Cape Town has no shortage of restaurants and bars and there certainly seems to be no limit in new establishments popping up either. A current (or maybe longstanding) craze in Cape Town is definitely tapas. It seems to be the way to dine, as you get to taste a little bit of everything the chef has to offer. Tapas is traditonally a form of Spanish cuisine and is an appetizer or snack, which may be served cold or hot. Lately, I have been “tapas tasting” around Cape Town and so far, three restaurants have been enjoyed: Shio, Bocca and Asoka.
Shio is a Japanese restaurant in De Waterkant. It is named after the Japanese word for salt and at Shio you can expect to be blown away with flavourful combinations and delicious food. We managed 4 tapas between the 2 of us and this was plenty. The menu is divided into Umi (ocean), Tochi (land), Chikyuu (earth) and Amai (sweet). The variety really does leave you with a difficult decision. My favourite dish was the Nori Tuna Tacos – such a burst of flavour. We also shared the duck-fat fries which are served with a sprinkling of truffle salt and crushed nori, which is served with mayo.
Bocca on Bree Street is a trendy spot offering both meals and tapas. We opted for tapas and enjoyed a variety of outstanding food. My personal favourites have to be the zucchini fries and the hake served on feta and spinach risotto. I have been dreaming of these two dishes since I left and I cannot wait to go back for more.
Apparently the pizza is a MUST and many have vouched for it being the best pizza in Cape Town. Bocca serve a Neopolitan style pizza. This means it is cooked at 485 degrees celcius which results in a crunchy crust and soft, elastic centre.
Asoka is an Asian tapas restaurant on Kloof street which is built around an Olive Tree. The setting is truly something special and the menu leaves you spoilt for choice. The menu comprises of tasting plates that have been designed around the 5 elements: Earth (vegetarian), Water (seafood), Wind (chicken & duck), Fire (meat) & Nirvana (dessert). The dish of the night had to be the duck springrolls. They were cooked to perfection and full of flavour. We also loved the goats cheese croquettes and the tuna tacos. Asoka not offers great food, but there is an assortment of unique cocktails to enjoy as well.
Tapas is definitely not the cheapest way to dine out, but it is a sure treat and a great way to really explore multiple dishes at once. It is definitely the way to dine for those indecisive foodies who want to try nearly every dish on the menu 🙂