A few weeks ago my friend Dax (from Relax with Dax) and I decided to venture out to Simon’s Town to try a new spot called Mangata.  Situated about one street up from the water’s edge, Mangata offers some really nice views along with a more sophisticated dining experience compared to some of the other restaurant options in the area.

I wasn’t the biggest fan of the interior decor, but their balcony with its sea views is definitely a big draw card…  Let me give you a quick tour:

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On the food side they offer various options:

  • An a la carte menu with starters ranging from R75 to R105, salads ranging from R98 to R120, a wild mushroom bruschetta at R105, some pasta & risotto options ranging from R80 to R115, beef/lamb/duck/fish mains ranging from R160 to R220, and finally desserts (R45 – R65) or a cheese board (R130).
  • A 7 course tasting menu at R550 pp
  • A 3 course set menu at R295 pp
  • Or a 4 course set menu at R395 pp

You can view all their menus online over here.

I went for the 3 course set menu which consists of West Coast Mussels as your starter, 250g ribeye for mains, and then Crème brûlée for dessert.   If I were to order these 3 dishes from the a la carte menu, it would add up to R335 – so not a huge saving, but a saving nonetheless.

Upon placing my order I was also asked whether I wanted a palate cleanser… This seemed quite strange as palate cleansers are normally just an added extra or a chef surprise, it’s not something you need to order.  But it turns out that Mangata charges R10 extra for a palate cleanser.  Sure, that’s not a lot of money, but it’s weird right? I opted to skip that…

Dax opted for the tartare starter (R85) which on the day was Yellowfin tuna followed by the duck breast main (R215) which is served with potato croquettes, honey glazed carrots, pickled Shimeji mushrooms & mushroom puree.

Here’s what our food looked like:

The mussels – which really was an excellent dish…

The tartare starter – another winner…

My ribeye main – the meat was a bit overcooked in parts and also a bit bland, so this one didn’t blow me away unfortunately…

But Dax’s duck breast main was again a beautiful dish…

And the crème brûlée really was a lovely way to end the meal.  A perfect partnership between the crispy top and a creamy filling…

So yeah, apart from my ribeye, the food really was very very good.  My criticism, however, would be that it is a bit pricey, particularly for Simon’s Town.  I’m not really sure how many locals will be keen to support them on a regular basis, and for me personally, I wouldn’t drive out there again just to eat there.  If I was in the area again, sure maybe, but at this price point there are quite a few Cape Town restaurants I would prefer to visit instead.

For this reason I’m going to give Mangata a on my Miss K Kiss-o-Meter scale.  BUT that said, if you’re in the area I’d say it’s definitely worth giving them a try because the food was good.

Here are all the need-to-knows:

  • Address:  98 St Georges Street (upstairs), Simon’s Town
  • Opening Hours:  Monday- Tuesday: 12pm – 10pm, Wednesday: CLOSED, Thursday – Sunday: 12pm – 10pm
  • Contact them on:  021 786 1635 or info@chefsrecruit.co.za

xxx