In many cultures food, especially at dinner time, is driven by a community spirit – it’s a moment to bond and share the day’s stories. For those who are looking for a chance to connect with others – whether it’s over a five-course meal and local wine or a group-effort improvised menu, here are our top social dining experiences in Cape Town.
Run by chef patron Julia Hattingh, Reverie Social Table is a proudly South African table-d’hôte-style eatery with a focus on social dining. Every evening, she invites guests to her bespoke 18-seater table to enjoy a five-course meal exclusively created for them and accompanied by carefully selected wines. To encourage conversation around the table, guests are asked to put their cellphones away – making it a perfect experience for those who love food, wine and great company.
Chef Hattingh’s contemporary style is influenced by her mentors, a respect for the food she works with, her vast travels, and her home town of Cape Town, with its myriad of cultures and culinary heritage.
Booking is essential and both reservations and payment can be made online. Credit card facilities are available at the venue, but booking is essential. The eatery is also open during the day, offering free Wi-Fi and the “plat du jour” – whatever has inspired Chef Hattingh that morning.
Time: Lunch: Wed to Fri, 12pm to 2pm | Dinner: Wed to Sat, 7.30pm, finishing around 11/11.30pm, depending on the crowd (set menu, 1 sitting)
To book: www.reverie.capetown
Website: www.reverie.capetown | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Tel: 079 060 6971
Facebook: Reverie Social Table | Instagram: @reveriecapetown
GOLD Restaurant combines a 14-dish authentic African dinner experience with live entertainment – such as interactive djembe drumming, dancing and singing – in celebration of the people, cuisine and cultures of the African continent.
Modern flavours and techniques are incorporated into African culinary traditions to serve up a sophisticated African feast that is changed seasonally. Because African food is normally shared with friends and family, the 14-dish menu is served in generous individual and shared portions, each labelled with country of origin, and the waiters explain the cooking and spicing techniques to the table.
GOLD Restaurant prides itself on being an authentic reflection and extension of the people of Africa. Beyond hosting, cooking, and serving guests, their diverse service team is actively involved in creative tasks – such as contributing recipe ideas and cooking techniques, as well as helping with the design of their garments and decoration of table linens.
All halaal-certified meat, poultry and fish dishes come with vegetarian or vegan substitutes. Please tell the team about your dietary preferences when making a booking.
Time: 7 days a week, booking is essential
Website: www.goldrestaurant.co.za | Email: email@example.com | Tel: 021 421 4653
Facebook: GOLD Restaurant | Instagram: @goldrestaurantcapetown
Jade is a food jammer and jazz saxophonist, who landed an apprenticeship with a legendary Capetonian jazz pianist and his youth band, The Little Giants. Through jazz music she forged friendships with fellow young musicians across South Africa, cementing a spirit of sharing, and a concept was born: food jamming.
Started in 2010, Food Jams are social gatherings where friends, colleagues and strangers come together to prepare a meal together, often resulting in new friendships being formed. Participants are paired up and each team is given a portion of the meal to prepare according to a recipe guideline – although participants are usually encouraged to improvise.
According to Jade, the idea came about as an excuse to bring a group of friends together in her favourite place, the kitchen. She has since hosted corporate celebrations, team-building events, and collaborations, and has published multiple cookbooks, including Food Jamming with Jade. Previous food jammers have included Nokia RSA, Velocity Afrika, BMS, Yuri Arcurs Photography, Navigator Films, Investec, Allan Gray, Pick n Pay, Mr. Delivery and CIEE. But the team also food jams to celebrate happy birthdays, bachelorettes, children’s parties, and collaborates with musicians, poets, VJ’s and performance artists. Food Jams normally happen at Soute in Salt River, but they are able to set up a kitchen anywhere.
Time: Open 7 days a week for lunch and dinner, booking is essential
Website: www.new.foodjams.co.za | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Tel: 063 292 0419
Facebook: Food Jams | Instagram: @food_jams
Dine With is a culinary experience that aims to bridge the geographical divide between cities and township communities in Cape Town. Three-course dinners are hosted at up to eight different township homes with space for up to eleven guests, and the evenings are themed around topical conversations with a focus on practical solutions. Guests then head off to a local lounge, where they are entertained by a variety of talented artists. “The impact of the dinners has already been extraordinary, with diners breaking down race boundaries in order to better understand elements of life from the township perspective,” says the team.
Dinners have been hosted in Khayelitsha, Gugulethu and Lavender Hill and they are starting to involve more areas, including Soweto in Johannesburg. Dine With also offers to host private events for groups of 2 or more.
The dinners serve as a platform to help fund the Have Fun NPO, with some of the funds raised going to the Have Fun educational programme.
Time: Daily, from 5pm to 9pm. Check here for updates.
Website: www.dinewith.co.za | Email: email@example.com | Tel: 062 943 0028
Facebook: DINE WITH | Instagram: @dinewith.co.za
Owned by comedian Kurt Schoonraad, Cape Town Comedy Club is a 180-seater dinner theatre dedicated to stand-up. It was formerly known as Jou Ma Se Comedy Club, and after going through a few transformations and moving to different venues, they found a permanent home at the historic Pumphouse in the heart of the V&A Waterfront.
Cape Town Comedy Club has hosted some of the world’s most famous comedians, including Michael Mittermeier (Germany), Christopher Titus (US), Babben Larsson (Sweden), TJ Miller (USA) as well as esteemed South African stars, and numerous high-profile corporate events.
Group dinner packages are on offer (as well as lunch packages over the festive season), happy hour is from 6-7pm, and there’s an all-night R18-tequila special. The kitchen is halaal-friendly and vegetarian and gluten-free options are available.
Cape Town Comedy Club is Cape Town’s only dedicated stand-up comedy venue and was voted as 1 of the Top 10 Comedy Clubs in the World (2016) and Best Comedy Venue (2019).
Time: Shows starts at 8.30pm and dinner is from 6pm
Website: www.capetowncomedy.com | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Tel: 021 418 8880
Facebook: Cape Town Comedy Club | Instagram: @capetowncomedy