For the past 7 years, inner-city hangout Tjing Tjing has been delighting fans with its quirky decor, delicious cocktails, and Asian-inspired bites — setting the scene for memorable nights out on the town. But now, the popular drinks spot is so much more than just the coolest bar in Cape Town. The once small rooftop bar has flourished into a 3-level Japanese dining concept that is sure to set Cape Town’s restaurant scene on fire. With a brand new concept and a wonderfully daring menu, Tjing Tjing offers diners an authentic slice of Tokyo right here in Cape Town!
Located in an almost 200-year-old building on Longmarket Street, the spot is well known for its modern, unique take on Japanese cuisine, and while the restaurant and bar has always showcased subtle touches of Japanese-inspired decor – with its now well-known shrine-red bar, Tokyo wallpaper, and bold window blinds – the new look and feel takes the Japanese influence to a whole new level. Perhaps the most exciting change is the transformation of much loved café, Dear Me on the ground floor, to the new Tjing Tjing Torii. After years of serving up casual breakfast and lunch fare to hungry city dwellers, the team bid farewell to Dear Me and welcomed a brand new Japanese-inspired casual dining experience in its place.
Tjing Tjing Torii — Japanese street food with local flair
With a youthful bustling energy, cosy and cool bar area, and a quick, street food-style dining experience from brunch-time until late, Tjing Tjing Torii is officially the new restaurant all the cool kids are talking about. The menu is oh-so-exciting, offering the likes of traditional Japanese brunch with tamago, bento boxes, sando boxes, gyoza, yakitori and ramen, all with a signature Tjing Tjing twist.
I had a taste of the menu at the restaurant’s launch party and was delighted with every bite. Served on a milk bread bun with an all beef hotdog and topped with kimchi and kewpie mayo, the Atsui Dog (R55) puts a modern twist on a childhood favourite; while delights like the grilled Yakiniku Beef fillet Yakitori skewers (R82 for two) help to really bring the street food-style menu to life.
If it’s something sweet you’re after, then you HAVE to try the Japanese Cheesecake with Miso caramel (R45). This silky treat melts in your mouth and is pure heaven in dessert form. In a moment of pure genius, Tjing Tjing has opted to keep their dessert portions smaller and at a more affordable price point, so that there’s really no excuse not to get a sweet deal-sealer after your mail meal – your stomach and your wallet can handle it!
Tjing Tjing Momiji — fine dining with a Tokyo Twist
Replacing Tjing Tjing Torii on the first floor is a brand new concept restaurant, Tjing Tjing Momiji. This elegant new space, opening 27 September 2018, will offer a more fine-dining experience inspired by the structure and detail of a classic Japanese kaiseki menu. Using seasonal, local ingredients, dishes will be created simply and deliciously with a typical 10-to-12 course tasting menu, paired with wine and traditional sake. I was lucky enough to get a sneak-peek of the decor and menu of this spot at the launch party and am beyond exited to try it out when they officially open.
The sophisticated, minimalist decor exudes traditional Japanese elegance and is sure to be the perfect backdrop for the fine-dining menu presented at this one-of-a-kind intimate dinning space. While the team behind the restaurant is keeping the menu firmly under wraps for now, we were treated to three ‘preview’ type bites which will feature, and in my opinion, will give the likes of the famed The Pot Luck club, Test Kitchen, and Majeka House’s Makaron a run for their money. The delicate Japanese Mochi cakes created by pastry chef, Adri Morel, were a taste sensation of note and only served to increase my excitement for the opening of Momiji even more. This spot is guaranteed to be a hit with foodies and if you want to be the first in the door, the great news news is they are already taking bookings for their opening season.
Three bars, three times the fun
The great thing about the new Tjing Tjing is it’s now three times as exciting. With not one, but three bars, there are plenty of places to expand your beverage horizons at this vibey inner-city spot. Adjacent to Momiji restaurant, the reservations-only Momiji Lounge will boast an extensive selection of specialty spirits and cocktails, Japanese whiskeys, sake, and a totally unique wine list to complement the tasteful dishes. With its sunken seats, talented team of cocktail chefs, and intimate vibe, this stylish lounge is great for private events and those times when you’re hellbent on being the cool crowd.
Upstairs, the award-winning Tjing Tjing Rooftop bar will remain mostly the same. The much-loved bar continues to serve up some of the best cocktails in the city, along with a wicked playlist, and tasty bar treats to snack while enjoying the city view. Heading back downstairs, the Tjing Tjing Torii bar is the perfect place to grab a glass of Tjing Tjing’s exclusive, signature house wines and catch up on life with friends – the ideal spot when you’re looking for a little hideaway from the hustle and bustle upstairs.
For more information on Momiji or to make a booking, visit the Tjing Tjing website.