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Arnolds Restaurant (Cape Town, South Africa)

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Address: 60 Kloof Street / Gardens / Cape Town / South Africa / Tel: 021 4244344

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      24.07.2010 21:02
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      When in Kloof Street, visit Arnolds!

      How I miss this place! Located in the somewhat "trendy" Kloof Street area of Cape Town which literally is littered with fine eateries. It's within easy walking distance of the centre, and located just oppostite the very grand Mount Nelson Hotel. This is amongst the most laid back, tasty and value for money joints in the whole of the city. I made a point whilst I was there to visit every eatery in the street - but somehow never managed them all as I kept going back to some of my favourites time and time again. You can choose to eat in or eat out, if choosing the latter you'll get chance to watch people walking by the busy street. You may also occasionally be bothered by beggars or vendors, but it's never any thing threatening. The view up to Table Mountain is of course also a reason to dine alfresco.

      Let me explain about eating out in Cape Town. Unless you are in the depth of winter - which is our summer time, eating out in the city is something to fall in love with. There is such a variety of places to try, and rarely did I find one which I wouldn't have returned to. There aren't that many places in the world you could say that. The quality is fantastic, service friendly, prices are within even the backpackers budget. There is of course always plenty of quality South African wine to wash it down with.

      What drew me there orginally was some "free bottle of wine" vouchers with every table. No restrictions, so we gave it a go. We managed to pick up a handful of vouchers which lasted me for months....

      Just thinking about the breakfast at Arnolds is enough to make me want to take the trip back right now - although it would be an expensive breakfast. If however you are already in the city, it's not going to cost you a lot. Get there early, any day of the week for the early bird special - 2 eggs, 2 strips of bacon, 2 slices of tomato, 2 slices of toast, ostrich wors (kind of a sausage) an absolute bargain at 11 rand (that's about a pound). If a fry up isn't your cup of tea, there's omelette, fresh fruit salad, giant croissants or musli and yoghurt. I never got through the whole breakfast menu, but I'm sure it's all good. Breakfast is served incidentally until 5pm.

      It's always pretty busy in the morning, but the service manages to keep up with friendly attentive waiters and waitresses who are always ready with a smile. The whole atmosphere is pretty young and casual, although if you aren't so young, you'll still be welcome - and remembered when you return.

      Lunch and dinner menus are heavy on meat. When I say meat, how about some crocodile ribs? Springbok? Warthog? Gemsbok? Ostrich? All here, not to mention the lamb, chicken, and mouthwatering sirloin and fillet steaks. Not sure what to try, then opt for a game platter with a selection of four game meats - which will usually be croc, ostrich and two others, depending on what's available. This is a huge platter, so enough to share - and under 150ZAR - about £13. If you are more of a burger person, there are around 10 different selections including blue cheese, avocado and bacon burger at under a fiver - served with wedges and trimmings.

      If meat isn't your thing, there's plenty of salads. I'm not a salad person but they looked good even to me. Pasta is limited to a handful of options including lasagne. The fish menu includes prawns, calamari and the fish of the day (known as linefish locally).

      When it comes to deserts, you'll see a selection of cakes displayed in the restaurant to choose from, but I kept going back for the cassata - layers of vanilla, chocolate and strawberry ice cream fused with glaced fruit and amaretto. To die for. Also try the malva pudding, a South African special. The deserts rarely cost more than £2.50, so there's no need to worry about the bill.

      Wine is served by the glass, around 20ZAR (£1.75) or by the bottle, at about 70ZAR (£6). They have a good selection from some of the best wine regions including Robertson, Stellanbosh and Durbanville. There's also a good selection of cocktails (around £3) and beers at around a £1.

      If you really aren't that hungry, stop by anyway just for a cold beer, or perhaps a casatta too. Yumm.

      Open every day until the last customer leaves. Wheelchair accesable. Ample washrooms. Specials and happy hours vary - so check out what's on offer.

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