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“Delicious prawns”
Review of Panama Jacks

Panama Jacks
Ranked #204 of 1,324 Restaurants in Cape Town Central
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Large groups, Local cuisine
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night, Lunch, Breakfast, Reservations
Description: Born circa 1988, before the opening of the V&A Waterfront, Panama Jacks has evolved from a boatyard servicing the Royal Cape Yacht Club to a quality Seafood Restaurant known all over the world. Originally situated in Table Bay Harbour, in the working half of the Cape Town docks, Panama Jacks is unique in its setting with all the hustle and bustle of a commercial port going about its daily business. Take off your jacket, loosen your tie and come see what the fuss is all about!
Reviewed April 9, 2019 via mobile

During our holiday in Cape Town, my wife kept saying that she felt like “a giant plate of prawns”. We ordered the crustacean platter and got exactly that. It all tasted fantastic. I would have liked a bit more rice with the meal but the amount of shellfish we got with the platter was more than enough!

Service was a bit slow to start off with but once we had a dedicated waiter it was all perfect.

8/10 overall, and would absolutely recommend this place to any seafood lover. Grab a table outside for a gorgeous view of the cruise docks.

Date of visit: March 2019
Thank Larissa0321
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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17 - 21 of 920 reviews

Reviewed April 5, 2019 via mobile

Not the cheapest, but one of the best, the platters are real value for money and absolutely delicious. Looking into the harbour there is always something to see, on our visit we were treated to a school of dolphins playing. Staff were good and drinks reasonably priced too.

Date of visit: March 2019
Thank dwmelec
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 2, 2019

The title of this review alone should have alarm bells ringing, It's fair to say that every restaurant on the planet can have an off day, it happens and for several reasons, it's how a restaurant responds that can make the difference. This was a social work gathering for 4 colleagues, upon arriving we were shown our table and our appointed waiter, we then waited, having decided from the many seafood dishes on the menu we proceeded to start to order ... this is when things started to unravel, there were several dishes that were unavailable, so having re-read the menu I decided upon a seared tuna on a bed of linguine ! sounds good - the reality was somewhat different - stone cold seared tuna on a bed of stone cold linguine, the plate was warm however so not really sure how they managed to get the tuna and pasta cold ! any way upon complaining I was informed that's how it's served. i was given the impression that I had no idea what I was talking about, so I quizzed the manager, he then backtracked a little and decided to get me a replacement, I told him not to bother on the basis that there was no guarantee it would be any hotter than the first offering so I decided to have the line fish, which turned out to be fine. All in all the service was dire, the management were rude to the point that I believe they have almost given up, the menu seemed to have more items unavailable that were actually available, they had no idea what wines they had or did not have,
All in all this was a truly disappointing meal.

Date of visit: March 2019
    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Byrt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 31, 2019

With friends we have been eating out for dinner at the new location of Panama Jack.
Friendliness, service and food was a very good value for money. Around the table the comments were positive and we left in a very good mood.
We definitely will be back next time visiting Cpt

Date of visit: March 2019
    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Thank swift_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 28, 2019 via mobile

A special event for my wife and I, so I booked early online and even confirmed the booking telephonically. “The best table in the house”, the man said. Well, it was quickly obvious that they had not even bothered to book us a specific table, and we ended up with a pretty crappy table with a blocked view and with a constant stream of smokers going in and out right next to our table. But it wasn’t much worse than any of the other tables in the house, actually. The whole place sucks a bit. The new home of Panama Jacks is NOTHING like the old place, which had loads of attitude and authentic atmosphere. The new place is an office suite cheaply disguised as a restaurant: See the photo - this is what the approach to the restaurant looks like, after you exit the elevator (!). Add some faux wood paneling and the flags that used to cover the ceiling of the old Panama Jacks, and the inside of the restaurant has exactly the same depressing commercial property vibe.

Not great.

And then there’s the food. My crayfish was well cooked. But my enjoyment was spoilt by the condition of the other crayfish in the holding tank. I selected a healthy one, but at least half were missing legs (often multiple legs, one poor creature had lost all legs one one side and was flailing around on its back). Do the SPCA care about food that is still living? They should pay this place a visit. My wife’s swordfish was also well cooked, or at least the half that she could eat. The other half was undercooked. Our snail starter (shared) and the trio of sauces that came with the crayfish were all spoilt by a weirdly synthetic butter taste - like the stuff they put on “instant” popcorn. It certainly wasn’t just plain good old butter. The chips that accompanied our mains was simply atrocious. If you can’t serve decent chips, why even bother opening a restaurant?

We never bothered with dessert.

I’ve been to the “old” Panama Jacks more than 15 times over the years. The food there was probably only good to average, but the ambience popped. The current incarnation gets my unreserved thumbs down - terrible ambience, inconsistent food quality and shocking treatment of the crayfish in captivity.

Never again!

Date of visit: March 2019
2  Thank Hieronymus112
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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