Yesterday Fat Harry’s reopened in Kenilworth as a transformed Restaurant with a Bar, with new owners, a new chef, a new menu, and a complete makeover. Co-owner and restaurateur Stuart Bailey, who has many years experience of opening and running Restaurants, including Hussar Grill, Slug & Lettuce, the Harbour House Group, and Cowboys & Cooks restaurants, has created a new quality neighbourhood eatery in the Southern Suburbs, with a brand new bar.
Last week I was invited to try some of the dishes at Fat Harry’s, and I invited Eugene van Eck, who lives a block away from the restaurant, to join me for dinner.
Fat Harry’s will be unrecognisable to locals who have been regular visitors to the former Bar. Bailey has removed the kitchen and bar counter, as well as the cage above the counter, to create a brand new kitchen and a brand new bar counter. New light fittings have been added, a wood-fired pizza oven has been installed, the bathrooms have been redone, and outside seating tables have been created. An excellent playlist of music favorites creates a warm buzz and ambiance. For Sunday lunch Kai Connor will provide live music. Kitchen and waitron staff have worked with Bailey at his previous restaurants, and are well trained. I was impressed with the proactive service which we received from waitress Kiddo, bringing extra ice to the table and topping up my water before we asked for it. All Covid regulations were followed as we arrived, having to complete a register, have our hands sanitised, and have our temperature taken.
The new Chef is Ryan Donald, a local who spent eight years working in the kitchen of the 5-star Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York, and more recently at the Andros Boutique Hotel in Claremont.
The Menu is an A5 cream board, presenting the dishes. The main sections are Tapas, Pizza, Grills, Burgers, Salads, and Desserts. As it was only the third day of kitchen trial when we visited a week ago, the Grill, Burger, and Desserts sections were not offered. Waitress Kiddo gave us carte blanche in ordering what we wanted to from the new menu. While we were choosing our dishes, she brought us a complimentary dish from the kitchen, a Tapas plate of pickled vegetables, including cauliflower, red pepper, marrow, and carrots. She proactively brought us a garlic flatbread, to get the tastebuds going.
# from the Pizza section we ordered the Chicken, Avo, and Feta Pizza (R115), a thin base pizza. I rarely eat pizza, but its crispy thin base and its full topping covering was so delicious that Eugene and I finished it all. There are twelve pizza options.
# from the Tapas Selection of nineteen options we ordered the following:
Calamares Fritos, fried battered calamari with roasted garlic aioli, my favorite (R72) – Photograph right
Grilled artichoke dip, with slices of toast, an unusual presentation of standing inside the dip
Oven-Fried mushrooms, my photograph not doing it justice in that it was presented on a dark plate (R65)
Croquetas de Jamon, ham croquettes with caramelised onion aioli (R69). Eugene loved these, reminding him of Bitterballen, appealing to his Dutch heritage – Photograph left
# from the Bruschetta section we ordered Mashed Avo and crumbled feta (R70), one of eleven options
#. Salad options are a House salad, Cypriot Peasant salad, Mississippi Cob salad, and a Fat Harry’s Caprese.
# Signature Gourmet Burgers range in price from R85 for the Original Classic BBQ beef burger, to R118 for a Vegan Burger with Vegan Mayo. There are nine burger options.
# Grills dishes include Fillet steak (R180 for 250 gram), Rump (R142 for 250 gram), Sirloin on the bone (R182 for 400 gram), Grilled BBQ free-range chicken thighs (R128), and Karoo lamb loin chops (R188).
# Desserts include a delicious sounding Jack Daniel’s chocolate mousse (R58), peppermint crisp tart (R52), and two milkshake options (R39).
#. On Sundays a set menu will be offered for lunch.
Fat Harry’s was originally named after a cat, who became part of the logo, and she still lives in the area. Bailey’s business partner got a new dog before the two business partners decided to buy Fat Harry’s, and called his Labrador Harry. They decided to honour the new dog in the new Fat Harry’s logo.
I look forward to revisiting the restaurant, and to trying the sections of the menu which were not yet offered last week. Our eating experience felt like a restaurant which was running smoothly, and had been operating for years, despite it only being the third day of testing the new restaurant.
Fat Harry’s, 166 2nd Avenue, Kenilworth. Tel (021) 671-7433 www.fatharrys.co.za Instagram @fatharrysreloaded
Chris von Ulmenstein, WhaleTales Blog: www.chrisvonulmenstein.com/blog Tel +27 082 55 11 323 Twitter:@Ulmenstein Facebook: Chris von Ulmenstein Instagram: @Chrissy_Ulmenstein