Cape Town foodie escapades: Richards Review

img_6701-4272x2848Located at the corner of Glengariff and Main Road Sea Point, Cape Town, is a theatre venue known as Richards Supper & Bistro.

I got invited for a night dedicated to a spectacle. When I arrived, I walked on through upstairs to their Supper Stage, which is predicated on transporting both local and international guests “into the world of entertainment, featuring talented artists performing in a variety of shows from cabaret to jazz to comedy.” My friend J and I are led by our tummy’s – specifically the promise of good food cooking – so it was inevitable that we’d land up at the establishment at some point in our Cape Town foodie escapades.

From the outside, the bistro looks like New York’s second coming, and we entered to quintessential rustic bistro vibes – with mirrors and walls decorated in 50years-worth of the establishment owner Richard Loring’s musical theatre, television, records, movies and cabaret memorabilia.

Welcome drinks were downed with brute efficiency, and the hyped up show began as we munched on a salad and bread entree.

I will say this: for their specific ideal market, Richards knows how to play to their expectations, as their “Kaapse Stories” show featured stand-up situational comedy, poignant history,the love story trope of old, and the colorful exaggeration of the stereotypical Cape motif – all wrapped in a pretty commercialized tourist gloss. Richard Loring’s experience as the producer of internationally-acclaimed ‘African Footprint’ is quite evident in the stringent structure of the show. However, where Richard’s entertainers succeed in tickling international clientele with time encapsulated mise-en-scenes that ensure audience members stay secure in the security of their foreign modernity, the only locals that would revel in such a show would be niche fanatics of over-stylized theatre tropes, executed with mild levels of genuine pleasure.


One may consider this racial bias, but I do believe the treasures of Richards’ lies in the black singers that are supporting cast members in the show. img_6752-2848x4272

From the firm vocal control, the sound resonance and pure talent that echoed across the upstairs theatre venue, I firmly believe that those singers are classically trained wonders who were actually instrumental in moving the shows diegeses from overplayed tourist trap, into something a little more memorable and noteworthy, as an authentic Kaapse experience.

My friend and I were rather looking forward to the “exclusive scrumptious Cape Buffet, and it looked wonderful while being introduced with such fanfare.

The Menu

Starters

This starter is plated and is served to the table – Greek salads & freshly baked baguettes

Cape Town Plate

Smoked Snoek Pate, Samoosa & Grilled Vegetables

Main Course

(Options will be served on a buffet)

Cape Malay Chicken & Prawn Curry – A Richard’s Specialty, made in true South African style and served alongside white basmati rice
Baked Linefish in a light lemon and parsley sauce 
Sliced Roast Beef Fillet, sliced and served with a choice of Madagascar Green Peppercorn Sauce or Sauce Bèarnaise
Oven-Baked Butternut with Honey and Toasted Almonds
Chunky Potato Bake with Caramelised Onions and Parmesan Cheese 
Rustic Tomato & Onion Relish grilled with fresh herbs
Fresh Green Beans & Carrots
 Sweet Potatoes, with ground sea salt and black pepper
Cape Malay Vegetable Breyani, ideal with the Korma Chicken and Prawn Curry
Cauliflower & Broccoli in a creamy cheese sauce

Dessert

(Also plated and served to the tables)

Cape Dessert Medley – Malva Pudding, Milk Tart, Koeksister and a skewer of fruit
The starter and pate were rather lovely dining moments at the supper stage. However, despite the amazing amount of options to choose from, Richards would do better focusing on less variety and portions in their main supper dishes, and put more assiduity into making a few dishes taste delectable and succulant. Not to say I didn’t enjoy the food – after all, I am a potatoes and meat kind of girl ( and a full belly is always good) – but for a venue such as Richards to sustain the established interest as well as  progress toward augmenting their client base; it would be ideal for them to refine the show to be less culturally rapacious, and make their food taste far more palatable.

So a 5/10 for a food, and a 6/10 for the whole supper stage dining experience.

Im in love with their mirrors though so 10/10 for that 🙂

I recommend Richards Supper Stage & Bistro purely because – for all my cringing at the ‘Kaapse Stories’ acting – the Richards Supper Stage is something you should feel obligated to scratch off the bucket list right after visiting The Labia, and getting into that theatre mood.

Bistro: 021 434 6738/ 021 433 1918

Supper Stage: 021 434 4497/ 021 433 1340

Show Bookings: 076 144 4809

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