I've been visiting Panama Jacks for a while now and I've really enjoyed myself every time. It's such an under-appreciated gem! Situated in the Cape Town Harbour, it's rustic charm sets it apart from other seafood restaurants. The fact that it's situated in the industrial harbour adds to the appeal of visiting Panama Jacks as it's something unique and quirky.
However, they have recently been asked to leave the port after 20 odd years of serving us delicious seafood. Although this IS sad, I believe this restaurant will flourish wherever it is. It'll be moving at the end of November to the E-Berth Cruiseliner Terminal in the Port of Cape Town, opposite the Silo District. There, they will be situated on the quayside and thus have nice views of the port and the cruiseliners visiting Cape Town. I have no doubt that their loyal customers will follow them there, and that there will be many new customers joining in for the seafood experience!
I'm not sure how they intend decorating the new spot, but this one has really quirky décor and a rustic charm. The 'ceiling' of the restaurant is covered in flags from all over the world (see below) and the furniture is wooden, adding to the laid-back feel.
The restaurant has a wide range of drinks to choose from, but obviously we ordered wine! We opted for a bottle of Vondeling Sauvignon Blanc (see below) from the Paardeberg region. It's fresh and zesty, with flavours of lime and granadilla on the nose. It paired well with our seafood.
Of all the times we've visited Panama Jacks, I think we've almost always had this platter (see below). We used to book the platters online through Groupon, but now you can find them on websites like Wikideals, and I'm sure a few more places would offer them too. The platter is for two people, and, through the special, costs R295. This price is more than worth it, considering everything you get on the platter.
The platter consists of; half a crayfish, prawns, mussels, calamari, fish and savoury rice. It's served with three sauces - lemon butter, garlic butter and peri-peri. I love this whole platter! The crayfish and prawns are delicious, the calamari is tender (and truly some of the best I've ever had) and the mussels are great! Even the savoury rice is tasty!
The restaurant does have a very varied seafood menu if you're not into the platters. You can order everything from salads, to oysters, to scallops to live West Coast Rock Lobsters. They also do sushi, which looked amazing!
For dessert, I ordered the sorbet, but ate it before I took a pic (my bad). It was really delicious though - three scoops of litchi, mixed berry and mango sorbet. Very light and refreshing on a warm day. I'd also recommend the Banoffee Pie as it looked super yum!
I cannot wait to see what the new Panama Jacks will be like towards the end of the year! Keep posted for the update...
Contact: +27 21 447 3992
Address: Quay 500, Cape Town Harbour
Star Rating: ****