• Lunch special - 1/2 kilo prawns R57.00
  • Lunch - battered hake R57.00
  • Lunch - Mussels in cream and garlic R57.50
  • Lunch - Malaysian line fish curry R57.00

There is a hidden secret in the bustling harbour of Cape Town. It is a place known by regulars and sniffed out, of course, by the canny Chinese and Japanese visitors to our shores and harbours. It is the restaurant of Panama Jacks, nestled neatly between docking vessels, and yacht building sites, it is a very simple, makeshift, ramshackle looking building of wood and canvas with the interior made up of roughly carpeted, uneven floors.

The decor is shabby chic rustic with flags of the world adorning the ceiling and with simple wooden tables and chairs. The real magnet drawing all the customers however is the magnificent food.

Fresh lobsters and abalone can be handpicked from the seawater tanks within the restaurant and are priced by weight. The prawns, fish and lobster are all cooked to the perfection that only Capetonians know how. Having been brought up with families that set out on those fishing trawlers every day, they surely know all the old ways of ensuring that the seafood is succulent, spicy and the best flavour you can find. Sushi is also on the menu and follows the same fresh principles of all the other dishes.

There is value to be found in their lunch time weekdays and weekend specials. The restaurant is always full, even in the harshest Cape Town winters. There is an old saying that if the locals eat there it must be good, and the locals eat here.

Panama Jacks is not the cheapest seafood restaurant in town but it is a quality experience that will last.