Boo Radley’s review

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


5 responses to “Boo Radley’s review”

  1. I think that Lonesome Dave is superb. I found the restaurant to be average to good, but Lonesome Dave doing his thing made the experience excellent – something that I will do again.

    Also, the bar is cool enough that there is no real need to eat there. I went there with some friends a while back after having supper somewhere else and still had a great time.

  2. I haven’t eaten there, but went for drinks and had fun. Love the photos up on the wall… rather striking! Still got to hear Lonesome Dave perform one of these days.

  3. Hey Dax,

    I’ve unfortunately found the place inconsistent, and if I’m to be honest the worst attribute for a restaurant is inconsistency.

    I went to a birthday and as great as it was on that occasion (food, music, service), was as bad as it was a month later when I chose to take my company there. The food quality varied wildly. The onion soup (which was great the first time) was a much smaller portion, glutinous and not great the second time. The music was intolerable, everyone was grumpy about it at our table. We had a waiter with loads of attitude, but not much humour.

    It’s also worth noting that it has very bad acoustics, noise bounces and reflects – and we ended up almost shouting at each other to speak in normal conversation. It was very busy though.

    I may go again – but I’ll choose a “quiet” night if I’m eating, or just go on a friday to have a vibe at the bar.


  4. I ate at Boo Radley’s on Saturday night for the first time in a while. The menu has changed, with the intention of offering better value.

    I had the crumbed chicken breasts for R65, several people enjoyed the burger (which looked fantastic) for R55. One person had the duck shepherd’s pie, I can’t remember the price but they said it was good.

    Overall, the response to the food from the group of 7 was much more positive than on previous visits.

    They had a band playing, which was really funky. They play every Saturday night. The place was buzzing. I took some out of town visitors and they loved it.

    Lonesome Dave is still playing there every second Wednesday as well.

  5. Janet Kriseman

    Tried Boo Radley last night after the theater, based on your recommendation. Food was very good, service warm and attentive and there was a bustling, happy vibe. Great stuff!