In one and a half years since opening in the Cape Quarter, Lou Lou’s has established itself as a nighttime Bar and Eatery. With its amazingly competitive R65 Tapas Lunch offering, Lou Lou’s has now established itself as a value for money informal Lunch destination in De Waterkant, with friendly service, judging by the very busy outside deck at lunchtime yesterday.
I attended the opening of Lou Lou’s Bar late in 2017, and have got to know its Italian owner Sergio Zurini in dancing to DJ René Tanguy at least once a month, every last Thursday of the month. Sergio moved to Cape Town at the time of the opening, having owned a bar in Johannesburg previously.
I had never looked at a Lou Lou’s Menu before, as I do not combine eating and dancing. When I saw Sergio last week, on a dance night, he invited me to try their Lunch Menu. I was a little worried about what the Menu would offer, given that Italian-style food (my expectation) would be loaded with calories, being very careful with my eating out now, as I have a further weight loss goal I wish to meet. I took Ali Tanguy with me, daughter of DJ René, who is spending a few days with me during her school vacation.
Reading my first Blogpost about Lou Lou’s, reporting on its opening party in September 2017, I noted that some of the canapés that we were served on that evening were dishes which are on the Lunch Menu which we saw yesterday. It offered a background to Sergio, and his restaurant career too, as well as his vision and mission for Lou Lou’s.
Tables are set up on the outside deck, covered with white umbrellas, allowing one to watch passers-by in Cape Quarter, the Lou Lou’s outside area being neatly cordoned off with boxes of hedges with artificial greenery bearing heart-shaped leaves, hearts being a special love of mine. Tables on the Deck are round and square, with a mix of Bistro-style and black leather chairs, and couches. On the tables are Oryx desert salt and black pepper grinders, and a recycled glass jar containing quality Sola serrated knives and Sir James Cutlery Kensington forks, with white paper serviettes. After we had ordered, our waiter took the jar with him, and returned with beautiful wooden chopsticks added, with two indentations to guide one as to where to hold the chopsticks, to use them comfortably. We had ordered water, and it came with a green straw which looked like plastic, but we were shown its packaging, made by BioStraw, and it is definitely biodegradable, made with corn starch, vegetables, and fruit. Ali is an environmental activist, and had asked the waiter to not bring the water with a straw if it was plastic. She also liked the idea of the recycled glass jar holding the cutlery.
The Menu is a simple sheet of A4 paper, one of our top Menu sheets having been folded. One is offered the choice of the Tapas dishes, all costing R65, a selection of Starters and Mains, as well as some sides. A number of the dishes offer add-ons, at an additional price. A second section offers dishes as an a la carte option. We ordered Seven Spice Seared Tuna with sweet potato chips and a delicious lime mayonnaise, as well as Mushroom and Truffle Risotto Arancini served in a Parmesan cream sauce, beautifully presented in a blue bowl, from the Tapas Menu. I took a tiny bite of the Arancini, as I am avoiding rice, and a lick of the cream sauce, both outstanding. I liked that the truffle oil did not dominate the dish, as one experiences so often. Ali knows my dislike of chili, and one of the seven spices in the Tuna dish is chili, not mentioned on the Menu, but it was mild enough that I had two pieces of the seared Tuna. The top dish for me personally was the Caprese Salad, off the a la carte Menu, at R110, with an add on of Avocado at R25. The tomatoes were a mix of different styles, and in different colours, the Fior Di Latte mozzarella was broken into two pieces, and the Salad was topped with fresh basil, pulled together with a tasty fresh vinaigrette. My favorite salad has never tasted so good.
Chef Chantal Sousa came to say hello, and reminded me that we had met when she had worked at Villa 47. She has been at Lou Lou’s since its opening.
Other Starter Tapas options are Steamed Edamame beans with Togarashi salt, Pork Belly, Beef carpaccio served on crostini, spicy chicken livers with chorizo, and a trio of dips (hummus, tzatziki, and aubergine and pesto) served with focaccia. Tapas Mains offered, also at the unbelievable R65, are Penne Sciliana, Rigatoni Vesuvius, Chicken Schnitzel, Peasant Salad, chicken or beef cheese burger, and a Prego Roll. Sides range from R20 – R45.
Speciality dishes are priced individually, and this is where the Caprese Salad was listed. The list includes Caesar Salad (R75), Vegetable platter (R99), Chicken Scallopine (R80), Fish and Chips (R85), Daniel’s Beef Burger (R95), Tagliatelle pasta al ragú (R90), smoked salmon trout (R120), as well as salmon and beef fillet on a SQ basis. Lunch is served from 11h00 to 14h30. Breakfast can be ordered from 11h00 to 12h30, also part of the R65 special, and omelette and Eggs Benedict choices are offered. No desserts are offered on the Menu.
Lou Lou’s has fun message boards, and Ali and I had fun chosing one each and being photographed with them, ending off a light healthy and very inexpensive lunch treat. Grazie Sergio.
Lou Lou’s, Cape Quarter, 10 Jarvis Street, De Waterkant, Cape Town. Tel (021) 418-0015. www.loulous.co.za Twitter: lou_lous_bar Instagram: @lou_lous_bar
Chris von Ulmenstein, WhaleTales Blog: www.chrisvonulmenstein.com/blog Tel +27 082 55 11 323 Twitter:@Ulmenstein Facebook: Chris von Ulmenstein Instagram: @Chris_Ulmenstein