up in Camps Bay at the same time as Cape Town's entire population of trendy people! Café Caprice has always been a very popular meeting-place, and I'm not sure that that's just because of the identity of its owner.

We managed to arrive in Camps Bay early (just after 9am is early, isn't it?), and so there was still plenty of space for us to pick a nice sunny seat at the window. So, our first visit to Caprice was pretty good, actually. Our young waiter was sparky and quick to attend. For breakfast we both chose the Madame Caprice (a pocket of French toast, buttered with mustard, filled with bacon and cheese and topped with a fried egg) with coffee.

Madame Caprice was flippin' awesome - except perhaps for the mustard, which Kerry-Anne loved and I felt spoiled the meal a little. I've never been a real mustard fan, and in retrospect I should have asked them to hold the mustard.

Café Caprice's website is one of those annoying Flash sites, but take a look anyway - their menu seems up-to-date and they have a small (though un-maintained!) gallery section with photos from parties held at the restaurant.