One of the five or so luxury hotels that have opened in the CBD in the last few months is the Taj. It’s situated at the bottom of Wale Street, as it approaches Adderly Street. The Taj broadens the options of Cape Town diners with two restaurants (Mint and Bombay Brasserie) as well as the Twankey bar which also offers a tapas menu. While Mint and Bombay Brasserie are situated in the hotel, Twankey actually has a separate entrance and there is no access to the hotel through the bar so you would be forgiven for not realising that they are connected. When I ate at Bombay Brasserie, Twankey were happy to take my unfinished glass of wine over to the restaurant.
I attended the launch of Twankey bar and have been back for a drink several times since. I can say confidently that it’s one of my top bar options. I like a place that is stylish, slightly unusual and offers a quality experience. The Twankey bar ticks those boxes, the only thing I don’t like about it is the name. The Twankey is named after a nearby statue of the widow Twankey. I’m glad there is some reason behind why they called it the Twankey bar and I appreciate them trying to create a connection to local culture/history, but that doesn’t stop it from sounding silly.
Initially I was concerned that the tapas were a bit over priced, then I saw and tasted them. The portion sizes are pretty decent and the food is extremely tasty. Make no mistake, the food is not cheap and I would not plan to have dinner there but if you’re hungry and need a snack, you’ll be very happy with their offering. Here’s a sample of the tapas menu to give you an idea of their offering and the prices: Quail spring rolls (R75), prawn tempura (R85), Karoo lamb samoosa (R60), chicken tikka wrap (R55) and chilli poppers (R55). Oyster fans can feed their need with 6 of them at R90.
It’s good to see them selling &Union beers and people are going crazy about their fresh, imported Guiness on tap. I’m not into Guiness myself, although I do read the book of world records occasionaly. It’s a well stocked bar with a good wine selection, many of which are available by the glass at prices ranging from R35 to R90.
The Twankey is a good option, whether you are looking for a quiet drink before dinner or a place for a function (I’ve been to one there already). They can bring in a DJ for you and I think some nights (like Fridays) are becoming quite busy with a good vibe.
Taj Hotel, Wale Street. CBD
Tel: 021 819 2000