Beautiful Peruvian flavours over at Charango Grill & Bar in Bree St

by Karisa

There’s a hot new eating spot over in Bree St, and even though it’s only been open for 3 weeks, it’s already the talk of the town…

I’m referring to Charango Grill & Bar, a Peruvian inspired grill with a very sexy sharing style menu.

I was lucky enough to get an invite to test drive their menu last Saturday eve and I took my eating-partner-in-crime, D, along for the ride.

Decor wise, Charango had me completely in love from the moment I stepped inside.  From their exposed brick, honeycomb tiles, rose copper bar and beautiful ceramic tableware, to their stunning swan mural by the awesomely talented Faith47, the space simply oozes inner city cool.

How cool are these little window booths? Great for date night…

The bar where you can enjoy a cocktail or one of their many craft beers on tap…

That mural is incredible…

For larger groups, or special occasions, you can also book their Chef’s table which has a direct view into the kitchen:

But the really exciting thing is that they also have an outside deck area as well as street side seating out front which makes Charango the perfect summer spot:

We kicked things off with a drink & a snack at the bar.  They do this really tasty & refreshing “Pisco” cocktail.  Pisco is interestingly a colorless or yellowish-to-amber colored brandy produced in the winemaking regions of Peru and Chile. But here at Charango you can enjoy it in sangria, pimms & flavoured cocktail form.

On the left: Rose & Cardamon Sours (R50), and on the right: Orange & Buchu Sours (R50)

We paired out Piscos with a portion of their Prawn Tostado (R65):

So yum…

Now let’s talk about the menu…

The menu was created by Chef Kieran Whyte (who did his training at the acclaimed The Greenhouse Restaurant).  The menu is structured around the theme of “Muchos Gustos” which apparently loosely translates to “many tastes”.  Basically they want you to go on a little culinary adventure, trying a few differrent things in one sitting.

The menu as mentioned above is Peruvian inspired, but particularly the Japanese style which is referred to as “Nikkei Peruvian“.

Food options are split into:

  • Para Picar (While you wait)
  • Ceviche & Tiraditos (To Start)
  • Antichucho (Next Up)
  • Peruvian BBQ (Main Event)
  • And deserts

But the manager told us to sit back and relax while they bring out some of their most popular dishes….  Aaaah, now that’s the way to do it, isn’t it. 😉

For starters, we had the following:

Seared Tuna Tataki (R70)

Charango House Ceviche (R65)

BBQ Chicken antichucho (R70)

All 3 dishes were absolute winners.  Fresh, tasty & a great way to kick off the big eat.  If I was forced to pick my favourite, I’d pick the ceviche.  It was nice & spicy – just the way I like it.

For mains we had:

‘Black’ Cob (R145)

And the BBQ pork belly (R135)

The pork belly was delicious… but the real stunner was that black cob.  I’m not really a fish person, so wasn’t too excited about this dish, but wow.  This is quite possibly one of the best fish dishes I’ve ever had.

Finally, to finish things off on a sweet note, we had:

Picarones (R50) & their Toasted Quinoa Creme (R55)

The picarones come with the creamiest (and most addictive) dipping sauce, and that quinoa dessert blew me away.  I didn’t know quinoa could taste that good!  (normally it’s a struggle for me to be honest, but Charango definitely takes quinoa to a whole different level).

This review is an easy one for me.  Gorgeous space.  Friendly & attentive service.  Beautiful food.  And a great vibe.  For all these reasons I’m giving Charango a top score of kiss5 on the Miss K Kiss-o-Meter scale.  And I highly recommend that you pay them a visit (soon).

For reservations (recommended because they’re already very busy), here at the need-to-knows:

  • Address:  114 Bree St, Cape Town
  • They are open:  Mon – Sat 11:30 to 22:30 (for lunch, dinner & drinks)
  • Contact them on:   021 422 0757

To the Charango team I have to give a big round of High 5s.  This restaurant was everything I wanted it to be and I’ll definitely be heading back many many times.


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