Must Visit | New Seafood Restaurant Galjoen in Cape Town

On a blisteringly cold winter’s day in Cape Town, the Aspire Lifestyle team ventured out to the popular Harrington Street to sample some of the best offerings that new restaurant GALJOEN have on offer.

Restauranteurs Neil Swart and Anouchka Horn of Belly of the Beast are at the helm of this trendy space. They have worked tirelessly with GALJOEN Head Chef Isca Stoltz to create a flavoursome, sustainable experience… one to write home about.

Galjoen Cape Town
Neil Swart, Isca Stoltz, Anouchka Horn

A glass of bubbly on entering the new eatery is always a welcome gesture as we perused the space and all its light-reflecting, minimalist décor embellishments and settings.

The space is a light and airy, double-volume room with wooden tables neatly set out adorned with gold cutlery, branded napkins, and an array of clear glassware. It’s sophisticated yet not pretentious. The interior design duo Annelise Vorster of Studio NAN and Yolandi Vorster of YV Ateljee have married the true essence of minimalist come light-industrial elegance, including a subtle nautical feel.

Galjoen Cape Town

Our first course was Saldanha Bay oysters with grilled pineapple salsa and a lemon and black pepper emulsion, beautifully presented, a feast for the eyes, and leaned more toward a savoury taste experience instead of the usual tangy sweet accompaniments that so many other restaurants opt for. Next up was a mouth-watering plate of yellowfin tuna sashimi with garlic aioli, caramelised ginger, topped with nori foraged from Scarborough, exceptional in flavour, tender and smooth. After that, a selection of breads (who doesn’t love a bread course!!!) included garlic buchu flatbreads with spicy butter and a curried snoek roll with shredded snoek lightly folded into buttery layers of bread. A bowl of plump mussels accompanied the bread in a fragrant, light white wine and parsley sauce, perfect for dipping the bread.

Galjoen Cape Town

The next course was one of thinly sliced octopus with romensco sauce, chive oil and crispy onions and microgreens.

The main attraction here was their own take on ‘Fish & Chips’. The fish of the day (whatever is caught fresh that day) is cooked over open coals with lemon butter and crispy capers; it’s served with the most delicious and moreish triple-cooked fries with a wedge of a new-style Caesar salad to tie it all together.

And then there was more…

To finish, a delectable dessert of rooibos ice cream, honeycomb, crispy kataifi pastry and a roasted sweet potato custard – an enjoyable sweet treat to finish a meal off with, delicious.

Galjoen Cape Town

And finally, just before departing, we were offered a bit-sized, chocolatey s’more. The perfect rendition of a truly delectable foodie experience.

There’s a reason we’ve listed the food we indulged in, and that’s merely to give you an idea of the creative dishes you can expect when dining at GALJOEN.

GALJOEN offers a set menu that constantly changes. You won’t find a menu to peruse. What you get is what you get. It creates an element of surprise and also allows the kitchen to focus on creating new plates based on what has been sustainably caught for the day. If it’s not from South Africa, it’s not going on the menu.

That being said, the ‘Fish & Chips’ dish will remain throughout.

Galjoen Cape Town

“With every single plate, we really put the focus on the ingredients,” says Head Chef Isca Stoltz. “Everything we do in the kitchen is to make them shine.”

“People come to Cape Town and eat imported seafood, and that just makes no sense to us,” says restauranteur Anouchka Horn. “You should be eating the fish from our own oceans, so from the beginning, we decided we’re not going to cook with anything imported. No prawns from Vietnam. No salmon from Norway. No calamari from Argentina.”

To ensure a steady supply of fresh produce, Galjoen has partnered with some of the Cape’s leading seafood merchants, ensuring they support both environmental and socio-economic sustainability. Farmed mussels come fresh from the waters of Saldanha Bay, while Abalobi and Greenfish merchants provide a range of fish caught largely by self-employed artisanal fishermen.

The restaurant’s namesake, GALJOEN, is South Africa’s national fish. The restaurant was named to pull in the focus of celebrating local and proudly South Africa – however, ironically, Galjoen won’t appear on the menu. It is a SASSI red-listed fish and cannot be commercially sold.

Galjoen Cape Town

“In all of our cooking, we really celebrate South African produce and South African recipes, and by naming the restaurant Galjoen, we wanted to both raise awareness of our national fish and spark a conversation with our guests around sustainability in seafood,” says restauranteur Neil Swart.

Lunch at R550 per person : 12h30pm : Wednesday to Saturday
Dinner at R750 per person : 18h45pm : Tuesday to Saturday
Galjoen is located at 99 Harrington Street, Cape Town.

For bookings, go to

Galjoen caters for some dietary requirements and allergies but can only accommodate them with at least 24h notice.