Having been 4 times now to Willoughby’s, I have mixed but largely positive feedback.
The first thing to say is that the food is amazing. The nicest sea-food and sushi I’ve had in South Africa and at a not-too-expensive price. There’s a reason that this place has a ridiculously long queue every day of the week (even in the off-season) and that is because it is an excellent restaurant well worth queuing for. (Reservations are not accepted)
Atmosphere is, sadly, a little lacking. Willoughby’s is in a shopping centre, you cannot escape that fact. If you get a seat inside (preferably at the bar, if solo or in a couple) then you can kid yourself that you’re in a nice environment. If seated outside then you are in the middle of a shopping centre with the throngs passing you by.
Service too is inconsistent. Of the four visits here, I’ve twice had good service. The first time I sat at the bar alone and got excellent, attentive service and the second was with family when we were sat outside and had a friendly, efficient and attentive waiter. That said, I have also gone alone and been so ignored by the waiter that I had to practically get up and grab him every time I needed his attention and another time with friends service was very slow.
All of this is quite irrelevant however. The food is so good that Willoughby’s scores an easy 5/5 and will always be my default option if visiting Cape Town. The mussel and calamari starters are both perfectly cooked and served in fantastic sauces. The Soft Shell Crab Sushi is brilliant.
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