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Best Indian and Asian restaurants in Cape Town

From fine dining options to authentic street food fare, Cape Town’s Indian and Asian foodie scenes take in top restaurants in the CBD, Woodstock, and along the Atlantic Seaboard. 

Ramenhead

Located downstairs from Peter Tempelhoff’s award-winning restaurant FYN in the CBD, Ramenhead is the real deal, after Tempelhoff and his FYN executive chef Ashley Moss spent two weeks eating their way around Japanese ramen houses, and importing Africa’s only Yamamoto noodle machine to make noodles from scratch. Choose from four main plant-based or meat ramen dishes, add toppings and sides, and get slurping the umami-rich broth – simmered for days for that authentic taste. 

Pssst…Ramenhead doesn’t take bookings – but it’s worth the wait. https://www.ramenhead.co.za/

Ramenhead

Vadivelu

The brainchild of three cousins and in-laws of a South African Indian family, this vibey Kloof Street newcomer sets out to reinvent the tried-and-tested Indian formula. Jungle-style wallpaper sets the scene for the concise menu, which focuses on adapted recipes from a Tamil heritage, with a focus on the creative use of local spices. Start with the street food-style starters and dosas before tucking into modernised versions of classic curries – including plenty of plant-based options. https://www.vadivelu.co.za/ 

Vadivelu

How’s Your Oni

The Oranjezicht City Farm market (OZCF) is known as a launch pad for many foodie brands in Cape Town – including this new hole-in-the-wall Japanese street food restaurant, which started life with a stall at the market (still open at the market on Wednesday evenings). Offering only 10 seats inside and another 10 on an outside patio, Onigiri (Japanese rice ball snacks available with different fillings and wrapped in nori) is the order of the day at the new permanent space, together with a selection of tempura, and ramen and udon bowls. https://www.instagram.com/howsyouroni/ 

How’s Your Oni

Thali

Served over three courses, Liam Tomlin’s contemporary Indian menu will take you on an aromatic journey of the subcontinent, with flavours that are sure to instantly transport you to the fragrant streets of Dheli – modern Indian dining at its very best. It’s important to note that Thali does not take bookings – arrive early to snag one of the atmospheric courtyard tables. 

https://www.chefswarehouse.co.za/thali

Bombay Brasserie at the Taj Cape Town

Set in a sumptuous dining room within the Taj Cape Town hotel, Bombay Brasserie weaves together Indian and Cape Malay cuisine to create a masala melting pot of regional Indian flavours. Start with pre-dinner drinks in the Bombay Brasserie Bar before moving on to firm favourites such as Baingan Bharta (clay oven smoked aubergine), and Tikka Masala (charred Tikka with fenugreek in an onion and tomato sauce). For the full experience, order the set menu for two. 

https://www.facebook.com/BombayBrasserieCT/

FYN

One of only three South African restaurants to make it into the top 100 of the World’s Best Restaurants 2021 list, Peter Tempelhoff’s FYN is one of the Mother City’s most memorable – and stylish – dining experiences. Residing on the fifth floor of a commercial block, with a distinct Lower Manhattan feel and jaw-dropping Table Mountain views, the restaurant’s condensed kaiseki-style menu runs the full gamut of (incredible) flavours and textures. http://fynrestaurant.com/

The Pot Luck Club

While Luke Dale-Roberts’ award-winning The Test Kitchen sadly closed down, its sister restaurant continues to shine. Situated on the top floor of the Silo at The Old Biscuit Mill, The Pot Luck Club boasts rather spectacular city views, and a sharing menu that doesn’t miss a bit flavour-wise – from salty, sour, and bitter to sweet and umami. As in all of the renowned chef’s restaurants, the open kitchen provides a theatrical focal point.

https://thepotluckclub.co.za/

Bao Down

Cape Town’s hottest bao spot has been busting at the seams ever since throwing its doors open in 2018 – no wonder it recently relocated from its original Oranjezicht location to a larger space in Green Point. The delicious bao buns and other small sharing plates make for a great start to a fun night out with friends.
https://www.baodowncapetown.com/ 

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