Thursday, March 21, 2019

Saturday lunch at Panama Jack's

There is not much activity at the moment in the wine PR world as most farms are harvesting in between bouts of bad weather. So this week it’s all about food and some beer

We check on-line sites for specials and Hyperli does come up with a few good things. Panama Jacks was a legendary restaurant in the Cape Town docks for many years, especially for business lunches, but they were tired the building owners gave them notice and we all thought that was that. But no, they have had a renaissance in the new Cruise Ship Terminal on the Foreshore

This photo, taken of the old premises under construction in 1988, is on a wall in the new restaurant
which has moved to this rather unattractive building. But fear not, the restaurant has a good atmosphere and they are upstairs on the wharf side of the building, with a lovely terrace and a view of the docks and whichever cruise liner is moored alongside. And you do not need a Docks permit to get to Panama Jack's, you use the entrance right next to the Dock gates and follow the yellow brick road. (Yes, really, there is a broad yellow painted line on the road)
And the cruise liners are right alongside too. The Aegean Odyssey is currently sailing up our West Coast back to Malaga in Spain
It was a lovely sunny day with a bit of a nip in the air, so we chose to sit just inside the open doorway
We found that the owner was there and the manager was a former colleague of our friend, so we had very good service
They have quite a large space and have kept the flags that adorned the ceiling of the old restaurant
Thankfully all have been cleaned
The fish bar with an open tank full of swimmers and crawlers for you to chose from. And they do sushi as well
We were a party of five and you can see how close the cruise liner is
We did hear the announcements when they were reloading passengers as they got ready to sail later that afternoon
Our special did not include starters, but neither of us could resist the Tuna Tataki. Very fresh tuna, in quite large two bite chunks, coated in sesame seeds, lightly seared with a Thai salad of bean sprouts and shaved carrots and cucumber. The sesame peanut sauce was a great addition and of course Soy sauce was supplied. See the menu at but remember that it is subject to change. And they do have a small lunch menu, as they did in the old premises
Pamela could not resist the oysters which she said were very fresh. R25 each
and James had a favourite; crisp fried tentacles of baby squid in tempura batter
Our special was a Seafood Platter for two. The special price is no longer available, sadly, but there are Seafood Platters on the menu with similar ingredients. This impressive serving had about 12 large prawns in their shells, calamari rings, seasoned and fried fresh hake and mussels in a cream sauce. Served on a bed of very flavourful yellow risotto rice, it comes with a peri peri sauce, lemon and garlic butters, a few baby tomatoes and wedges of lemon. Everything was good although John said the mussels were a bit bland and floppy
Our friends ordered Namibian Wreck fish, a special of the day, and enjoyed it very much. Enough to go and source some for home at our favourite wholesaler. R360 for 3. Also served with tartare sauce and the ubiquitous yellow rice. Two girls drank a bottle of Lomond Sauvignon Blanc, one had a brandy and coke and the fellas had Stellenbrau beers
The bill for five people. We will definitely return and take our overseas friends there for a dose of good seafood

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