Golden memories of many trips to Greece and its spectacular islands leave millions of people all over the world with a hankering to capture the moments when they are back home. Chicago even has an entire neighbourhood called Greek Town which is much loved and visited by the locals. Plate smashing has long been anathema but the sound of the bouzouki, the smell of garlic and olive oil, and the quintessential shot of ouzo brings it all back in a kind of gentle yearning for a time which is only a mouthful away. If you’re looking for a good place to enjoy Greek food in Cape Town read on…
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A neighbourhood favourite
One of the most superb Greek restaurants in Cape Town is The Fat Greek in Table View. Very popular ever since it opened, the steady stream of aficionados coming through the doors attests to the fact that everybody loves it.
The atmosphere is cosy enough with typical Greek chairs up on the wall, irresistible aromas coming from the kitchen and Dimitri Manousakis (doesn’t he ever go home?) always going from table to table checking on his guests.
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The menu runs the gamut from various souvlakis to full-scale grilled meats and excellent fish dishes. The mezze dishes are fabulous, with a platter which they call The Fat Greek (R245) packed with calamari, tzatziki, hummus, olives, keftedes, saganaki, and soft pitas to hold it all together. The most generous servings of gyros I have ever seen – choose between beef (R95 double) or chicken (R85 double) – are packed with succulent meat morsels, crunchy salad and lashings of garlicky tzatziki and all served with chips or salad; it’ll leave you wondering where you are going to put it all. The moussaka (R115) is rich and filling and made in the traditional way with plenty of béchamel sauce to hold it all together.
Now that Dimitri has – finally – got an alcohol licence, he is serving some very well priced local wine fare but you can still take your own for a very reasonable corkage charge. My advice is to get there soon and see for yourself. Kali orexi!
The Fat Greek, Porterfield Road, Table View, Call: 021 556 4737
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Other Greek places to pop into – not reviewed but suggested
Mykonos Taverna, Sea Point
The sister restaurant of The Fat Greek and run by the other Dimitri (Peroglou), Mykonos Taverna is perfectly situated on Main Road in Sea Point with a great open terrace to watch the passing parade of the hoi polloi.
Marika’s Gardens, Oranjezicht
It’s a very popular place upstairs in the Gardens area with traditional food done by Marika herself. Excellent youvetsi and tzatziki.
Maria’s Greek Café & Restaurant, Gardens
A tiny place on Dunkley Square, Maria’s Greek Café & Restaurant has a popular outside area under the trees to make you feel as as if you are in Athens – almost.
Sloppy Sam, Green Point
To be fair, Sloppy Sam is technically Persian but peppered among its brilliant Middle Eastern menu are some delicious Greek dishes. It’s a cosy and intimate spot in Green Point – just the place to spend an evening with friends.
Opa Greek Taverna, Somerset West
Located next to a stream, this spot has plenty of garden-like corners and a full range of Greek goodies.
The Greek Fisherman, V & A Waterfront
Upmarket, long-standing place with a great balcony to drink in all that glamorous Waterfront atmosphere with the tiny harbour in front of you and The Mountain as a backdrop.
Words Greg Landman
A journalist by trade, features writer on occasion and now the digital editor of SA Country Life. The first chance she gets, Leigh will tell you about a podcast she was recently listening to and how you simply have to make the move from radio. In a previous life, she once taught English on Jeju which left her with an insatiable craving for kimchi.