I was still overseas when Kong Bar & Grill popped up in Green Point Cape Town, but it made enough noise to reach me. People were raving about the riblets… they were popping bottles of free bubbly on a Thursday… (more on that later) and their superstar DJ, Pete Larkin, is allegedly Cape Town’s finest. (This is pure bias, by the way, ‘cos he’s my cousin.)
Then there’s the decor.
Kong is a lovely looking space full of photogenic nooks and crannies. The vibe is flamboyant, quirky and fun with lots of attention to detail. It’s the kind of place I’d happily sneak into during the day if I wanted to get a little work done while enjoying a tranquil lunch. Things get busy later on though, so you could also pull in for an after-work dop or enjoy a decadent three-course meal then burn it off once that first brave soul hits the dance floor. (Maybe that’s you?)
But ja. Let’s talk about the menu. When you hear about a place that’s gotten a rep for being quite the jol, you don’t expect the food to be sublime. But surprise! It totally is! To start, I really enjoyed the pork loin riblets (R77 for 250g). They’re the sticky, fall-off-the-bone kind in a sweet and spicy basting that reminded me of a Korean BBQ sauce I fell in love with in Thailand. Still, I’m told the beef taquitos (R75) are their tapas to try, but these had unfortunately sold out on the day I arrived.
As far as mains go, my pièce de résistance was their butter-soft beef fillet (R169). My God! When I tell you I haven’t had a piece of meat so good in ages, please believe me. You could’ve cut this dude with a butter knife and each bite – to use a hideously overused phrase – really did melt in your mouth.
In fact, the meat had such a lovely, succulent flavour that it really didn’t need a sauce, but I poured it over anyway because it was bacon, blue cheese and vodka (R39). OMG! Like, how could I not?!
My fillet wasn’t alone in its fabulousness, however. My friend Barb’s had ordered the coffee-cured ostrich fillet (R135) and it was definitely a worthy first princess in a touch and go competition for the crown. My only regret is that I was so busy eating my first bite of fillet with my eyes closed (while making sex noises) that I didn’t see Barbs attack her ostrich before I’d photographed it.
Oh! My! God! Epic plus one fail, you guys. Barbs is totally cancelled!
Also, and this is totally random, but the oyster sauce zucchini and roasted beetroot the ostrich is served with was awesome. It wasn’t a case of “Oh, let’s gooi any old veg onto this plate”. It could stand up on its own as something truly delish. Both Barbs and I used our fingers to scrape each plate.
We hadn’t even finished our decadent meat fiesta when we made a pact to return the following week. Barbs and I are ravenous carnivores and, as we both suffer from anaemia, delicious steaks are basically prescription medication for us. (Maddeningly, Discovery Health keeps ignoring the restaurant receipts I send them!) Our plan is to pop in on Thursday so we can stuff ourselves with more of their beautiful meat then linger longer ‘cos from 9 to 10pm they break out complimentary Pongracz! Can you say “GIRL’S NIGHT!”?!
Last, but not least, you have to know about their Vairhona dark chocolate fondant (R75) served with creamy almond ice cream and apricot gel. Mense! I’m not a huuuuuge chocolate fan. You’re looking at more of a nougat girl. Still, the reptilian part of my brain knows that exploding, oozing chocolate is a winner on the ‘gram, so I was like ‘Ja, ja… Let’s serve and shoot.’ And you know what? It knocked my little sokkies off! Like soooo freakin’ delicious, y’all! Definitely an experience I plan to relish a lot more than just once and next time I certainly won’t be sharing.
If you plan on visiting Kong, know that it’s a fab place to partyjie, but they’re certainly not monkeying around when it comes to food.
P.S. Special alert! If you pop into Kong this month (November 2019), be it for lunch or dinner, you can order their pasta of the day and a glass of house wine for just R95. Facebook tells me their current darlings are linguine arrabbiata for the veggie crowd and a bacon carbonara for any meat freaks like myself. Yay!