Can you believe I only had sushi for the first time about 5 years ago? Neither can I. After living in Grahamstown for 17 years (not known for fresh seafood at the best of times) it still took me a while after moving to Cape Town to cotton onto this eat-out treat staple (I mean raw fish, seriously? I don’t blame me). The only problem with sushi is that unless you embark on a make-it-at home adventure (which usually results in copious amounts of tasty but not very pretty maki and sashimi and an extremely messy kitchen), it can be a rather pricey treat. As a result I’m always on the lookout for the best sushi-for-money out there. I’m hardly a connoisseur but this is what floats my boat:
1890 House Sushi – best value for money
Trill Road, Observatory Cape Town
In my opinion 1890 House Sushi offers the best value for money, most fantastic sushi in Cape Town. It’s already tough to get a spur-of-the-moment table at this tiny, unassuming looking venue so I fear I’m revealing a should-rather-be-kept secret, but be that as it may, this is mine and H’s favourite sushi spot. Standard procedure is to bring our own bottle of vino and order 2 platters to share. The selection is fairly standard but it’s fresh, pretty, delicious and extremely reasonably priced. Overall it’s an unpretentious and authentic experience.
Salushi – nice, at a price
25 Protea Road, Claremont (next to Greens)
I recently snapped a Groupon deal to get a Grand Platter (usually R255 for 26 pieces) for half price at Salushi in Claremont. It was a good experience with friendly staff and a beautiful casual yet classy atmosphere. The sushi itself was delicious and the platter had something I hadn’t had before called “Bon Bon Gifts” which are basically a fashion sandwich wrapped in salmon and topped with mayo and caviar (which I’m not such a fan of). I’d definitely go there again if I was feeling like a treat, or to take advantage of one of their specials (50% off selected sushi daily from 12 – 5pm and 33% off on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday evenings).
Beluga – can’t go wrong
The Foundry, Prestwich Street, Greenpoint, Cape Town
This is where my love of sushi was born, over the blue plate special and several seen nowhere else cocktails. Beluga is a quality restaurant all round (their sesame encrusted tuna steak is fantastic), but their seemingly never ending half price sushi & cocktails special – Monday to Saturday 12 – 7 pm and Sunday all day – means it doesn’t have to be reserved for special occasions (although it is a winning birthday lunch spot, especially if you sit outside in the sunshine). My favourite cocktail: the white chocolate martini… mmmm yum.
Cape Town Fish Market – best “fast food” before movies
Location: most shopping malls, but the V&A Waterfront is where this applies.
While not necessarily the best sushi in town (but by no means the worst), or the cheapest, H and I have discovered that when you’re on your way to a movie and need to stuff in some supper on route but the thought of fast food is revolting (always), one can do worse than plonk down at that CTFM conveyor belt and get some quality yumminess in record time. Watch out for stacking up too many of those little plates though… it adds up fast!
Benkei – All you can eat, and eat and eat
Shop 3 Paramount Place, 105 Main Road, Greenpoint, Cape Town
Benkei gets an honourable mention because the one and only time I’ve been there it was for an all-you-can-eat special with about 8 friends and they brought us the biggest platter of sushi I’ve seen in my life (I will try to track down the picture someone took on their phone!). What felt like hundreds of pieces later it was hard to tell if the sushi was actually good or not, but I do remember there were some interesting options you don’t see everywhere like swordfish (which is technically on the orange list so not recommended) and butterfish.
And finally, just in case you thought I’m too easy to please, I have to mention the Worst Sushi Place I’ve been to…
Shop Number: 435 UL, Canal Walk, Cape Town
Dry and not pretty sum it up for me. Don’t bother.
Obvious omissions: I have yet to try the sushi at Blowfish in Milnerton but if their main courses are anything to go by I expect amazing stuff. I’ve also been told that Minato has the best and wackiest sushi in town, so that’s also on my todo list.
Does anyone else have any recommendations?
Update 9 July 2011: Last night I finally went to Blowfish for sushi, and I was certainly not disappointed. It wasn’t cheap, but it was very tasty, and with delicate touches like a smidgeon of red cavier or sesame seeds , it was also beautiful which scores points in my sushi book!