Savoy Cabbage Restaurant & Champagne Bar {CLOSED}

Unfortunately, Savoy Cabbage is now closed. In its place, you can look forward to Macau Asian Taverna and cocktail bar

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Cape Town classic, The Savoy Cabbage Restaurant & Champagne Bar has been around since 1998. When you visit, I hope you get to meet owner Caroline Bagley; what a character. She was born in Cape Town but moved to the UK at age 15 and returned 30 years later to open Savoy Cabbage. A funny name resulting from a funny story: the savoy cabbage is a hard-to-get and beautiful looking cabbage from Europe. Caroline always had to bring it back from the UK to South Africa when she visited friends and family. And: the vegetable always got burnt and never really eaten. Caroline (former headhunter) is all about stories.

The chef, Peter Pankhurst was lucky to go on a culinary journey around the world and is known for real food. The butcher by trade has largely trained himself. Many of the waiters and waitresses have been with Savoy Cabbage since the beginning; the restaurant has a truly family run feel.

Located in Cape Town’s Heritage Square, Savoy Cabbage is located in two beautiful old buildings, now pristine and gorgeous, it was once a derelict building where birds would fly through the many gaping holes. The idea was to have an open plan kitchen – for transparency and in winters, to keep the restaurant warm. 

Fine dining without the stuffiness

"The menu is ever-changing with fresh and seasonal ingredients. We build the dish around what the suppliers have." says Caroline. The backbone of the menu is classic French, with eclectic touches of Moroccan, Italian and Spanish cuisine alongside many more influences. The dishes are hearty and the portions are "not like this" says Caroline drawing a tiny circle on a piece of paper that’s in front of her.

Since we’re here for lunch, we opt for the lighter meal and share three starters as a tapa-style-lunch. The twice baked cheese soufflé with paprika oil (R70) and the beetroot and orange salad with fennel shavings and house-made Labnah (R70) are very tasty and good, but to this very day we’re still talking about the chicken liver parfait served with port soaked figs and toasted brioche (R70). A reason to come back.

Caroline puts together the wine list and has good relationships with the stockists. "There are also a few wines for under R100 a bottle on offer," she says and talks about how important value is and her mark-ups on wine are lower than the Cape Town standard. By the way, her favourite restaurant in London is Kensington Place.

"This place is for people who enjoy food"

Savoy Cabbage is a restaurant without music. "Music can date a place" Caroline says and it’s appreciated by her customers. Twice a year, you can listen to live opera in the restaurant, "the acoustics are amazing in here." Caroline tells us a story about an evening where in one corner there was an 80-year-old lady and in another corner an 18-year-old girl who were both celebrating their birthdays. Both said in their speech "This is my favourite restaurant". The success of Savoy Cabbage‘s 13 year run, I believe, is that it’s an owner-run restaurant. "The staff cares passionately" says Caroline and I have to believe her.

By Antonia Heil

 
Savoy Cabbage Restaurant & Champagne Bar
101 Hout Street | City Centre | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 424 2626

Opening hours: Monday to Friday 12pm-2:30pm, 7pm-10:30pm; Saturday 7pm-10:30pm

P.S.: Instead of a winter special, the Savoy Cabbage has a very cost-effective café style (retro French) menu.

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Indulge in fine Macanese cuisine and cocktails at Macau bar and restaurant in Cape Town.

Check out our Eating Out section for more inspiration and for your monthly update on what’s happening in and around Cape Town, be sure to subscribe to our popular newsletter and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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