JIAH, Cape Town CBD

Visited 2580 times, 3 Visits today

70 New Church Street, Cape Town, South Africa

021 707 1001

Mon: Closed
Tue to Thu: 12h00 until 22h00
Fri: 17h00 until 22h00
Sat: 12h00 until 22h00
Sun: 12h00 until 17h00

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The lower slopes of Table Mountain and the bottom end of the Bree street food district is becoming popular for new and trendy eateries. Having just opened up on New Church street in the shadow of the Mountain, JIAH is a brand new addition to the halaal culinary scene in Cape Town and in barely a week of opening has created a real buzz and stir with high expectations. Not to mention the quirky fact that it is situated beneath an establishment called “The Bedroom”, and that is all I can say about that in this family orientated post. The problem with expectations is that it can really set you up for the worst. So it was with some serious quelling of all expectations that I went out to try JIAH this weekend.

We made a lunch booking for Sunday 12.30pm and arrived to a surprisingly quiet restaurant. After all the hype in social media I expected a fully booked venue. I must admit I was only too glad it was quiet. That way I could really take in the place without too much noise and distraction. We had parked at the Fire and Ice Hotel on New Church street but the entrance is actually on Buitengracht street. So there are a couple of steps up from New Church that brings you around to the entrance. This is definitely not a wheel chair friendly venue unfortunately. We were buzzed in at the gate and shown past the 2 outdoor covered seating areas to the inside. The entrance is dominated by a stunning wooden door leading into a small foyer with reception desk. The decor is smart and monochrome though perhaps a little spare.


We were seated and presented with menus with a special separate menu for gourmet beverages. We opted for mocktails, Cosmo Crush for him and Spicy Mango Crush for me. The Cosmo turned out to be a bit of a girly drink, and my Spicy Mango, with its crushed serrano pepper in was too spicy for me so we ended up swopping. I mentioned to our waitress that I found the drink way too spicy and it was burning my throat. Without further prompting and to their great credit, the waitress returned with a less spicy Spicy Mango Crush on the house.



We quickly ordered a garlic chita for the little guy before the hunger pangs kicked in and settled down to purveying the extensive menu for our own choices. They have a fairly wide variety from salads to pizzas, the usual from the grill and some seafood options. There is even a lobster dish priced over R600 for those looking to really splash. Hubby chose the prawn chaat served with roti whilst I took the fillet steak with a side of roasted veg and Tempura onions. The food took a little long to arrive and it was a good thing we had Taufeeq’s very tasty garlic chita to tide us over. It was big for a chita, thick base and well loaded with cheese. The place started to fill up and the manager changed the background music accordingly so that it was not overly noisy. Some establishments tend to miss this little detail. The steak was perfectly done medium rare and the el denté veg complimented it nicely. Onion rings were crisp and tasty. Nicely plated and even though the steak looked small at first it was more than ample. The prawn chaat was subtle in flavour. I would have preferred a bit more kick but it was very enjoyable. The dish came with a paapar on the side.


We were a little stuffed after but really wanted to try one of the desserts. Trying to choose from the array of delectable sounding dishes was no easy task. I was slightly swayed by the Red Velvet Waffle – Cookies & cream ice cream covered with a nut brittle & a cream cheese glaze but chose instead the Chocolate Heaven – Chocolate mousse, nutella & fresh cream embellished between a chocolate choux pastry topped with strawberries and roasted crunchy nuts, and asked for 3 spoons. And heaven it truly was I thought suppressing audible groans of pleasure between mouthfuls. They have a do it yourself waffle option as well where you can choose your flavour and toppings. The special beverage menu boasts a decadent array of gourmet milkshakes. The ones I saw them making at the bar were huge and suitably decadent looking and at R59 a pop I hope they are worth it. I had no space to even try.


Service was friendly, efficient and, as it wasn’t too busy, unhurried and relaxed. Expect to take your time here, with spaces between your courses. Prices are on the high side but the food is worth it. Our meal in total cost R530 without the tip. It’s not a family style restaurant but it is relaxed enough to take the kids, however I’d like to see more kiddies options on the menu. We were limited to the chita or a chicken pasta, both full portions and too much for a small child. The waitress did tell me they are working on adding some. The ambiance is smart but also casual. You can have a relaxed lunch of burgers and chips but also a romantic dinner with beautiful plating so I am quite keen to go there for a date night soon, yes, we still do that……

Reviewed: 07 December 2016



Muslim Owned

Dinner, Lunch,

Medium | R100 - R300, Pricey | R300 - R600, Exclusive | R600 and above,



Off Street


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10 Reviews

  1. Nasrudien khan
    Nasrudien khan
    30th December 2016 at 8:46 am Reply

    food and service was great, they gave an extensive drinks and desert menu which I liked, highly recommended

  2. Nawaal
    3rd January 2017 at 4:10 pm Reply

    On the 30th Dec my friends and i decided to have supper at Jiah . We were 21 people and made the reservation a week in advance. When we got there there were 6 little tables (that they would usually use to seat 1 person either side) next to each other and this was supposed to seat 21 of us. We advised the water that 8 people were still to come and there was no more place for them to sit. He kept responing saying they are unable to assist us with this. There is no place . Now this is not out or problem because we made a reservation and we were 21 not 2. We asked to speak to the manager. Two maangers were available but as they saw us taking the matter up with the waiter we just saw them scatter to avoid the situation. The waiter wemnt away to call the manager but came back telling us that the manager said the same thing he did to us that they cnt help us. Eventually after becoming irate, 1 of the managers came toward the table. Instead of being A PROFESSIONA. Greeting, introducing himself and asking how he can assist. he said WHATS THE PROBLEM HERE ?! In an obnoxious condisending tone. How is this a way to treat your customers, ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU ARE TRYING TO MARKET YOUR RESTAURANT, After we found a solution to the problem ourselves, we placed our order. After an hour, our food came in drips and drabs . 1 persons food came when we all had already eaten. AN HOUR AND 30 MIN LATER!!! Would you eat at such an eastablishment?!

    Both the waiter and managements attitudes needs some serious asdjustments or the owner will quickly see the result of it.

    We were very disappointed by our experience.

  3. Mushtaq Hoosen
    Mushtaq Hoosen
    12th March 2017 at 6:37 pm Reply

    Made a reservation for two pax for 7pm on 03 March 2017. Intially allocated a table outside, managed to get a table indoors. Met at the front desk by the owner, with a mouth full of food. We were eventually seated indoors, thankfully next to the window. Twenty minutes later and no waiter or menu. Menus were difficult to read because of poor/dim lighting. Then, another struggle to get someone’s attention to place the order. Food was well presented but lukewarm. Another struggle to get someone to get the bill, instead decided to pay it at the front desk. Won’t be rushing back there, the owners need to be more hands on and stop relying on their staff to run the establishment

  4. Aneeqah J
    Aneeqah J
    30th March 2017 at 3:36 pm Reply

    The menu is great, with extensive options for grills, seafood, curries and desserts and presentation is nice – but the steaks are a MASSIVE LET DOWN. The steak portions are small, tiny, minuscule, barely-there and not value for money at all. If other steakhouses like Spur or Hussar Grill served steaks as microscopic as these they’d no longer be in business.
    The interior of the restaurant is cramped and not comfortable. The noise from the drinks bar is ever-present and neighbouring tables might as well be dining with you.

  5. Umar
    15th October 2017 at 4:37 pm Reply

    I went to eat at Jiah a couple of weeks back. The food is quite good but a bit expensive. there are a few small issues with them. I don’t know if they are struggling or what but now they charge for tap water. The waiter was very friendly and said they’re unable to do anything about it, it is instructions from management. This is not expected at such an expensive restaurant. Then they did not have any tomato sauce and they clearly don’t have enough chilli sauce because as soon as they brought it they wanted to take it to another table.
    With the mushroom starters the dip was literally a few drops. At least the waiter got us more when we asked him.

  6. Mogamat
    4th January 2018 at 12:51 pm Reply

    After reading the reviews, I wont even consider going there.

    5th January 2018 at 2:27 pm Reply


    5th January 2018 at 2:42 pm Reply


  9. Nazli Moralie
    Nazli Moralie
    26th January 2018 at 11:28 pm Reply

    1. Special prices were good but steak was under done (seared) opposed to medium as requested. It was sent back thrice and still returned the same. 2. My sister had a fly in her Nojito (frozen in an ice block). 3. The signature dish was not available as well as calamari tubes as listed on the menu. For all these unacceptable services, the manager did not once make an appearance.

    It’s such a pity that the service was this poor as we had brought people there after having an awesome first experience. I think that the place has a lot of potential but seriously needs to have a look at quality of food and service.

  10. Zakkier
    14th February 2018 at 10:10 am Reply

    i been to this restaurant with my wife a few weeks ago. Food is sort of average and very “Mainstream” i was hoping to experience a different taste in food. The chicken was bland, just spiced with salt an pepper. They are very overpriced, but i suppose its due to the location. The restaurants presentation and interior is good.

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