Rock ‘n Roll and Ramen Collide at Kloof Street’s Newest Culinary Culture Clash

Kloof Street’s culinary scene is set for a shake-up with the arrival of YUZU Kitchen & Bar, a brand new, high-concept eatery, which marries Western and Eastern culture and cuisine. Conceptualised and spearheaded by Michelin star trained chef, Rikku Ó'Donnchü, YUZU is a compelling and irresistible collision of flavours and styles, inspired by Ó'Donnchü’s extensive travels and culinary influences.

Much like the Asian fruit that shares its name, YUZU defies description, blurring the lines between genres, cultures, and crafts to create an entirely unique dining experience. Incorporating a number of eye-catching and authentic Japanese design elements, including an imported samurai sword and a beer dispenser fashioned from formerly lethal weaponry, YUZU is a feast for the eyes and the tastebuds, offering up Instagram opportunities at every turn.

Simple yet striking, YUZU draws its eclectic inspiration from Ó'Donnchü’s love of rock ‘n roll, martial arts and hearty fare. “The idea of YUZU was to create a place where I could combine and share all the things I’m passionate about, and bring them together in a really interesting and laid back space,” explains Ó'Donnchü. 

And visitors to YUZU would be hard pressed to refute his claim. Packed with innovative design elements and interspersed with Tarantino movie quotes, the space is somehow both exhilarating and zen, something that’s clearly reflected on the eatery’s inspired menu. 

The restaurant’s masterstroke is undeniably its cuisine, which elevates the culture clash concept to delicious new heights, under the guidance of a chef well versed in international influences. Whilst he has lent his skills to Michelin star kitchens such as The French Laundry in the US, Chez Dominique in Finland and Merchants in the UK, Ó'Donnchü’s culinary ambitions remain simple.  “As a chef, all I want after a day in the kitchen is some damn tasty food”, Ó'Donnchü comments. And you’ll get just that. 

Guests can expect a menu jampacked with daring, delicious and outright outrageous dishes, such as the ‘Danger Dumplings’ (sweet and sour spicy pork dumplings), ‘Kung Fu Katsu’ (crispy chicken katsu burger served with wasabi  mayo and fries ), and ‘That Ol’ Cow’ (sesame coated wagyu short rib with a whisky and molasses glaze, masala mash and grilled asparagus). Ramen lovers will also be catered for with 6 different options, including tofu, chicken, pork belly, smoked duck, kingklip and wagyu beef. 

South African heritage is also celebrated, with the inclusion of the Snoek Maki Roll, a Ma se Malva dessert (traditional malva pudding with an Asian twist), and the Bain’s All-day Breakfast Shake (Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky, vanilla ice cream, caramel, peanut butter and banana). 

Opening times: Monday to Thursday, from 16h30 to 23h00, Friday from 16h30 to 00h00, Saturday from 12h00 to 00h00 and Sunday from 12h00 to 23h00.
Where: 75 Kloof Street, Gardens, Cape Town.
Tel: +27 65 346 1792 for bookings.
Facebook: Yuzu Kitchen & Bar 
Instagram: yuzukitchenbar.