It’s going to make a nice change for Capetonians – this planning to be in The Mess, rather than desperately trying to find a way out of it. This newly opened bar and restaurant in Green Point is spacious and elegant and the outside area is protected and lit up with fairy lights.

The name references the 15th century when a group of people who ate together was known as a ‘mess’. The mess, historically, was a communal dining space; a home away from home – a place of companionship and camaraderie. Restaurateur Carlene de Gouveia envisions The Mess being the social hub of food-and-wine-loving city residents who want a place to hang out, see their friends, meet for dates, celebrate, have fun family suppers and enjoy really good food in beautiful surroundings.

Carlene is a gourmand and a food technologist who has spent a substantial amount of time in the food and wine industry. Chef Luke Wonnacott of Lukefoodalways consultancy is able to work alongside her to create an eclectic yet small menu that focuses on shared plates of quality ingredients.

Generously sized sharing plates include: yoghurt and thyme flatbreads with mezze of French confit duck rillette and pickled beetroot; white bean and tahini pâté with pine nut and mint vinaigrette inspired by visits to Turkey; and pickled goats cheese with Moroccan nut dukkha; a plate of Asian beef tataki with ponzu dressing complemented by a lime-infused tuna ceviche with a coriander and spring onion salad; Mexican spicy squid taco with smoky mayo or pork belly taco with smoked apple and charred corn slaw; Italian Aubergine Melanzane with grilled aubergine, fior de latte, tomato ragout, pine nut and parmesan crumble is as tempting as the fall-off-the-bone American Southern staple of pork loin ribs.

Main plates: confit crackling pork belly, braised red cabbage, smoked apple, and fennel jus or a Cape Malay vegetable curry with smoked apricot couscous, flatbreads and tomato chilli jam; Angus ribeye or beef fillet with sides of charred broccoli and dukkha, thick cut fries and truffle mayo.

Desserts include: traditional crème brulée; dark chocolate lava cake served with white chocolate and lime ice cream and roasted hazelnuts; and the Fromage Blanc Eton Mess – a fromage blanc and vanilla panna cotta with meringue shards, naartjie sorbet and seasonal berries.

A small, well selected wine list of Carlene’s favourite wines also accompanies the menu as well as beers and cocktails.

Shop 110, The Rockwell, Napier Street, Green Point; open Monday to Saturday from 18h – late (kitchen closes at 22h). For dinner bookings tel: 021 418 3910 or online at: