Two weeks ago Tiger’s Milk Kitchen & Bar opened on Long Street, previously a Lucky Fish, belonging to the Harbour House Group. The decor is fun and funky, with many similarities to its ‘brother’ restaurant in Muizenberg, which offers ‘dude food’ to surfers.
The decor was designed by the internal Harbour House Group design team, the La Parada bull’s head at the counter, the magazine page ‘wallpaper’, the crystal whisky decanters as a light feature, and the wooden tables and chairs all being similar to the decor design in Muizenberg.
Unique is the beer dispensing taps, standing on the bar counter, and looking like a steam punk engine! Each brand is identified, including a Tiger’s Milk craft beer. Other brands stocked are CBC, Jack Black, and Part Wolf. James Dean is a ‘pin up’, wearing a Tiger’s Milk T-shirt in the photograph!
I visited the outlet last Saturday afternoon, while they were still busy cleaning and getting ready for opening at 15h00. I loved the decor, which works really well in the outlet. I returned at 19h00, being able to meet up with owner Michael Townsend, and could not believe the transformation, with a good 150 patrons inside the venue, and many more dancing and chatting on the pavement! I had not seen the extra section closer to the Metropole Hotel, which is the smoking section of Tiger’s Milk. Four security staff keep a close eye on the doors, to keep the patrons secure.
Michael told me that he plans to open the next Tiger’s Milk in Claremont, a 250-seater in the former Juta’s bookshop outlet, as well as at the new conference centre in Century City. He told me that the development at Constantia Nek is going well, and said that the City of Cape Town has been a pleasure to work with in getting plan approval. He is putting a Harbour House and a La Parada into the building. Live Bait is opening in Muizenberg in December, and a Howlin’ Wolf is also planned for the suburb. Further expansion plans could include Johannesburg and Durban, and international expansion could be on the cards too. A brewery is also planned, probably based in Epping, with brands Tiger’s Milk (currently made by Devil’s Peak), Sailor’s Grave, and Snake Hips! I asked Michael how many restaurants he owns in the Harbour House Group, but he could not tell me! He laughed when he told me that he is addicted to opening new restaurants!
I spoke to one of his friends on Saturday evening, and he told me that everything that Michael touches turns to gold, and that he puts in money to get it out!
Another friend of Michael had ordered a platter of pork ribs ( R75) and invited me to try some, the ribs being very popular, and with a very tasty basting sauce. I loved the Coca Cola bottles used for olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Appetizers one can order are spicy chicken wings (R55), fried calamari (in R52 and R 87 portion sizes), and tempura prawns (R85). Both the Caesar salad and Avocado & Parmesan salad cost R75. Burgers are popular, and are made with 200g chicken or beef mince, and cost between R75 (for the Stepchild, with red onion, lettuce, and tomato!) and R98 (for the Triple Bypass, with cheese, bacon, and mushroom!).
I ordered a 200g sirloin steak, which was perfectly prepared Medium Rare as ordered, but the chips were thin, the mushroom sauce contained too much truffle oil, and the onion rings were disappointing too (R120). Fillet steak costs R145 for 200g. The meat comes from Bill Riley, and is dry-aged for 40 days. Sauces cost R20 extra, and ‘skinny chips’ R25. Pizzas start at R45 for a Pizza Bianca, and peak at R110 for an Asian pulled pork pizza.
Dessert options are restricted to a good-sounding Jack Daniels-spiked chocolate mousse, a New York-style baked cheese cake, and ice cream and chocolate sauce, in a price range of R45 – R55.
Draughts offered are CBC Pilsener and Amber Ale; Jack Black Lager; Devil’s Peak Golden Ale and Block House; Bings Bru; Striped Horse Lager; Woodstock IPA; and Part Wolf and Tiger’s Milk house beers. Moët et Chandon Brut Imperial costs R1250, Graham Beck Brut R250, and Pierre Jourdan Cuvée Belle Rose R180. White and red wines by the glass range from R35-R45, and bottle prices do not exceed R220.
The vibe at Tiger’s Milk on Saturday evening, a mere two weeks after opening, was unbelievable. Those that did not know Michael would have thought him to be a patron having as good a time as they were. Tiger’s Milk is already roaring with success on Long Street!
Tiger’s Milk Kitchen & Bar, 44 Long Street, Cape Town. Tel (021) 422-0700 www.tigersmilk.co.za Twitter: @TigersMilkZA Tuesday – Saturday lunch, Wednesday – Saturday dinner.