The Ultimate Guide to Sushi in Cape Town

by biltong101

sushipolIf you often feel like sushi but don’t always have an idea about where to go and you’re bored with the same old places, this guide should help you find what you’re looking for. The restaurants are divided into three price categories and grouped by areas for your convenience.

Every Day (or Night) Sushi Consumption – up to 150 pp

Golden Fish

A decent food-wise and price-wise restaurant in Table View. I had better, I had worse. If you want to eat out and you feel like sushi, it’s one of the nicest restaurants in the area. Just say “no” if some random gentlemen insist on getting you and your friend sake. Don’t ask.

Sushi Nori

Another Table View place. I’ve eaten their sushi A LOT. Recommended for bad moods, hangovers and lack of sense of direction in life. Nice sushi and not expensive at all. Mostly a takeaway place but they have a table or two if you really want to eat there.

1890 House Sushi

This restaurant in Observatory is my latest discovery. It’s not pricier than any other sushi spot in the area, but their food is the best. If you eat there, they’ll give you prawn chips to snack on before your order arrives (a big subjective plus). 1890 also has minimalistic but pleasant decor.

Mr Lin’s

Mr Lin’s is a decent sushi restaurant in Observatory. They’re very affordable and have lots of specials to make your food even cheaper. Their sushi is really good and the service is quick. The downside is the unnecessary garnishing on your plate and your sushi pieces.

Blue Marlin

Bleh. I really didn’t like their food and I gave them two chances. Their tempuras pieces were dry, the rice was undercooked… There are other nicer places in Observatory to go to. Also, I was a bit traumatised by them which isn’t their fault at all. A friend of mine and I ordered their crackling duck sushi (couldn’t find it on the menu anymore today) which, well, turned out to have exactly that inside. The problem is we’re both pescatarian. We were hungry so we ate it anyway. The meat we missed so much and we’d been denying ourselves for the sake of Mother Earth and her little children wasn’t even good!

Pine Garden

The place is located surprise, surprise in Gardens. One can easily tell it’s mostly a takeaway restaurant by the lack of decor. It doesn’t look inviting and has low quality menus but these qualities are deceiving. I’ve eaten from and in the restaurant a couple of times and always enjoyed my meal. It’s decent sushi that’s reasonably priced. If you have a craving during the week, it’s just perfect. A big plus is that the place also opens on Sunday.

Nuri Sushi

It’s actually a chain of restaurants. There are two Nuri Sushi Factories in CBD and Claremont and three Nuri Sushi Express restaurants in CBD, Claremont and Sea Point. I’ve only visited the ones in CBD and I was happy with their reasonably priced classic sushi. I wouldn’t risk their chef’s special ever again (picture attached). It included weird pieces with chives and other greenery on them and I could swear that one type of sushi tasted as if it had small pieces of butter inside.

Amrik

Minato Sushi Bar

I should have known that a sushi place in Long Street is bad news. A “friend” (I’m sorry Gerhard, no real friend would recommend it) recommended this place to me and my husband when we were drunk, hungry and I was particularly craving sushi. Going there was a mistake. We paid not less than in any other sushi place and the sushi was disgusting. It was fresh and all but just really not tasty. Ugh. Puking in my mouth now, when thinking about it.

 

Beluga

Beluga is conveniently situated in Green Point. It’s a potentially a pricey place but only if you decide to order outside of the times when the special is happening. Fortunately, the special offer is quite generous and you can eat half-price sushi every day between 12 pm and 7 pm and on Sundays all day till 10 o’clock. You can also compliment your sushi with a half-priced cocktail or two. The restaurant offers low-calorie options for those who watch their weight. They also have one of the best wasabi parcels I’ve ever tried. If for whatever reason, you’re forced to go there before or after the special and you weren’t born with a sliver spoon in your mouth, go for sushi plates which have lower prices “all day, every day”. Beluga is also just a nice place to go to. It looks posher than it really is. The only thing I could complain about is the fact that hostesses taking you to your table wear less and less clothes every year and therefore look more and more like strippers from Maverick’s.

Best of Asia

Another Green Point restaurant, which unfortunately can’t be compared to Beluga. You may not be impressed by the look of the place, but don’t let it scare you. It’s not the best sushi in town but it’s not the worst either. It may be too pricey for its quality, but isn’t expensive. It has a buy 1, get 1 free (of the same plate color) promo on every day. Of course, there’s an all-you-can-eat too for a price I would know had I called them but I forgot and it’s time to publish this post.

Sushi Box

It’s a chain with restaurants located in Green Point, CBD and Newlands. They have good sushi that isn’t too expensive. They’re quite quick as well, I’ve managed to squeeze a meal there easily within the lunch hour. I also like the rustic vibe about the place, it makes it look extremely clean and casually elegant.

Shin Thai

You’ll find Shin Thai in Sea Point, opposite Spar. Over the years of me going to this restaurant, the place hasn’t changed prices of food much. It offers a wide range of classic sushi and affordable platters. The food is very decent but the pieces are a bit small so don’t under-order. If you’re wondering whether something is enough, it probably won’t be. Don’t be stingy, order a bigger platter or a few more pieces! A minor disadvantage is that, because of a big number of take-away orders, the service may be a bit slow if you come with a big group of people on a busy night. I know you’re busy reading this blog now rather than hanging out with cool people, so you probably don’t have too many friends and you and your bestie will do just fine there 😉

Wonderful Sushi Restaurant

Another Sea Point establishment. I ordered food from them once and never visited the actual restaurant. If you check them out on Zomato, their menu looks a bit scary with all the low quality images. The food is okay, though. No surprises either way and they’re not too pricey.

Andy’s Sushi Bar

I’ve mentioned in my previous post about sushi that Sea Point is a sushi kingdom. Andy’s isn’t the brightest jewel. Their sushi tastes like sushi, it’s on the cheaper side of things and they’re quick with preparing their take-away orders. In other words, it’s an okay place. 3,5/5 like a guy you never should go on a second date with but you’re sort of horny and sort of lonely and you do it anyway.

Ocean Basket

You’ll find Ocean Basket EVERYWHERE. Their sushi is below average and I would rather go for other food option there, if I were you. I did eat sushi there during sushi droughts, though. As we say in Poland: when there’s no fish around, a crab is fish too.

Make 

I really, really, really like Make. In fact, it’s been my personal favorite for the last two years or so. It’s a Sea Point sushi place that’s not expensive at all but makes great food. The restaurant is pleasant enough to have dinner there, they’re also very quick with their takeaways (ready to pick-up within 15 minutes). They do get quite busy on weekends so try booking in advance if you’re keen on dinner there.

Dynasty Chinese Restaurant

Just around the corner from Make in Sea Point you’ll find Dynasty. I remember it as an expensive place with average sushi. They’ve dropped their prices on platters since I last went there, though. They also have weird pieces I just can’t get my head around, like asparagus or cream cheese maki. It sounds like an equivalent of anal for sushi eaters – most people don’t like it and those who do are too ashamed to admit it, anyway.

Empire Asian Restaurant

They keep live sea creatures in aquariums in this Sea Point restaurant, which may spoil your appetite, if you’re sensitive. The place serves standard sushi at very affordable prices. Their special platters from A-H are massive and cost only R129. I can never eat so much at one sitting and always have leftovers for the best thing in the world (after my husband): sushi breakfast. The place can get busy but it’s also big, so you can decide to go there on the spur of a moment.

This Restaurant The Name Of Which is Nowhere to be Found

Opposite Woolies (close to Glengariff) in Sea Point there’s another sushi restaurant but I can’t find its name anywhere on the web. They have an all-you-can-eat special for 149 rand, which limits your salmon roses and sashimi. The food is decent so I have no idea why it’s usually so empty. The staff are extremely friendly.

I Need a Pick-Me-Up – up to 300 rand pp

Village Sushi

Is it worth it to drive all the way to Nordhoek to try sushi in this restaurant? Hell, no. But if you feel like you’re up to a Chapman’s Peak drive or for whatever other reason, you’ll find yourself in this remote part of Cape Town, do pay them a visit. They really have very nice, simple sushi at a not-too-crazy price. The place itself is just lovely and will give you a nice break from the business of central Cape Town.

Saigon

Saigon is conveniently situated on Kloof Street in CBD. It has good sushi but is quite pricey. I only went there once as I didn’t like the vibe. It was a tad too formal to truly relax and enjoy the meal.

OBI Restaurant

You’ll find OBI restaurant in Long Street in CBD. The place belongs to Hatsushiro Muraoka (“Papa San”) who you may know as the owner of Takumi which unfortunately closed last year. It has rather harsh decor but makes up for it with the food. Their sushi is delicious and there’s a big variety. Be careful not to order too much, though, as the portions are quite big. I was also quite impressed with the attentive service.

Active Sushi on Bree

Active Sushi in de Waterkant and Active Sushi on Bree in CBD used to be a franchise but now they’re separate restaurants. I only visited the place once and the food was good. They have similar prices to the other Active Sushi, but more limitations on all you can eat. A fair warning: they give you frozen grapes to put in your wine, because they’re so fancy. I’ve tried to eat them, because I didn’t know. Ouch!

Active Sushi

Active Sushi is the only sushi restaurant in De Waterkant but then De Waterkant is small. The restaurant is clean with a pleasant ambiance. They have very nice and reasonably priced lunch options that made me wonder whether I should even put them in the higher price category. However, if you want to go out for a dinner you’ll end up paying more. The best dinner option is probably their all-you-can-eat for R199. You can gorge on sushi on this deal, even though there are some limitations, I’ve never reached them and I can eat A LOT of sushi. I truly enjoy their food every time I go. Just be warned that their cry roll will make you actually cry and I speak from experience.

Manga

You’ll find the restaurant in Mouille Point. Their funky menu is worth fully exploring. You need to have a budget of at least 200 rand per person to eat (and drink) comfortably. How does Manga Rainbow Reloaded sound like? Three types of fish on one piece of sushi??? Yum! Even the classic sushi has nice additions, if you want to spice up your life a bit. You can try their linefish california roll, nigiri or fashion sandwiches. There’s also octopus nigiri and mantaiko seared salmon handroll. The desserts are also highly recommended. If you’d like to check what I’m on about but don’t want to break the bank, try their buy 1 get 1 free special on classic sushi on Tuesdays. Please learn from my experience and book, though.

Izakaya Matsuri

This little gem is hidden in the Rockwell Hotel building in Green Point. I’ve been there a number of times and I enjoyed the food every single time. If you don’t know what to choose from the rather abundant menu, their knowledgable waiters will surely help you out. I remember particularly enjoying Salmon Dragon Roll, Eel Dragon Roll and Aburi Toro Salmon Roll as well as interesting additions to sashimi and nigiri including: line fish, mackrel, octopus and eel. If you prefer classic sushi, you won’t be disappointed either. Do yourself a favour and leave a little bit of space in your stomach for their desserts. All the options are amazing but to have it all (I’ve always been of the opinion that one can in life!) try three kinds of ice cream at once… I’m literally salivating writing it down! Don’t forget to book a table before you go. The place is tiny and unsurprisingly busy.

Willoughby & Co

You don’t even have to look for this restaurant in the Waterfront, just follow the crowd (literally). There’s always a long queue of people waiting to get in to this famous establishment. I’ve eaten there once and enjoyed the food but really not to the point to wait so long to get in. It’s also in the middle of a mall which for me is a boner killer. If you don’t mind a long wait and being surrounded by a lot of people, it may be your vibe. It just isn’t mine. Also, it’s expensive.

Balducci

You’ll also find Balducci in the Waterfront. What can I say? It has everything on offer! Italian food (pizza, pasta, gnocchi), Asian noodles, banting options AND sushi. The food is okay but their sushi is quite expensive. I was happy with the meal I had but never went again. There are just better places around to satisfy your hunger for raw fish and rice.

Codfather

No one really goes to Codfather in Camps Bay just for sushi. Their sushi is nice but their speciality is fish and sea food. I think you should ideally have a mix of both if you want a full experience of the place.

A Super Special Night Out – sky is the limit but I’d say a minimum of 400 rand pp if you want a proper meal

Nobu

Nobu in the Waterfront is bloody expensive but it’s so worth it. It’s the best sushi I’ve ever eaten. Honestly a mouth orgasm in every bite! You can’t compare the quality of their fish to other places and the same goes for the way in which the food is served. They have a variety of fish and dishes, which you simply cannot find in other places. You can taste all different kinds of it:  yellowtail, whitefish, sardine, tamago, tabiko, scallop (TRY THE SCALLOP), lobster, langoustine, salmon eggs… You name it. They also have excellent service and you can trust their recommendations. Now a fair warning: if they ask you whether it’s a special night and you tell them it is, make sure to let them know you DON’T want their “celebratory” dessert, unless you’re ready to pay 70 rand for a piece of a cheesecake and a scoop of ice cream (picture below), that you’ll probably be too full to eat. Oh, ja, they charge you for that without letting you know.

bloody_cheesacake

Kyoto Garden

I was a bit underwhelmed by Kyoto Garden. They have a big choice of sushi and it is better than in your average restaurant, but I guess I expected more for the money. The ambiance is quite nice and the service is good. The cocktails are delicious too. Also, the central location on Kloof Nek in CBD is a big plus.

I’m aware I have not covered all the sushi restaurants in Cape Town but I will continue my exploration and add new places as I go. I hope this guide will be of some use to you. Please let me know if you have any suggestions on expanding or comments on what I said. Which sushi restaurant is your favorite and why?