How about a Rumbullion lunch at The Roundhouse?

by Karisa

To me,  The Roundhouse is as much a part of Cape Town as our beautiful city hall or the V&A Waterfront…

I mean the building does date all the way back to 1786 when it was originally created as a guardhouse.  It’s just one of those Cape Town institutions that you simply have to visit.

There she is…

Tucked away on a steep slope as you’re heading down from Table Mountain towards Camps Bay, this beautiful restaurant boasts some of the best views in town.  They also have gorgeous sprawling lawns where many a wedding has taken place, and in summer they also offer some alfresco dining out there with their more casual Rumbullion lunch offering.

I was recently invited to pop in and try their winter Rumbullion menu which offers the same relaxed eating style as the summer one, but obviously things happen inside the main restaurant to make it weather independent.

Ironically on the day the weather was rather lovely, but there was still quite a bit of a chill in the air, so it was nice to rather sit inside.

The views from inside the restaurant are of course still amazing…

Now just as a bit of history/background – the name “Rumbullion” is an archaic English term for a “riotous good time”.  The terraces at the Roundhouse got this nickname way back in the day thanks to the garden gatherings that used to take place here.

In the spirit of these gatherings, the Rumbullion menu consists of sharing style tapas plates paired with some really nice local craft beers and wines.

The menu is broken down into various categories:

  • Ocean & earth (price range R65 – R110)
    – Braised Lamb Shank (full portion – not tapas plate), calamari & chorizo, smoked pork belly & pan fried linefish
  • South African Classics (price range R65 – R75)
    – Cape Malay chicken curry, pickled fish, spice battered hake, Karoo lamb pie
  • Vegetarian (price range R55 – R60)
    – Bokaap vegetable biryani, butternut & lentil boboti
  • Traditional (price range R65 – R70)
    – Braised tripe, rare beef salad
  • Sides (price range R30 – R45)
    – Mngqusho, basmanti rice, mashed potato, steamed garden greens, potato & coriander samosas
  • Desserts (price range R50 – R60)
    – Warm Cape Malva pudding, chocolate tart & a cheese plate

They also do a special deal where you can order 2 main dishes, a side & 2 desserts for R300.

On the day, I had taken bestie, Leigh, with me and we decided to try a good mix of things.  We went for:

Clockwise from top left: the calamri, chorizo, olive & rocket sauté, the smoked pork belly, side of steamed veg, Karoo Lamb pie, and the potato & coriander samosas (came with a chutney dipping sauce)

I found the olive a bit overpowering in the calamari & chorizo dish, but that pork belly was absolutely beautiful (especially the sauce it comes in), I also really enjoyed the Karoo lamb pie, and the samosas, although maybe a bit bland on their own, were lovely paired with the chutney.

I also spotted the chicken curry & battered hake going to another table and I had immediate food envy.  Would actually like to try those two on a return visit.

For dessert, Leigh opted for the selection of local cheeses and I had the malva pudding which is served with an Amarula cream:

How beautiful is this plate?

That malva pudding was hands down one of the best I’ve had in ages.  Paired with that Amarula sauce it really is a magical little treat for your tastebuds.  If you’re a warm pudding kinda person, don’t even look at the other dessert options.  This is where it’s at people.

Overall we had a really lovely Rumbullion lunch at The Roundhouse.  The service is always impeccable.  You can’t ask for a more beautiful setting.  And I think this tapas menu is quite easy & fun. There’s definitely going to be something there for everyone’s taste.

They are open for lunch:  Wednesday – Saturday 12:00 – 14:30, and Sunday 12:00 – 15:00 (from 1 May – 30 September only).

Of course if you want to do dinner instead – you can visit them Tuesday – Saturday from 18:00 onwards)

To make a reservation, call them on: 021 438 4347

And if you want to read more about The Roundhouse also check out these previous features:

Restaurant week with The Roundhouse
Glenfiddich treats us to a whisky tasting luncheon at The Roundhouse


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