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Saray Restaurant, V&A Waterfront CT

Hours

11:00 - 22:30 Monday to Thursday
11:00 - 23:00 Friday
11:00 - 23:00 Saturday
11:00 - 22:00 Sunday

Cuisine

Middle Eastern
Turkish

Halaal

Muslim Owned

Price Range (p/p)

Medium | R100 - R300

Breakfast
Casual Dining
Dinner
Lunch
Smart Casual
Parking - Car Park
Reservations Accepted
Credit Cards Accepted
Waiter Service
Wifi Available
Child Friendly -Yes

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Updated: 11-06-2022

RELAUNCH AT THE V&A WATERFRONT: AUGUST 2021

The re-opening of Saray has been hugely aniticipated by loyal fans and foodies alike. And they have not disappointed. The new venue at the Clock Tower Building, V&A Waterfront is a fantastic location with splendid views and facilities. We were invited to attend their grand opening which promised to be a glorious foodie affair. Rafieka gives us the low-down.

Saray first opened five years ago and was located in the CBD area. The new premises at the V&A Waterfront is easily accessible with the closest parking being at Silo District.  I arrived to find a tastefully decorated entrance area with balloon arch, beautiful flowers and red ribbon for the ribbon cutting ceremony. After snapping some pictures I was warmly welcomed by the hostess. She followed Covid protocol and dispensed sanitizer to all guests upon entry. The seating area was huge, offering both indoor and outdoor seating. This allowed for ample social distancing.

The restaurant décor is opulent with royal blue and emerald green chairs, beautiful Turkish lanterns, a Turkish flag painted on one wall and hints of golden serving dishes and cups. There is also a hookah station situated in between the indoor and outdoor seating areas. I loved the huge clay pizza ovens visible to guests in the one section of the restaurant.

Almost everyone decided to be seated outdoors. The outdoor seating is the best I have experienced in a long time, offering beautiful views without compromising on décor or service. They have artificial grass as well as beautiful floral arrangements all around the outdoor seating area.

The waitrons proceeded to serve starters to each table. This consisted of a fruit platter, a meze platter, flatbread and falafel. There was also a platter of boregi, cheese filled pastry, which was a taste sensation as well as kibbe, coated stuffed meatballs.

The owners, Naadiya Moosajee and her husband Veysel Dogan, officially opened the restaurant with the ribbon cutting ceremony. Naadiya then addressed everyone and chatted about their journey arriving at this relaunch. She mentioned that they have faced several challenges along the way, particularly with trying to source things directly from Turkey. Despite all the hurdles, the relaunch was finally happening. The excitement was palpable. Both Naadiya and Veysel are gracious hosts and visited all the tables chatting to guests along the way. Their aim was to allow everyone to have a taste of Turkey.

For mains I ordered the Et Sis, which was grilled beef fillet with chips and rice. Others at my table ordered lamb shank and a creamy chicken pasta. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed their meals though I felt the beef fillet cubes were slightly overcooked. To drink I had a mojito and an ayran, a traditional Turkish yoghurt drink. Both the mojito and the ayran were refreshing. For dessert I chose the Sutlac, a creamy rice pudding. This was delicious and not overly sweet. Other guests at my table ordered the brownie and the kunefe. Both of these desserts were enjoyed, particularly the kunefe.

Several people ordered a hookah which was a hit. I think the bonus was that the outdoor seating allowed for this quite easily without affecting people who are non-smokers.

The waitrons were warm, friendly and eager to assist. They were knowledgeable about the menu when I asked about the dishes. The restaurant offers high chairs for children and has their own on-site restrooms. The menu is very similar to what Saray offered before and the food hits the sweet spot for lovers of Turkish cuisine. As for the new location, that in itself was a wow factor for me. My first thought was that I would definitely visit them again soon, this time with friends or family in tow.

I can definitely say I was blown away by the attention to detail, effort and passion that was put into the restaurant, the décor, the food, the service and the relaunch itself. This restaurant is without a doubt a labour of love for Naadiya and Veysel.

By Rafieka Banderker
Accountant by profession, writer at heart. Avid traveller, adrenaline junkie and bookworm.
“You were born with wings, why prefer to crawl through life”- Rumi
The above quote pretty much sums me up. I live life to its absolute fullest!

REVIEW: 25 July 2018

If you’ve been missing your fix of Turkish cuizine in the Cape Town CBD, you’ll be happy to know that Saray has re-opened in it’s new location at the Harbour Edge building. They’re still serving mostly the same menu of Turkish dishes you’ve come to love but the new venue has a lot more to offer.

This venue has in the past housed the stylish Truffle restaurant and more recently, The Waters Edge restaurant. The decor on the inside still retains a very similar look and feel as the original Truffle. The outside deck area however with it’s glass conservatory feeling has been transformed by the famaliar red upholstery and booth seating into the style more reminiscent of the original Saray restaurant. This is also where you can enjoy your Shisha. A little better on a winters day than the outside seating at the previous venue. The upstairs section lends itself well to having small private functions or events.

We popped in about 9pm on a Tuesday night and the restaurant was still buzzing for a weeknight. We were seated by a friendly middle eastern waiter and proceeded to order a Spicy Lamb Kebab, a Tavuk Sote which is chicken cooked in a tomato sauce with vegetables, topped with cheese and served in a clay dish with lavash bread, as well a Karides Guvec which is similar to the Tavuk Sote, just with Spicy Shrimp in stead of chicken. These came to the table sizzling in their clay bowls. The kebab was tasty as we opted for the spicy version. The Sote and Guvec with the melted cheese was yummy. We scooped up the saucy, cheesy affair with the turkish bread on the side. I found the shrimp version a little undercooked. I like my prawns a bit drier. Bit we all enjoyed our dishes.

If it wasn’t so late I would have ended with dessert or the apple mint tea. They have a small dessert selection but only the baklava is Turkish. Would be great is they added a few more Turkish dessert options. Alas, the clock was ticking and babysitters had to be relieved. So dessert will be explored at a future date.

HOUSE REVIEW

The thing that bugs me most about a trip to the city is the parking. You could spend as much time looking for parking as it took you to get to town in the first place. And then when you get back from your meeting, engagement, etc., you’ve got to sell your right arm to pay for said parking. No wonder Uber is becoming more and more popular. It can really take the anger out of parking rage. And that is the first reason I liked Saray restaurant; there’s lots of parking. Granted, I was there on a Sunday but it’s situated in a complex where there is a car park and and it’s a bit removed from all the office buildings so the battle for parking will at least be a little less “Game of Thrones”.

Saray is a very recent addition to Cape Town’s repertoire of halaal dining, bringing authentic Turkish-Kurdish food to the Cape Town CBD. We went for lunch on a Sunday. It was quiet with only 2 other tables occupied but got a little busier as it got past 1 o’ clock. The large double volume space gives a sense of vastness yet it’s not a huge restaurant but there is also outside seating and it can accomodate quite a large crowd. We were seated at an inside table against the wall which is lined with bench style seating. The rich red of the upholstery and table cloths lend an exotic air. Conical copper lamps hang low from the ceiling and at night I’m sure this lights up into a warm haven. The big windows all round allow in lots of light and the white solid plastic chairs and rough cement floor lends an overall feel that is casual and bright.

Saray Restaurant Hungry for Halaal

Upon being seated my 3 year old, as 3 year olds are wont to do, immediately needed the loo. The restaurant does not have a loo inside, but the complex does and the waiter took a walk outside with us to point out the toilets. We waited quite long before they came to take our order and considering they were not busy, I was getting a little antsy. When they did come service was very attentive. The waiter had a thick middle eastern accent though and there was a bit of difficulty with communication when he was explaining the various unfamiliar dishes but we managed and he was able to get his explanation across. We ordered a meze starter which came with 5 dips including hummus, aubergine, tzaziki and 2 flatbreads. The mixing and matching of the dips made for interesting combinations. There was an option of a 1l carafe of lemonade which we ordered. I know that Ocean Basket also offers this in several flavours.

Saray Restaurant Hungry for Halaal

As I was on my detox plan I ordered a vegetarian dish of assorted vegetables cooked in a tomato sauce. It’s not served with any starch so I asked for flat bread to go with it. Z ordered the Kofte which is meatballs served with rice and a side of chips. Two starches seemed odd but we went with it. This dish was bit dry and could have used some kind of sauce. The taste as with most middle eastern food was quite mild. My veggies were tasty though and I didn’t miss the heat that I am used to. It’s quite interesting that the ingredients and spices of middle eastern and Indian food are so similar but the flavours in the end so different. The middle eastern palate favours less heat and spiciness yet the climate in the 2 areas are very similar.

The menu offers breakfast dishes as well but they only open at 11am on weekends. They also have an extensive list of starters and some light meals I’d still like to try. The dessert menu is small but we ordered an ice cream for my little one. It came in a parfait glass with pieces of mango in it which he wanted nothing to do with so reluctantly (not) I had to help him with his dessert. We finished off with Turkish Coffee for hubby which was presented in a pretty decorated esspresso cup and served with a little nugget of Turkish Delight. Inspite of the fact that I’m more of a coffee drinker, I tried the Turkish Apple tea. It was an excellent choice with a smooth and rounded consistency and surprisingly intense flavour.

Saray Restaurant Hungry for Halaal

They offer shisha pipes as well. People were having it at the outside tables and I’m not sure if it is offered inside the restaurant. But you might not want to take the kids if that’s the case.

The whole meal set us back about R450 which is a fair average. The ambiance is good but the service could use a little work. It’s very new though and I’m sure they were still finding their feet. I’d certainly go again for the reams of dishes I haven’t tried yet.

Please note: Hungry for Halaal is not a certification body. We do our best to verify that an establishment is Halaal Certified or Muslim owned but we cannot guarantee information that is supplied to us.

User Reviews

  • Dear Diary. It’s almost a month ago since we ate at Saray. The craving will not go away lol

    The food was amazing, service was excellent. Will def return here in the very near future

  • I had a great time at Saray. The food was amazing, the service was great and the vibe was warm and cosy. I would highly recommend it 😊👌

  • I don’t think we should assume that he wants alcohol, rather assume that he wants to know if they are strictly halaal or halaal friendly. Not every muslim eats at halaal friendly restaurants 😉

  • I been To this restaurant twice in space of 3 months. The menu is something you will find anywhere else in Cape Town according to my eyes. The food is very tasty and something i have never come across before. The place is cosy and different to the very modern and mainstream look of today restaurants. The prices are okay and the portions are decent. The only thing i could think about or maybe have parking for free to the customers as we would have to pay the parking company for your bay.

  • We went to celebrate 2 birthdays. Service was very poor .orders got all mixed up., which the gentleman actually admitted. Guests that arrived long after us …had their meal way before we did and left whilst we got our meals 3 at a time …didn’t get cutlery ….didn’t get correct drinks ….2 of our 10 pax received a simple dish when the rest of us were finished eating . Very very disappointed, will not recommend the restaurant at all.

  • Hi there,

    This place sounds great. Do you know if they sell alcohol? And is it certified by any authority?

    Thanks