Thumbs Up/ Thumbs Down: Thumbs Up!
Price Range: Avg. Price R90
Type: Gatropub (To the layman an upmarket restaurant with a pub like feel)
Crowd: Inner city crowd/ 20’s to 40’s
Day Of the Week: Friday
Time: 19:30 pm
Address: 199 Bree Street, CBD
So it was Friday midday and the thought of heading back to my local (and I emphasise local) weekend hangouts was a pretty dire one. Perhaps it was the low expectation around finding somewhere new and fun, or maybe it was in fact just an amazing find, but a Friday night dinner booking at The Odyssey has opened my eyes to a new spot to frequent for the significant future.
I apologise if it sounds like every new restaurant or bar that goes up on CapeTownCity.com lately sounds like the messiah of all venues, but I seem to be finding myself on a bit of a hot streak over the last few weeks and I am certainly not going to down play a venue where sincere credit need be given. This I can thankfully say, is exactly what The Odyssey in Bree street deserves.
I am not all that sure when The Odyssey popped up but I have a feeling it was around 4 or 5 months ago (making it around May 2013), following the closing down of French Toast which existed there beforehand. Having never been to French Toast I am not entirely sure what has changed, but what exists there at the moment is an awesome spot.
Picture an upmarket Forresters Arms, transported to the inner city and given a bit of flair. The Odyssey manages to embody a couple of things that I truly think the inner city has been missing over the last couple of years which some southern suburb spots have grown to do very well.
For one, The Odyssey is a big venue. It has both an upstairs and downstairs section which cater to slightly differing needs. Upstairs you will find a comfortable dining experience with a concise menu offering 10 – 15 main “gastropub” dishes. Seating in the upstairs area is casual, where you can choose from varied layouts of leather couch arrangement or more formal tables, but whatever the case, the decor, music and mood combine to create a very unpretentious atmosphere which is an absolute blessing in a city with establishments which I find sometime tread far too close to that thin line.
Downstairs, you will find a far more laid back vibe, where both young and old chill out around tables or at the bar having some drinks in a very orderly fashion. You are not required to stand around waiting for a chair to become available so you can whisk it away from an unsuspecting bottom to join your friends at a table, or even worse, required to casually parade your money in the air at the bar to try and attract a barman’s attention for service. The mentality at The Odyssey seems to be very service oriented of which I am always very much in favour. At around 9pm, a DJ will kick off playing some house tunes and the bar will begin to pick up a little to the point where it becomes a real hub of activity of which it is fun to be apart.
In terms of the patrons, I would say they were best described as being the young slightly more mature working crowd. Those who were present on my visits were the types who knew how to have fun without needing to get out of hand to do so – creating an enjoyable atmosphere. I really hope it stays this way, as I truly believe the venue is only as good as those who frequent it.
If you appreciate a slightly more upmarket night out without the pretence, where you can kick back with friends in an atmospheric, comfortable and warm environment, The Odyssey is a winner. I for one have certainly grown to like this spot in record time, in fact so much so that I ended up there the following night, once again without disappointment.