The entry to the ‘Asoka Restaurant and Lounge’ on the Kloof Street is rather eerie and dark. A bouncer almost double my size stood at the entry. He gave a hint of smile as he saw me stepping out of the car. Behind him, a large yellow ॐ symbol glowed in the dark, with gentle layers of smoke floating in between. For a moment, I thought I have reached a wrong place, yet, decided to move on, until I could see a dark passage with a muffled music and drum beats on the other side….
About Kloof Street and Asoka Restaurant and Lounge
Trendy and stylish, the Kloof Street is an extension of the Long Street area, in the heart of the Cape Town. During the day, it is a route for the Cape Town’s City Bus Tours, brushing you past the iconic historical buildings, unique shops and high-rise buildings. As the dusk sets in, the street comes into action with its eclectic blend of cafe’s, restaurants and lounges. It would be right to admit that if you stay in an accommodation here, you will be surrounded by excitement all around. The ‘Asoka Restaurant and Lounge’ is a decade old gem on the Kloof Street.
Continuing the story that I started earlier:- I entered through the dark passage with slight skepticism, to find out the source of the drum beats and music. What I led myself into was overwhelmingly vibrant and happening. Akin to their belief, I too strongly agree that food and music have an unspoken connection; and that they bring people together, by enticing and engaging the senses. The ambiance that evening was a perfect celebration ground.
The entire space was lit up with candles and dim lights, making it a perfect evening get away. The music behind had a rhythmic tempo, one you would love to tap your feet on, while you sip your favourite drink. The area near the bar looked crowded, as people took turns to get their favourite drink, and of course, spend time on the bar chairs. The waitresses moved briskly between the tables, as they took the orders from the visitors.
There is an incredible mix of cultures about this lounge. The name of the restaurant is Indian, the faith is Zen and the food is a delectable mix of Asian, Indian as well as European. I decided to call for one of the waitresses to ask her out about the history of the place. I didn’t notice until she pointed me towards the large Buddha Statue inside the dining area (and somehow, my camera didn’t work well enough to take good pictures) that I realized that they were so deeply influenced with the Asian Culture.
What’s on the Menu
Although, they have a limited pages on their menu card, you can still order yourself an a-la-carte of sea food, grilled in both vegetarian and non-vegetarian, and pan-fried, with assortment of salads and toppings to choose from. If you cannot do without a vegetarian, their Baby Spinach Salad and Mezze Platter will amaze you. They are best at what they serve, with pride.
I, however, being a Bong (with love for non-vegetarian food), searched through the pages for something more appropriately non-vegetarian, until I settled for the Butter Chicken Curry. It’s not that I do not go for local food, but sometimes, it is more fascinating to know how much people outside India love Indian recipes.( Did anyone told you that before). I came to know of this when on my trip to Bali, I got into conversation with a ‘Garuda Indonesia’ pilot who confessed about his liking for Indian spices and cuisine. And when you get to know abroad of the Indian cuisines prepared by non-Indian people, I think it is worth a try!
I was typically more excited about their drinks menu, which had more pages than the food, and of course, when you are in the ‘Wine Capital of the World’, you cannot expect any less. They had a range of beverages on their menu which sounded more or less Indian, especially the hot beverages. I went for the Asoka Favorites list to finally choose one of the Vodka combinations. So here’s what I ordered for myself.
Starters: Pan Fried Tiger Prawns, Baby Spinach Salad
Drink: Moksha Martini (Vodka and Fresh Lime)
Main Course: Chicken Curry.
Well, I do admit here that it would not have been for the constant attention given to us by the staff here. They were really hospitable, and took their helping us out make a choice. and did they succeed? Hell yeah! 🙂 🙂
I really wanted to personally meet and thank the owner of the restaurant for the amazing food, but he was not available for the evening. Nevertheless, it had been an amazing evening with them.
Tips for the Table.
- In Cape Town, the culture is to put the tip on your bill before you pay by card or cash. So, you can include the tip you want to pay on the bill itself before clearing it.
- The food takes a little time to serve; it is not that they are lousy here, but the best things come when we give time to them. Be patient!
- If you are looking especially for a particular type of beer, you generally get an option to try out before you choose- If you do not get one, you can ask it out before you make a decision.
- Water is a scarce resource in all of Cape Town, especially drinking water. Don’t be surprised if it comes expensive. Use it wisely. They do serve water if you ask for it.
- The best timings to be here is after 09:00 pm. Do not worry! The crowd only gets bigger afterwards!
What’s your favorite menu here!!