I enjoy eating out once in a while, and as a Muslim in Cape Town it’s not always easy to find great halaal places to get my culinary fix. On a mission to find cool spots, I’ve rounded up 10 halaal restaurants you may want to add to your dining list.
For something that feels a bit more exclusive, Mezbaan (at the Hilton Hotel) is ideal for your eastern fix. Meals are served in copper bowls and is accompanied by sambals and other condiments.
Tip: If you’d prefer a milder dish, the butter chicken’s yummy.
126 Buitengracht, Hilton Cape Town City Centre Hotel, corner of Buitengracht and Wale Street, Cape Town.
2. Alhambra Restaurant and Coffee Shop
With its selection of chicken, seafood, meat, burgers, wraps and pasta dishes, you’ll be spoiled for choice. The layout makes the restaurant quite spacious and there are couches for a more informal dining experience.
Tip: This is a good option for birthdays and small get-togethers as the tables can be rearranged to suit your group and the décor, look and feel of the place adds a touch of elegance.
409 Lansdowne Road, Rondebosch East.
3. Atlantic Express Cake and Coffee Train
Part of the appeal of this restaurant is the fact that it’s part of an actual train. It’s cosy and the food is really good. I wouldn’t advise active kids to dine here as they might get frustrated by the lack of space.
Tip: On weekends it’s best to phone ahead because it gets quite busy. You should give the savoury pancakes a try.
18 Regent Road, Sea Point, Cape Town.
4. Bokaap Kombuis
If you’re looking for typical Cape Malay dishes and delicious curries with a spectacular view of Table Mountain and the city, stop in at Bokaap Kombuis. There’s a small balcony if you want to enjoy your meal outside, but the view from inside is just as good.
Tip: If you’re keen to have denningvleis, order it here.
7 August Street on Upper Wale Street, Bo-Kaap.
5. Eastern Food Bazaar
The nice thing about the Eastern Food Bazaar is that the food’s super cheap and good too. You’ll find anything from curry, masala dosa, samoosas, tandoori chicken, kebabs, some Asian dishes and even pizza. An average meal can cost you only R30.
Tip: It’s a really lively and busy place so if you prefer to be away from the bustle, there’s seating upstairs.
96 Longmarket Street. Cape Town
6. Food Inn India
With a similar setup to the Eastern Food Bazaar (cafeteria-style where you order your food and take it to you table), Food Inn also has competitive prices and specialises in thali, curries and tikka, tandoori and biryani.
Tip: They’re open 24 hours so pop in whenever you like.
156 Long Street, Cape Town
Along with an extensive menu, Kaprino’s does a killer buffet. Locals love it mostly for the unlimited prawns and ribs, but don’t limit yourself to just that as the other dishes are just as good.
Tip: The mocktails are delicious and they look good too.
57B Somerset Road, Green Point
8. The Lounge on Kromboom
The Lounge serves breakfast, lunch, dinner and desserts and is also a smoking lounge (in a separate section). The colourful lighting and vibey atmosphere makes it popular with birthday parties and large groups. The restaurant is closed on Mondays.
Tip: Only order the masala burger options if you can handle some heat. The red velvet cupcakes are good.
Kromboom Road, above Woolworths, corner of Kromboom and Jan Smuts Drive.
The American-diner feel of Pepperazzi makes it a trendy place to have a meal before a movie, in between shopping or even if you’re making the trip to Canal Walk especially for the food. They’ve got a huge menu so you may take a while to decide what to have.
Tip: The triple burgers will leave you satisfied and if there’s still space in your tummy, have a gelato on your way out.
Canal Walk, Shop 481, upper level.
I don’t like lamb at all but I have to mention that the lamb rogan gosh at Zaika’s was the melt-in-your-mouth type that even I enjoyed (even though I was eating out of someone else’s plate). The restaurant’s not very big but what they lack in space they make up for in taste.
Tip: The chicken jalfrezi is worth a try as well as the fish biryani.
8 Kromboom Road, Rondebosch East.
For more halaal restaurants in Cape Town, click here
For a review of Bokaap Kombuis, click here