Si Cantina Sociale is a recently opened restaurant with a theme dedicated to serving gourmet Spanish and Mexican food. Translated to mean “Yes Canteen Social,” strangely enough, I’m interpreting that to mean that it is a place of socialising and eating – the two prime activities for any gathering. Based in the heart of the Silo District, there is an indication that this restaurant aims to target all audiences at any point of the day, whether you are grabbing a quick breakfast, meeting some colleagues for a business meeting over lunch or just looking for a night out with the girls! This place has it all with the atmosphere to match. In true aishapaedia fashion, I have broken down my review on this place and whether it is worth the visit.
As with all places, the service is the first thing you experience at a restaurant or dining area. My friend and I visited Si Cantina Sociale with the idea of going when it was not busy so that we could really test the service out. I would say we received average service based on the ratio of customers (which was next to nothing) to waiters. There were a number of waiters hovering around and it almost seemed as though we had to make some awkward expression of excitement to catch their attention. We were seated at the far end of the restaurant which is located close to the kitchen in the hopes that they would see us, but it got a bit hard to grab their attention. The manager realised this and did take the time to check on us, which made up for it. The food came swiftly as more people were welcomed into the restaurant – it was almost as if the restaurant received an adrenaline rush, which indirectly affected its service in a positive way.
The restaurant serves both indoor and outdoor eating areas with views of the Silo District so it has a slight European feel. From the emerald seats to the vibrant red artwork hanging on the walls, it is clear a lot of thought was put into the aesthetic of the restaurant. I have to admit, I am a massive fan of dark grunge rooms with splashes of colour to make the place stand out. There is definitely a vibrant energy diffusing around the restaurant so it is 100% Instagramable from every angle!
Now we all know how much I adore food and this is usually my favourite part of a review write-up. Unfortunately, this place is not halal and although the meat is sourced from halal butchers, the manner in which it is cooked is not so it is best to stay vegetarian to be safe. We decided to order some tapas with the expectation that the food will make our tummies feel light – but it was far from it. The food was mouth-watering! It is often difficult to find good vegetarian food that fills you in the same way that meat usually would and as an ardent carnivore, I can safely say this place made that happen. We ordered Halloumi Lettuce Wraps (no bread involved), Si Poppers and their Mushroom Flatbread. The food was refreshingly filling, tantalising every corner of our taste buds with its array of spices and herbs. I am currently drooling over my keyboard just by recollecting the meal!
People often think a restaurant located in the Silo District is probably overpriced and expensive – well, not this one. You can look to spend around R100 per head in total depending on the number of tapas, and our meal could easily serve 3 people. The tapas menu serves to interest those that wish to mix the idea of casual eating with formal dining. There is something so captivating about this place’s food and vibe that it is almost as if we were seduced into satisfaction within the hour!
All in all, I would definitely come back to Si Cantina Sociale for their menu and atmosphere – lets just hope the service improves. It is still new but the restaurant is already attracting a variety of audiences. The next thing I have my eye on, is the Si Breakfast – that looks like a real treat. If you’ve been there, let me know what your thoughts are on the restaurant – did you enjoy your meal and the service? Feel free to comment below!