Hout Bay has always been a bit…out there. In the good ole days, locals declared it the "Republic of Hout Bay"; complete with their very own official passport (which some were able to convince immigration officers around the world to stamp). Some took it even further, electing a President and even.an.anthem. True story.
And Ragafellows is certainly no different. As you walk in – the Steampunk-inspired décor is evident throughout the series of dimly lit rooms. Tables and chairs are mismatched, waiters wearing funky hats and you’re surrounded by old-fashioned art, quirky furniture and embroidery. Lots of it. The brainchild of brothers Spiro and Aristotle Ragavelas; the restaurant is normally a space full of big tables of happy locals, and you just gotta go with the flow.
Our steaks were preceded with some interesting starters. Platters of tasty salt prawns with homemade chilli sauce, giant bone marrow with garlic toast, and calamari with an absinthe aioli were delivered to our table. They were all quite tasty, and gobbled up by the table in record time.
For steaks, the cut selection is not as extensive as a steakhouse, with only four beef cuts available. It’s enough to satisfy the average steak eater though, and all are served with smashed new potatoes and a choice of sauce.
• 500g T-Bone Steak
• 300g Rib-Eye
• Beef Fillet
• Beef Short Rib
Fillet turned out to be the popular cut of choice for the evening. Mine was a thick, butterflied cut – and as expected with such a chunky cut, it wasn’t quite properly grilled medium-rare as ordered. Never the less, it was a tasty piece of meat. The accompanying vegetables were a bit sparse though, with just a single floret of broccoli, cauliflower and beetroot. The smashed new potatoes were actually quite good, and the restaurant actually went out of their way to prepare some regular fries for the more finicky among us.
The dessert options were – like everything else – very different. Lemon Grass & Ginger Crème Brulee, along with a Warm Chocolate Cake. I chose the Choc Ice-cream Sandwich Hazelnuts & Honey biscuit, which was excellent.
Unfortunately the service was not quite as slick as you would hope. The barmen were a bit clueless on beer orders, and the waiter lacked personality and presence. A few guys had to wait almost five minutes extra to get their mains.
Ragafellows is a slightly eccentric experience, from the décor to the food. It’s not easy to serve eighteen meals on time (but other restaurants manage it), so we can’t be too harsh. The restaurant was surprisingly empty for the end of the month, so lacked the energy and ambiance of a busy eatery – but we’re quite capable of creating our own ambiance. Ultimately it was a great evening out, filled with good food and many laughs. You can see why locals like it.
Overall: 7.1 (average of scores)
Main Road Hout Bay
Phone: +27 (0)21 790 8955