I’ve realised that I am an appreciator of effort. When I walk into a restaurant and it is apparent that they have gone to a lot of effort to create a pleasant experience, I get the feeling that they care about me. Obviously effort can go horribly wrong when combined with bad taste or a lack of competence. Luckily that is not the case at Boo Radley’s, their efforts have resulted in a fantastic space.
Boo Radley’s Bistro and Bar recreates the ’30s look remarkably well. The combination of the white and black checkered floor, the dark wood bar and seats, the booths and even the lighting, all create such a convincing environment that when you walk off the street you feel like you’ve just time travelled.
To continue the theme, the cocktails from the extensive list are all classics. Have you ever tried a proper Old Fashioned or Singapore Sling or even a classic Martini made with Gin? The bar is great for grabbing a drink pre or post dinner, or even an after work ‘nerve settler’ while everyone else battles the traffic. The other half of the venue is the restaurant and I ate there a little while ago with a large group.
They have aimed to keep the food simple but using the best and freshest ingredients to ensure a worthwhile meal. I tried the Ceasar Salad (R40) to start and it was great. For mains I had the Macaroni & Cheese (R55), an interpretation of the old classic which was delicious but very rich. Others tried the grilled linefish (R80), the beef burger (R55) and sirloin (R90). The general consensus was that the food was good but not mind blowing (although one person commented that the steak was the best they had had in a long time). The prices are quite reasonable so the critical eye was slightly sedated. It’s all about managing expectations. If you offer decent food at reasonable prices, people are happy. But if you start charging big prices then you better deliver something special.
The service was adequate, although stretched by our table of ten, I don’t remember anything being a problem. The wine list is small, an assortment of nine reds and nine whites ranging from R75 to R280. The reasonable food prices combined with a bottle of wine at R75 means you can afford to eat here on a whim. If you are going to the New Space theatre upstairs, Boo Radley’s will accommodate you, allowing you to enjoy your mains before the show and relax over coffee and dessert after.
While the food may not be enough of a drawcard on its own, the overall experience of eating at Boo Radley’s will bring you back. Especially when they have live entertainment, when we visited they had Lonesome Dave playing, which added to the vibe. He plays there every second Wednesday. I know I’ll definitely be back. They are open Tuesday to Saturday for lunch and dinner.
Boo Radley’s Bar & Bistro
62 Hout Street, CBD
021 424 3040