I check out The Raptor Room in Roeland Street

by Karisa

So there’s a new spot in my hood called The Raptor Room – actually they’re not thaaaaat new, they opened up towards the end of last year already…

It’s taken me a while to try them out, even though they’re literally 150m down the road, I think mainly because I was like “ja ja, they’re right there, I can try them out anytime” and then months ended up going by without me even realising.  (like seriously, how are we at the end of March already??)

Anyways, I finally popped in for dinner a couple of weeks back with my friend Dax.  Right off the bat, I loved the decor and the quirky feel of the place.

As the name suggests, there’s some dino-inspired detailing, but not too much.  The green and white fern leaf wallpaper also creates a fun jungle feel & I liked that it was a good spot to do some people watching.

It’s a relatively small space with one small corner table to your left.  Then 8 bar-style seats looking out on the street, and two slightly bigger tables in the right hand corner of the restaurant.

It’s a BYOB vibe, which I didn’t really mind.  1) Because luckily I had read about this online, so came prepared, 2) You get to enjoy your favourite bottle from home, & 3) There’s no corkage.  #High5ToThat

The only thing I found a bit confusing was the service…  We were there for quite some time before we realised that you had to order at the counter, something which we only realised by finally getting up and asking even though a young girl who we thought maybe played the role of waitress had passed us several times.  We clearly looked a bit confused, so it would’ve just been nice for someone to say “hey, looks like this is your first time, here’s how everything works”.

Anyways, let’s rather look at the cute decor shall we:

On the food side of things, they definitely had some fun coming up with the names of some of the dishes… “You Gats-tby kidding me”, “F*K Bread”, the “I once met a salad named Maree” and the “Beyonce” float all jump out at you as you’re scanning through the options.  The menu is divided into small plates, lunch & dinner, floats, salads, sides & sweets.

I was tempted to try the Mac ‘n cheese (as I’d heard good things about it), but we ended up trying a selection of smaller things, mainly because it was quite a hot evening and I was worried that the Mac ‘n cheese might be a bit heavy.

Dax and I shared the sliders (R80), the popcorn chicken (R45) and the loaded fries (R60).  This is what it all looked like:

Up front & center you have the loaded fries with Jurassic Pork, jalapenos, shaved gruyere, coriander & Chipotle Mayo

Then this was the popcorn chicken – crispy fried chicken with your choice of our flavored salts. We opted for the sweet & sticky salt.

And finally the 3 sliders – 3 milk buns with dry aged beef, boerenkaas cheese, grilled masala pineapple & Holy Moly Aioli

I’m gonna start with the good bits… The dry aged beef patties on the sliders were really good.  The combination with the masala pineapple & aioli was also very tasty.  The thing that ruined it for me were the buns.  They were tough, way too dense & bulky and made these really hard to eat.  With the loaded fries I enjoyed the pulled pork and the fries, but found there was way too much of that cheesy, white sauce which made it way too rich overall.  We barely managed to make a dent in it.  Then the popcorn chicken was our least favourite, couldn’t really taste the flavoured salt and the chicken was very dry.  Could’ve maybe done with a dipping sauce of sorts.

So yeah, unfortunately not a great meal.  I kinda wished that I had stuck to my guns and tried the Mac ‘n cheese, or even the gatsby…  But hey, it is what it is.  Based on what we had on the night, I unfortunately can’t really give them more than a on my Miss K Kiss-o-Meter scale… even though I really do like the space…

Since then, I’ve found myself glancing over whenever I drive past to see how busy they are and what I have noticed is that they seem to do really well over brunch time.  So maybe that’s more the vibe… Not sure, will have to pop my head in again to give their brunch menu a try (with a serving of Mac ‘n cheese to go of course)  But until then, my score will have to stay as is.

Keen to give them a try for yourself? You’ll find The Raptor Room at 79 Roeland Street & they are open Mon – Sat, from 10am to 11pm.


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