Alfama – Portuguese Restaurant

Would you like to see what tantalizingly diverse eateries I got to review during my time as an intern at Eat Out Magazine?

Well, let me tell you about a place that’s walls tell a story… One can easily see that the vision and passion for this rustic restaurant is rooted firmly in its history. One simply needs to let the walls do the talking. You’ll see what I mean. 😉


Cape Town’s newest Portuguese spot
Tuesday, September 11th, 2012
By Jodie Seale










Alfama Restaurant is Waterkant Street’s newest eatery, offering city dwellers a taste of traditional, tasty Portuguese cuisine. Owner Rui Boia wanted to re-create the authentic culture of Alfama, the city of his birth. “When you look outside, you’ll see the street resembles the streets in Alfama. Let me show you; it’s in the photos on the wall,” Antonio Mateus, the manager, tells me.

The food
It’s a team effort of Rui and the chef to add a personal touch to what is created in the kitchen. The meals draw influence from traditional Portuguese-style cooking, but all ingredients are sourced locally. Choosing from the variety on the menu could be daunting, but there’s always the option of ordering a variety of dishes and sharing the spread among those rumbling tummies seated at the table.

From the petiscos (light meals) you could try the bitoque: pan-fried rump in fresh herbs, white wine and cream, dressed with a fried egg and served with thinly sliced potato wedges. This tenderised portion of steak has a hint of wine and the combination with egg provides an authentic sense of hearty Portuguese cuisine.

As for the peixe (fish), indulge in a plate of grilled prawns submerged in a tangy lemon butter, garlic and mild chilli sauce. And for the finale, the sombremesa (desserts), try a decadent musse de chocolate – a dark chocolate mousse, rich and creamy with a topping of cream and biscuit bits for that added crunch – or the crème brulee with its light and velvety custard, real vanilla specks and cracking sugar topping.

The wine (once the licence has been granted) will be sourced from local wine farms like Blouvlei, which produces a cabernet sauvignon/merlot blend, a sauvignon blanc and a dry rosé. Something else to try is the Alfama ice tea speciality, made with herbal teas.

Friendly smiles and pleasant greetings meet you at the door. You’ll quickly notice the attention to detail throughout the venue.

The open interior and white walls lend modern flair to the space. The entrance leads you to a rustic oversized brick counter in front of a colossal framed mirror – both attractive conversation pieces. A neutral pallet of wooden furniture and mismatched picture frames decorate the walls and add pops of colour to the room. (All were hand crafted by a local Woodstock artisan.) And if you feel you’ve been waiting a while, the music will soon distract you. The old soul music takes you on a trip down memory lane with the good kind of nostalgia.

A great spot for a boozy, lingering lunch or dinner with friends.


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