Willoughby’s & Co. prides itself on being purveyors of fine seafood and a refined sushi menu, and we pride ourselves on overeating, indulging and memorising their menu by heart. While the menu is host to a number of dishes and wine, if you are a Cape Town foodie you know that Willoughby’s & Co. has rapidly made its way into our hearts as one of the best spots for fresh sushi in the Cape.
We have grown accustomed to our favourite dishes, from the simplistic handroll with a few fresh ingredients to the creamy rock shrimp maki, with its tempura rock shrimp, tossed in Japanese mayo over a chopped tuna maki roll, that the 20-minute wait for one of the high-in-demand tables is well worth it.
We usually start with a few appetizers, and the seared beef tataki always makes the list: thinly sliced beef fillet drizzled with spicy garlic dressing and topped with spring onions and crispy garlic. The crispy slices of garlic cut through the sweetness of the spicy garlic dressing, The new style sashimi with a yuzu soy dressing or the jalapeno salmon sashimi are both new plays on the traditional dish with a little sweetness and a little spice, and the spicy prawn Inari is loaded with chopped garlic tossed in mayo and seven spice, garnished fried onions.
Once we open up our appetites with multiple starters, because we do not know the meaning of the word ‘enough’, we move onto the rolls, one more intricately put together than the last, with more than just a simple mayo and caviar topping. The creamy rock shrimp make is our favourite roll, but we like to venture past the normal salmon, tuna and prawn, and we add the spider roll: crispy soft shell crab rolled into perfectly cooked rice and wrapped in soya bean paper, served with ponzu sauce.
The hot rock ‘n roll steps up the game with spicy tuna, seven spice and sesame oil, and the rainbow reloaded is yet again a new spin on the traditional with more sesame oil, 7 spice and a sweet soya sauce.
If you want an ‘in’ on a special, try the fake bomb. The vibrant roll is not featured on the menu, but a tempura prawn roll, topped with sweet soya sauce and puffed rice will tug at your heart strings to go back sooner than expected.
Willoughby’s & Co. has taken traditional rolls, perfected sushi rice with the right amount of rice vinegar, sugar and mirin wine, known as su, and made our everyday favourites just a little more special.
While we encourage splurging once in a while, going in a larger group and amplifying your experience at the restaurant by trying multiple dishes is a must, but if you want to stop in for a quick bite, we suggest ordering their 4×4 or 5×5 platters with 4 or 5 pieces of creamy rock shrimp maki and 4 or 5 pieces rainbow reloaded rolls for R185 or R195.
Whatever you end up choosing, you cannot go wrong with this menu! Willoughby’s & Co. gets a 5 on our dining scale every time.