First Taste: We Tried the Food at Time Out Market Cape Town

De Vrije Burger

The long-awaited Time Out Market Cape Town is finally set to open its doors this week. On Wednesday night the team behind the market hosted an intimate media event for food writers and influencers in the lead-up to the official opening at the V&A Waterfront on Friday the 17th of November, 2023, at 11:00.

The premium food market in Cape Town promises to bring the best of the city together under one roof: its best food, drinks and cultural experiences.

De Vrije Burger

I had the opportunity to sip and sample my way through the market and see what is in store for food lovers visiting the newly opened Time Out Market in Cape Town. Here is a sneak peek at what to expect from the food and drinks available at the V & A Waterfont-based market.

First taste: A quick review of the food at Time Out Market Cape Town

Visiting the market for the first time, it is clear that Time Out Market Cape Town truly celebrates the best local food talent. Guests visiting the food-focused destination will get a real taste of the city and the location is sure to be a great place for families and friends to come together and enjoy a variety of premium food options by top chefs and their teams.

Time Out Market The Melting Pot Seafood
The Melting Pot Seafood by Chef John Van Zyl

While guests will dine at communal tables, I was super impressed to see that all meals are served on branded crockery with real cutlery to match. There are no paper plates and ineffective wooden knives and forks here! You get to enjoy your food as you would in a restaurant, and call me crazy but food tastes better when it’s served on a real plate with a stainless steel knife and fork.

Speaking of food, there’s an abundance of great food on offer at this market. You’ll have to visit a few times to try everything and get a taste for what’s available. We had the opportunity to taste one dish from each restaurant stand on a whirlwind tour of the market. The chefs knocked it out of the park on these dishes and it was amazing to see that they all ‘understood the assignment’ in terms of serving premium food options, that are ideal for a market setting while staying true to their unique culinary styles.

Time Out Market Cape Town
Time Out Market Cape Town, food selection.

Some highlights from the tasting menus included the Omakase Nigiri plate from Sushiya (Chef Peter Tempelhoff and Chef Shin Takagi), Free Range Beef Burger and chips from De Vrije Burger (Chef Bertus Basson), West Coast Mussels from The Melting Pot Seafood (Chef John Van Zyl), Lamb Dibi from Mlilo (Chef Vusi Ndlovu), and the Cape Malay Crayfish Bao from How Bao Now (Chef duo Matt Van Den Berg and Carla Schulze).

The Omakase Nigiri plate from Sushiya is a true celebration of Nigiri. There’s no better place to get a premium sushi experience in Cape Town than on this plate served by Chef Peter Tempelhoff and Chef Shin Takagi. No expense has been spared in creating this dish. The rice used is grown in Shin’s native Ishikawa, and is nurtured by fourth-generation rice growers and aged for up to two years before being cooked in Cape mountain spring waters. As for the fish, it’s all locally sourced from Western Cape fisherman and served fresh to your table.

Time Out Market Cape Town
Time Out Market Cape Town, Sushiya and Ramenhead.

If you’re after a burger and chips, then you have to try the Beef Burger at De Vrije Burger. As an unapologetic Bertus Basson fan girl, I’m just beyond excited to finally have De Vrije Burger in Cape Town. The signature De Vrije Burger is everything you want in a beef burger and more and the chips are out of this world; perfectly crispy with a mouthfeel that never disappoints.

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The Cape Malay Crayfish Bao is a flavour bomb of curry aioli, coconut furikake, vadouvan XO, and lime. This oversized bao bun is a worthy meal for any crayfish lover to tuck into. It’s packed with flavour and they don’t skimp on the crayfish, making it a truly indulgent meal.

Time Out Market Cape Town
Time Out Market Cape Town, De Vrije Burger.

To wash it all down, guests can enjoy a curated selection of South Africa’s finest wines at the Culture Wine Bar by Chef Matt Manning. The wines on offer have been handpicked by Manning and his team of wine experts to ensure wine lovers get a taste of something extraordinary with the wine list putting a focus on what makes each South African wine-making region unique.

From Friday 17 November 2023, Time Out Market Cape Town will be open daily — opening times are: Sunday to Wednesday: 11:00 – 22:00 and Thursday to Saturday: 11:00 – 23:00.

To stay up-to-date follow Time Out Market Cape Town on Instagram

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