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“A little painful, although mixed review.”

The Rockwell Dinner Theatre
Ranked #107 of 1,182 Restaurants in Cape Town Central
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $30 - $40
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Restaurant details
Dining options: Dinner, Breakfast, Late Night, Reservations
Description: Enveloped in the quaint decor of the Cape, international and local guests of all ages, whilst enjoying a scrumptious buffet and Cape wines, will be transported into the world of entertainment featuring our production "Kaapse Stories from the Mother City", written and directed by award winning Basil Appollis, we meet a Cape family in a show filled with the humor, intoxicating rhythm and soulful songs unique to Cape Town. Forged from the hardships and misfortunes of the past, emerges a triumphant community - the original 'Rainbow Nation'.
Reviewed March 24, 2013

We didn't go to the show upstairs, as all we wanted was something to eat, but you could certainly hear & feel it going on. The Bistro itself was empty at 9pm & somewhat cold, with music at a volume to try & drown out what was going on upstairs; lighting a little too bright for that time of the night.
Despite being the only customers, service was polite but clumsy & a little overbearing; the waiter hanging beside your table for just that 30 seconds too long to make you feel uncomfortable.
I had a very agreeable glass of a local Sauvingnon Blanc, I was prepared to order a bottle of something that really tickled my fancy, but sadly it was out of stock. The wine list is both comprehensive & varied, but this can set you up for disappointment - establishments of this size
can rarely afford to carry it all, and the waiter knew nothing whatsoever about the wines - ambitious is probablly more apt.

My partner had a 'fresh apple juice', which was anything but, in fact distinctly off and had to be sent back pronto, the barman expressing his disdain very publicly. It was disturbing seeing it poured from a larger 5 litre plastic can, which had clearly seen better days - no proper bar pourers here. Apple juice is not a common request in a bistro, and should not only be ordered, but also purchased as stock with caution, in sensible quantities. The waiter was gracious, but unnecessarily fawning at the same time.
One cannot complain about portion sizes, they were way too large for us and we found it off-putting; I specifically asked for a small portion, but didn't see the waiter go and talk to anyone about it. I tried the chicken in Marsala, cream & mushroom sauce, which is a difficult dish to get right at the best of times - if it doesn't come straight from pan to table, then it is inclined to curdle & lose it's attractiveness, which sadly is what happened here. It was served on a bed of basically mushy, sliced potatoes with 'Mediterranean' roast veg, which rather seemed to me to be of the frozen variety spent hanging around in a bain marie. As mentioned, the sauce was separating & had too much wholegrain mustard for my liking.
My partner tried the Portuguese half roast, lemon and herb chicken - basically Nandos with bad, soggy chips & a wilted salad threatening the whole thing.
It seemed to us that the Bistro itself was playing second fiddle to the show & buffet going on upstairs, chef spending more time chatting to the barman than thinking about anything remotely epicurean; we were evidently an inconvenience to them. The old addage appears to be true, you will always get poorly constructed food in an empty restaurant, especially in ones with a plethora of dishes on the menu.
Overall the experience was disappointing, it would not have been difficult to do better in my view, and I did feel a little sorry for our waiter; he wasn't trained to a good standard & I couldn't help thinking he was a little afraid of his colleagues, or management. Good waiters need to be confident in conveying to the kitchen and bar what the customer wants, and those staff should have the good grace to take orders from the waiting staff.
Richard's supper Bistro may be able to put on a good show upstairs, but it fails to achieve this downstairs!

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Thank roger j
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Roland S, Owner at The Rockwell Dinner Theatre, responded to this reviewResponded March 27, 2013

Dear Robert!
I am terribly sorry about the very poor experience you had at our Bistro - and at the same time we are most grateful for your great effort to describe our shortcomings in detail. We will immediately take up your comments with our colleagues and we shall make absolutely sure that that there can be no repetition of the problems you described.
As a sign of our appreciation and apology - we would like you to allow us to invite you back to Richard's for our show "Kaapse stories from the mother City". Kindly let us know whether and where we may forward to you two complimentary tickets to the value of R 800 .
Once again we apologize for the bad experience you had and we hope to be able to welcome you soon for a better experience at Richard's. Have a good holiday /Roland

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337 - 341 of 425 reviews

Reviewed March 14, 2013

What an experience! For anyone wanting to get some Cape Town flavour, both food and on stage, this is a must.

Fantastic decor, excellent example of hospitality, impeccable service, delicious Cape Town dishes and to top it off, a showcase of local talent which will blow your mind.

Local is definately lekka!

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1  Thank Antheatravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Germandt G, Guest Relations Manager at The Rockwell Dinner Theatre, responded to this reviewResponded October 16, 2013

Dear Antheatravel,

We are so glad that you had such a great time. It warms our hearts to know that even the locals are appreciative of the product and that the show is not a "tourist trap" as these things sometimes tend to be. We are thrilled that you had a lekka time!

Thank you for the feedback,

Germandt Geldenhuys

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Reviewed March 14, 2013

This is a Bistro review. I have rated as average because the food was average. The service however was excellent and the staff very friendly. The Bistro itself lacked atmosphere. The highlight of the visit was the Dom Pedro for dessert.

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Thank Ian_Wand
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Germandt G, Manager at The Rockwell Dinner Theatre, responded to this reviewResponded March 15, 2013

Dear Ian,

Thank you for taking the time to write to us about your experience at Richard's.

We are so sorry that you weren't completely satisfied with the quality of the food, but we are happy to hear that our wonderful staff lived up to their reputation once again.

We do hope to see you here in the future. Who knows, we might just be able to change your mind about us?

Have a wonderful day!

Germandt Geldenhuys

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Reviewed March 13, 2013

We only had breakfasts there and they were great - lovely choice and delicious. The rye bread was the best that we have ever had.

Thank Tony G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Germandt G, Director of Sales at The Rockwell Dinner Theatre, responded to this reviewResponded September 19, 2014

Thank you Tony G!
Apologies for the delayed response - we only recently started to reply to reviews on here, and so we are now having to go all the way back to some of our first reviews...

Hope to see you again for some delicious rye bread!

Kind Regards,
Germandt Geldenhuys

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Reviewed February 25, 2013

Great performance from artist(s) as well kitchen- and restaurant Staff ! Perfect combination of entertainment and nice food, as you see it very little. Well trained and attentive Staff, affordable price-setting in a cosy atmosphere. To be recommended !!

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Thank PeterRaes01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Roland S, Owner at The Rockwell Dinner Theatre, responded to this reviewResponded March 27, 2013

Thank you for visiting us and taking the trouble to mention us on trip TripAdvisor. We appreciate your kind compliments which I shall pass on to my colleagues including the cast. Your comments are greatly appreciated and provide encouragement for our "proudly Capetonian experience" --- we hope to be able to welcome you back soon here at Richard's. Happy holiday / Roland and the Richard's team

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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