The pork belly is tender and zesty, slightly crisp at the edges. The sauce is dark and pungent — a sweetness to it; sugar and sesame to complement the salty soy. I’m talking about the sticky pork belly skewers, easily the starring dish on Tjing Tjing‘s exciting tapas menu.
Part rooftop, part attic in a restored two centuries old heritage building in Cape Town’s city centre, it’s an intimate and trendy spot to grab a round with friends. Cocktails, wine, craft beers and an excellent tapas menu are their specialty, serenaded by new indie and electronica music. We celebrated a friend’s birthday in Asian-centric style, and over a glass or two of bubbly, totally embraced the new menu.
The Asian inspired menu is a treat from start to finish. Try the insurmountably delicious sticky pork belly skewers, a must (R45) or the crispy rice cubes, deep fried sushi rice squares served with hot buttered soy (R45). The tuna tataki with ponzu and sesame is a fresh, delicious, perfectly seared winner (R65). Finish it off with a traditional pork belly Bao, with pickled cucumber and sesame seeds (R50).
The old Victorian building is multi-talented. By day, the ground floor serves a mean cup of coffee, breakfast and light meals at Dear Me. The middle floor, always known as the five-star White Room, has recently seen a renovation and is now home to Tjing Tjing Torii, the rooftop’s newly revamped little sister. With a better wine list, easier dining and offering table service only – it’s the restaurant side of the upstairs bar. Lovely for light, relaxed dinners in an eclectic space.
Tjing Tjing has been alive in Cape Town for a while, but the recent renovation and menu update has see it go from good, to better, to best. Whether for a glass of wine after work, to celebrate a friend’s birthday or pre-match before a night out in town, Tjing Tjing is perfect.