[REVIEW] Rafikis, Kloof Nek, 01.2013


I used to pop into Rafiki’s all the time when I lived in town. It’s not the most upmarket a venue on the planet but I have history with the place. From watching jazz bands back in the day (when Cafe Camiso was still about!) and having the odd bender on week nights, I still feel a slight twinge of offence if someone calls it a dive. Ironically, it isn’t unfair to call it a dive even though I thought I’d outgrown the place, we still make exceptions for the things we like. So after a year, probably two, I returned to Rafikis and I was pleasantly surprised.

It seems the venue has been slightly jacked up! New wall murals decorated the walls, I suspect done by the same artist who did the old Fiction murals. The old tan and burnt orange ones, remember? The menus have also been stream lined and upgraded (although I’m still bleak that my tasty chicken strip and tahini sauce basket was removed!). Many of the same waiters are still working there and they’ve improved over the years. And they even have separate loos now for boys and girls! They have changed!

RafikisThere’s something satisfying about sitting on the balcony watching the traffic rush up and down Kloof street. The Hunters I had the other day even tasted better! I then ordered some snacks and went for the vegetarian basket.

Everything was deep fried which is a little one dimensional. I assume that they didn’t have samosas as I was presented with 3 giant spring rolls. I often find that service is the difference between a good restaurant and a great restaurant.


If I’d known that they were out of stock then perhaps I could have ordered something else but this option wasn’t given to me. They were very nice but a bit much. Just something to think about…

Overall I had a good time and enjoyed it more than I thought I would. Next time, I’m heading for the bitter ballen (if available?) and ribs! Pop in if you’re interested in a low key toot and bar snacks. The pizzas also seem very popular.


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