“ Address: New Cumberland Building / 163 Beach Road / Mouille Point 8001 / South Africa „
For our first dinner in Cape Town, one of the suggestions by our guide was Theo's restaurant on Beach Road, which was walking distance from where we were staying. My heart sunk as we approached and I saw that it billed itself as 'Grill - Butcher - Seafood', I'm vegetarian and figured I would struggle. It was a Saturday night but not especially busy. It certainly didn't seem to faze the friendly staff that nine people had turned up at 7.45pm without booking.
The restaurant is situated on Beach Road in Mouille Point, a little way from the hustle and bustle of the waterfront. There are tables outside should the weather be in your favour, but otherwise, it is light and airy inside, with lots of windows.
As with all large parties, there is a small amount of faffing as we get sorted and decide on some drinks. I was pleased to discover that spirits and mixers are much cheaper in South Africa, and by having several vodka and cokes, I wasn't going to bankrupt myself on the first night. Most of us elected to pass on starters, but one lady decided to have a salad. It was billed as a side salad, so she assumed it would be ideal as a starter. In fact it was massive and full of fresh ingredients, and sadly she couldn't finish it.
I was correct in my original summation in that there wasn't a great deal of vegetarian options, just the pasta of the day and a vegetarian platter (except for salads but I prefer to eat hot food for my main meal, especially in winter). I went for the former which was a spaghetti dish with mushrooms and spring onions, there were a smattering of fresh herbs and olive oil garnishing it and I found it very tasty and light. The portion size was very good, I was concerned it would be massive after seeing my friend's salad, but it was a manageable size and still filled me up for what was a reasonable ZAR 75 (GB £6.50/US$10.70).
Also available are a range of steaks in three sizes (Ladies, Medium, Large) starting at ZAR105 (£9.15/$15) for the small rump or sirloin. Those that partook really enjoyed them. They also do local game where available, veal and chicken dishes. Another popular choice was fish of the day, grilled in Cajun spices or with lemon. I'm not sure what the fish was that particular day as we were all unfamiliar with the local fish choices at that time, but for the most part they were enjoyed and cost ZAR110 (£9.50/$15.75). They were supposedly filleted, but small bones were still found. They have about eight-ten other fish options available.
My bill for my pasta, 2 alcoholic drinks and service came to ZAR 150 (£13/$21.40) which I thought was reasonable. Others paid a bit more as they had more expensive food choices, but generally I found the meal good value and was happy with my food. There are toilets at the back which seemed clean and well stocked. There are some steps involved so not ideal for wheelchair users, but the restaurant is not cramped, so it would be easy to move around otherwise. Service, as is typical in South Africa, is smiley and welcoming. They are always happy to oblige if they can. The restaurant is open daily for lunch and dinner.
The opportunity to return did not present itself as we were on holiday and travelling around the western Cape region. Had it occurred I would have passed, as there are many good restaurants in the city, and whilst I enjoyed my pasta, I would have preferred some different options. However, for fans of meat and fish, I think you will find an good selection at fairly reasonable prices.