With music by Cyndi Lauper, several Tonys and a Laurence Olivier Award
Shio Restaurant at The Grey Hotel
Japanese-inspired fine-dining with a twist!
Situated in chic De Waterkant, which (in my mind) is the lovechild of Europe and Africa, with its cobbled streets, steep, narrow roads and trendy inhabitants, Shio offers veranda seating to accommodate for the people watcher, who enjoys alfresco dining, or alternatively, with Valentine’s Day coming up the eatery also offers an intimate setting inside the simplistically decorated restaurant for you and your partner to gaze into one another’s eyes.
As described by a Facebook reviewer as a clubbing dinner experience, Shio offers delicious Japanese food served with a tapas-style twist, all the while contemporary chart hits play the soundtrack to your summer lovin’ in a let-your-hair-down type of way.
Owned by the sensational restaurateur, Cheyne Morrisby, the new hotspot is run by the friendly Argentinian manager, Paula Fernandez. This mean-team has managed to introduce tapas-style Japanese cuisine to the Capetonian palate.
Shio offers a selection of various menus: Umi (ocean-inspired dishes like the Yellowtail Sashimi, Firecracker Crayfish and the Chilli Salt Squid); Tochi (land-inspired dishes such as the Grilled Pork Belly Chasu, Charcoal Grilled Chalmar Sirloin and Crispy Duck); Chikyuu (earth-inspired servings which include Duck Fat Fries, Spinach Ohitashi and Pak Choi Tempura); and last but not least the Amai or sweet menu which offers the Double Thick Peanut Butter Shake, Chilled Tropical Fruits and Artisan Cheeses with Japanese Pickles.
For starters, we tried the Pan-Fried Scallops deliciously decorated with crispy bacon, smoked avo puree and tobiko caviar. If you’re into this treat from the deep blue sea, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the infusion of flavour profiles at Shio. Next up was the Beef Tataki (this is definitely one of my faves!). This dish resembles a fortune cookie, as it is a deep-fried pocket of beef with cardamom, ginger caramel and coconut gel, which left me satisfied but simultaneously yearning for more. After reading the reviews about Shio’s Nori Tuna Taco we had to try it! This dish is served with anchovy aioli and wakame seaweed, which is the perfect combination of delicate and tougher textures. Lastly, the dish that really blew me away was dessert (because when doesn’t it?). The Tonka Bean Dark Chocolate with coffee gel, miso butterscotch and black sesame snap is a must-have dish if you plan to bring your sweetheart along for the Shio experience. This gorgeously decorated sweet treat will give your dinner date that extra chocolate high!
Perfect for sharing, the tapas-style meal offerings make for an ideal date night: low-lighting, artistic décor (my favourite element about this Japanese restaurant is the huge mural by artist Ana Kuni), foreign cuisine, and a laid-back feel. Shio offers a sense of comfort to a fine-dining experience for friends with their cocktail bar-style seating, as well as their classic dining tables for couples.
Note: Shio also offers traditional sake. Try the Kyoto Coffee, which is a double shot of espresso, with Nikka Pure Malt Black Whiskey and coconut cream
The Bill: Earth menu: R55-R80 | Land menu: R80-R90 | Ocean menu: R80-R140 | Sweet menu: R65-R100 | Sake: R65-R180 |
39 Napier | De Waterkant | +27 (0)21 721 1106
Like the Shio vibe? Get the full experience with a stay at the romantic and exciting The Grey Hotel.
By Marian Volkwyn | Video credit: Josh Oates and Garth Prins | Image credit: The Grey Hotel
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