Vintage India review

Vintage India would definately take the prize for best restaurant in a parking lot, but mainly because I don’t know of any other restaurants that are in parking lots. There is quite a selection of Indian restaurants to choose from in Cape Town. Some are not that great, others are good but pricey, and then you get those that are reasonably priced and offer reasonable quality. Vintage India fits into the last category. I have eaten there several times over the years and it has been consistent with respect to the food, but the service has waxed and waned.

I was there again this last weekend and on this occasion the service was good and the food was it’s usual standard. Vintage India is a huge restaurant, which is seldom even half full, but they are obviously busy enough to pay the bills as they have been there for many years. The decor is softly Indian with Indian waiters giving it a more authentic feel. The lighting is quite bright which kills the ambiance slightly but does encourage confidence in the cleanliness of the restaurant.

The four of us ordered two chicken Tikka Masala (R61), one chicken Vindaloo (R59) and I ended up with something which I can’t recall. I wanted the lamb Rogan Josh (R65) but was recommended another option. I didn’t really like my option that much and regretted not sticking to the Rogan Josh. All dishes came with rice and we ordered one plain nan (R10) and one garlic nan (R12). The menu does have an extensive vegetarian section as well.

Having had a weekend of excess, we opted for soft drinks, but I do remember that the wine list at Vintage India was very reasonably priced, although not very interesting. Vintage India offers value for money, not the best ambiance or food or service, but definitely value compared to some other places.

Vintage India
Gardens Centre (in the parking)
Tel: 021 462 5106


8 responses to “Vintage India review”

  1. Grant Johnson

    I’ve never really got this place… I’ve eaten there many times and on more than one occasion (including a weekend night) it’s only been our table and one or two others. This place must have a seating capacity of over 300, so I’m convinced that it’s a money laundering operation for the Indian Mafia. That said… the food, service & prices are good!

  2. That’s not the first time I’ve heard that theory!

  3. I was so pleased when I first stumbled across Vintage. After a number of years in the UK I had got used to my Indian restaurants being delightfully tacky, friendly, fire-y and somewhere you can swing by for a quick snack or an evening of relaxing with friends. The waiters used to say hello when they passed me in the street. Imagine my horror when I discovered the gourmet schmormet version of Indian restaurants that are so common in Cape Town.

    Vintage – you guys rock!

    Tip on the wine front – they are very cool about you bringing your own wine.

  4. Siân Remfry

    I love Indian food but have found many restaurants to be so overpriced and not have the authentic taste of India. I have travelled in India and had some marvellous foods in some dodgy establishments which have served the best food ever!

    I have recently discovered such a gem in Muizenberg near Surfers corner called Bombay Beach. While the outside might not seem like somewhere you can have fine dining, step inside and sample their wonderful dishes which will have you returning time and time again for something truly Authentic and well priced dishes.

  5. I enjoy the food at Vintage India. As you say, its consistant and not bad. As for how they survive with so few people visiting. They get HUGE busloads of Indian’s coming in some nights, they fill the place, they eat and are gone within the hour, not even that long. They have a lot of vegan food which is difficult to find in Cape Town so the Indian Sect that eats it are garanteed it there.

  6. Jacques

    Absolutely Cape Town’s best kept secret…their food is top notch!

  7. Easily the City Bowl’s best kept fine dining secret. I’ve sampled most of the major chains and Indian restaurants in Cape Town, and nothing comes close in terms of character, authenticity, price or quirky ambience.

    Here’s what to expect:

    1. Massive menu that allows you to sample almost every curry in veg, paneer, meat or chicken versions – a first in my experience. The starters are great, and many of the items are good for a giggle with their quirky names and description.

    2. Super service. The place is hardly every full, unless you bump into a busload of Indian tourists who are usually fed from the buffet. When it’s busy, the waiters do tend to spin, but for the most part you get extremely personable, genteel service, quite unlike what you are likely to find anywhere else.

    3. Great pricing. We usually go for a shared starter, 2 curries, 2 drinks each and some paratha. Poppadums and chutneys are served free with each meal. We usually leave having paid under R150 a head, with a generous tip included in that.

    4. Ambience. There’s something wonderfully authentic about this place. From the lush furnishings to the paintings and tinny Indian music in the background. The waiters are all Indian, and you get your bill from a mafiosa looking woman sitting behind a frosted glass pain.

    5. Food quality. Easily rivals Bukhara at a fraction of the price, and easily surpasses Bilhari, Passage to India and various other major Indian restaurants in town. Some of the curries are acquired tastes, so know what you’re asking for before you get too adventurous.

  8. Have been to most restaurants in CT and nothing comes close for a curry bunny like myself. The food was absolutely brilliant. The service excellent. The masala tea delicious. The comment above about Bukhara – in my opinion Bukara sucks. This place trumps Bhukara hands down. I had lamb Rogan Josh at both places. Bhukara just a rip off for what it is. All the crap about mafiosa and money laundering – seriously who cares? If they continue serving curries like the one I just had, that is all that matters.