REVIEW: YU at the The Onyx hotel

Cape Town is a melting pot of culinary experiences. Whether you are looking for a taste of Mediterranean, African, Italian, Green and Asian cuisine, there is a spot to satisfy your craving in every corner. 

I recently visited Asian tapas and bar restaurant YU at the The Onyx hotel. 

The contemporary Asian decor is trendy and minimalist. Look out for interesting textures, Japanese matchbox art and an eclectic octopus mural. 

Headed by restaurateur and owner Rory Jossel, YU forms part of The Onyx, an apartment-style residential 4-star hotel on the corner of Heerengracht and Walter Sisulu Avenue.

Pic1YUTunaDish - REVIEW: YU at the The Onyx hotel
For the main meal I had a delicious sesame-crusted tuna dish. PICTURE: GOKUL NAIR

YU specialises in a fusion of contemporary Asian tastes and is open six days a week for lunch and dinner. 

My dinner began with a refreshing Japanese craft beer. For the main meal I had a delicious sesame-crusted tuna dish, while my partner chose the marinated seared salmon with burnt spicy mayo and crispy bits. Our sides included fries, veggies and egg-fried rice. 

The portions are substantial, so we ended up sharing the brownies and ice cream dessert, finishing off with strong Japanese sake. 

Other menu highlights include Beef Short Rib Bao, Prawn and Butternut Dim Sum, Peking Duck and Soft Shell Crab with Sesame Mayo.  Sticky Ribs marinated in Soya and Sichaun pepper, Crispy Rice with Beef Wagyu Tartar  – as well as Poke bowls and desserts such as Coconut and Passion Fruit Sago Pudding. 

YU also has a bar and restaurant lounge, with a DJ booth for added ambience during special events. Those keen to experiment can choose from Japanese craft beers and a selection of sake, or opt for a cocktail featuring flavours like Yuzu, Soju, coconut and ginger. 

The name of the restaurant, “YU”, alludes to excellence and leisure, and the physical space was designed by Yaniv Chen and Leigh Fink from Master Studio, who took their inspiration from early 1950s Yakuza meeting points.

Jossel also runs neighbouring restaurant MRKT, which serves the building’s hotel patrons and offers wholesome breakfast and lunch to walk-ins from the area. Both YU and MRKT form part of The Onyx, which has luxury hotel rooms, compact studios and expensive penthouses, complete with rooftop bar, spa and gym. 

Offering ample free parking, great service and positioned in an exciting new part of Cape Town city, YU offers an unforgettable food experience for your next date night, professional meet-up or fun evening out.

YU opening hours: Mondays to Saturdays, 12pm – 11pm

For bookings call or email: 021 111 0453 /
Address: 57 Heerengracht Street, The Onyx Hotel, Cape Town

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