It’s literally been YEARS since I’ve been to the Fat Cactus in Mowbray. Once upon a time it was the only Mexican restaurant in my mind, yet so many strong competitors have popped up over the years, I’ve slowly begun to forget about it. Having said that, I was happy to revisit the restaurant when a friend suggested it.
As I expected, their frozen margaritas were as good as ever. Some margaritas can be rather tart but the ones at Fat Cactus are pleasantly balanced. They also have Mango frozen margaritas which make a lovely change from the usual lemon (sour) or strawberry (sweet). The Fat Cactus was also the first place that I ever had a chilli popper. They have beer battered, cream cheese filled poppers that were mild and delicious.
I was interested to see if the menu had changed. They’ve updated which I was pleased to see. I’ve always ordered the wraps which I compose myself. Each ingredient comes in a little bowl and I wondered if it was still on the menu. It’s the perfect meal because you can have starch, veg and protein – a tri-factor that I can seldom live without! They give you 3 wraps (2 is more than enough) but I always order an extra one. That way I have 4 wraps, 2 for now and 2 for later. You’re paying for the entire meal so you may as well take it home, or give it to the street people, which ever you prefer. Yes, that’s how large the portions are at Fat Cactus! The only 1 crazy ingredient that they gave me were American fries. That seemed a bit out of place and definitely unneeded as the other food is enough. I say away with the fries & bring in more cheese 😉
My friends ordered a platter for 2. Well, I don’t know if they meant 2 greedy donkeys but their platter was HUGE! All 4 of us could have quite easily snacked away on the portion. It was R200 (basically R100pp if it’s for 2) which is great value. They’ve added sliders to their menu which also went down a treat as a late afternoon meal.
Over all the service was friendly but a little dopey. You can’t help feeling that the waitresses are half asleep. They are not rude by any means and are always helpful but their way of doing things can be quite intrusive at times. Which they don’t seem to notice! For example, we sat down at the table. 5 minutes later a waitress came to put a reserved sign in the middle of the table. She didn’t say, “Sorry guys, this is for later.” or “Excuse me folks.” Nothing. So we thought the sign was for us and she turned so quickly on her heel that we literally couldn’t ask. It was rather strange.
The Fat Cactus is chugging along on the corner of Durban road in Mowbray and I believe it will continue to do so. I don’t think the nature of the restaurant is to ever compete on the “best mexican restaurant in Cape Town” category (they should start with sanding down their table tops if they are!) but if you’re looking for a friendly, well priced, fun, relaxed, enjoyable restaurant, definitely pop in at the Fat Cactus.