Have you ever had one of those moments where, according to Facebook and the Internet, it feels like your entire generation is holidaying in Greece, lounging on tropical islands and eating tzatziki, while you slave away at a desk job from 8 till 5 and have skin as pale as a sheet? That’s happened to me. That happens to me. And on such occasions, I go to Sotano.
Situated neatly on Mouille Point’s Beach Road, with views of the lighthouse and the Atlantic in the distance, it’s a little taste of the Mediterranean right here in Cape Town.
Although it’s most popularly known for its eggy, delicious brunches (I recommend you visit for the eggs Benedict after an idle walk along the prom), we went to Sotano on a sunny Cape afternoon. With a light breeze, views of the Mouille Point lighthouse and the Atlantic beyond, it felt like we’d left the woes of society behind and whisked off some place else.
The largely Mediterranean style menu offers a range of tapas, from lamb koftas in a Catalan sauce, calamari a la plancha, grilled halloumi bruschetta and aubergine and zucchini fries, ranging in price from R39 to R72. You can also delight in a Mediterranean platter that holds a neat selection of lamb koftas, garlic chicken, halloumi, cabbage rolls, grilled prawns, fritti, tzatziki, olives and rosemary bread, perfect when shared between two (R210).
Mains include generous portions of grilled line fish (R135), seafood linguini (R145), Spanish paella (R135) and a decadent lamb burger (R90), among a range of other specialties. The service is friendly and prompt, and we received our food shortly after ordering. Paired with a sweating Peroni and chilled glass of wine, the meal, the ambience and the fresh ocean air made it feel like we were toasting an occasion. But we weren’t really, we were just having lunch in Cape Town.
On Sunday evenings, the Capetonian reggae band The Rivertones kicks off from 4 till 7 pm and lets you unwind after a busy weekend. Although the food may not be as authentic as it gets, it’s a variation on a theme that’s a winning success, and the crowds who flock to its sunny terrace on summer mornings and late afternoons are evidence of this. Until I actually do spend a summer on the Mediterranean, I’ll keep Sotano in mind for a bit of vicarious living.