Shio, an ode to modern Japanese cuisine, in Cape Town

When you’re midway through lunch and make a reservation for dinner, at the very same place for the very same evening. That.

At long last Cheyne Morrisby has crossed the border of the Republic of Hout Bay and opened SHIO in the city, his third restaurant (after Cheyne’s and Lucky Bao), situated in the suitably chic Grey Hotel in de Waterkant.

Point of interest: an izakaya is a Japanese gastropub – the first time one made the news was in 1962 in Tokyo, when Roebrt F. Kennedy held a meeting in one with local leaders.

The Tasting Experience

Last week, together with my #LetsDoLunch BFF (#BestFoodieFriend) Bianca Coleman (BLC) I finally had the opportunity to try the new Izakaya tasting menu at Shio. Since then I’ve been yakking to everyone about how next-level it is and I’m still obsessing about that miso butterscotch sauce that I’d like to keep in a hip flask.

Cheyne has his fusion flavour game down. Let me be clear- I’m not a food critic by any stretch of a leg hoist but I make a point of seeking out the very best this city has to offer, and I know it when I taste it.  The cuisine at Shio will have you, like me and BLC, waxing lyrical as soon as the first morsel passes your lips. Trust me.

the tiger prawn katsu in hot & sour cream, lime leaf & bonito flakes

The menu

The menu is divided into four sections –  Umi (ocean), Tochi (land), Chokyuu (earth) and Amai (sweet). The food is beautifully plated – presentation is stylish and theatrical, yet unpretentious.  Eating tapas style has always been my preferred way, long before it became a thing. Lately I’ve noticed that more and more restaurants are including the small plates option – it’s become the du jour way to dine. Truthfully, eating big makes me feel verkakte and there are 3 W’s I tend to consider when looking to resist over-indulging: waist, waste and wallet.

The tapas portions at Shio are perfectly sized. For the Umi, I had the tiger prawn katsu with hot and sour cream, lime leaf and bonito flakes (R85); my tochi choice was the BBQ duck breast with date and waterchestnut gyoza and sticky star anise sauce (R95) and the Chikyuu I chose was the steamed edamame beans. On the Amai page I decided on the banana cream pie (R65) – how it is a pie escaped me but I don’t even care – hashtag I’m all about the sauce.

steamed edamame beans with lemon butter and smoked bonito salt

 

the banana cream pie with peanut butter icecream, slices of banana and the pièce de resistance, the miso butterscotch sauce

 

The team

The service couldn’t be faulted – we were precisely informed and well looked after by Arthur Gumbochuma and his team, and his recommendation of Springfield’s Miss Lucy , a blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and Pinot Gris was on point, a blissful match to each dish.

What, Where?

The Izakaya tasting experience special runs to end August: R250pp gives you one dish from each section of the menu. To book a table for lunch or dinner,  call 064 661 7474.

If you’re taking a cab to Somerset Road, get off opposite the BP garage, walk through the Cape Quarter, onto Jarvis Street and on the left hand corner, 49 Napier (NB Napier is not accessible from Somerset Rd at the moment),  is the Grey Boutique Hotel – Shio is in there. I sincerely hope you’re reading this in your Uber, on your way to dinner. In which case, may I wish you ボナペティ, bon appetit!

(Images all taken by Allison Foat #CapeTownDiva)

  Until next time,

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