Cape Town climbed onto the sushi bandwagon some time ago, and these days there are incredible restaurants serving various takes on Japanese cuisine dotted throughout the city. Though truly authentic Japanese restaurants are limited, there are dozens of establishments covering a wide range of Asian cuisine, and many of these do a great job of tasty and accessible sushi.
Kyoto Garden Sushi is one of Cape Town’s best Asian restaurants. The inconspicuous restaurant just off Kloof Nek road is serene and elegant, and is a far-cry from a pared-down sushi joint. They offer a wide selection of Asian dishes worth trying, but their sushi is among the freshest and tastiest in the city. Unsure what to order? Go all in with the Chef’s Creation — a mouthwatering platter featuring the restaurant’s best sushi and sashimi offerings.
If you’re looking for seafood with a view, head to Muizenberg’s Live Bait. This new venue located a short drive away from the original Live Bait in Kalk Bay has its own unique charm and appeal. They don’t only specialise in sushi, with a comprehensive menu that includes seafood, meats and salads, but they also offer impressive à la carte sushi options as well as good value platters that you can pair with wine.
Willoughby & Co is possibly Cape Town’s most universally celebrated sushi restaurant. Though situated in the sterile confines of a shopping mall, this Cape Town institution serves up sushi so impressive you’ll all but forget about the passing parade outside. There’s no way to book a table at Willoughby’s, so chances are you’ll have to wait a while for your table, particularly during peak lunch and dinner times. But the service is quick and efficient, and the seafood well worth the wait.
Sushi Box started out as small restaurant in the quiet suburb of Newlands, and has since grown to include five stores at strategic locations throughout the city. They offer a simple, no-frills approach to sushi, and you can choose to eat-in or take away in the convenient box. Prices are competitive, and service is friendly and impressively prompt, making this an ideal spot if you’re looking for a quick sushi fix.
1890 House Sushi and Grill | Courtesy 1890 House Sushi and Grill
The suburb of Observatory isn’t the most likely spot for a high-quality sushi restaurant, but this understated venue has built up a loyal following over the years. 1890 House Sushi and Grill serves up a wide range of Asian dishes, but take a seat at the sushi conveyor belt to have your pick of some of the freshest creations at competitive prices.
If you’re happy not to judge a sushi restaurant by its decor and atmosphere, then head to Make in Sea Point. First impressions of this humble restaurant, tucked away on Main Road, may have you thinking twice about stepping in for a meal. But those in the know will tell you that the understated decor and unusual atmosphere has no bearing on the food — Make serves up some of the Seaboard’s best sushi at very competitive prices. Their various starters and other dishes, such as edamame beans and soups, make for the perfect companion to their fresh sushi as well.
Given the highly competitive nature of sushi in Cape Town, it takes a lot for a restaurant to become a firm local favourite and remain there. Since its opening in 2008, Active Sushi has been the Capetonian go-to destination for fresh sushi that’s easy on the wallet. Their “eat as much as you like” special is perfect for famished sushi fans, but they also offer a range of platters that represent good value. They’ve recently moved to a new venue in Hudson Street in De Waterkant.