KeenwaSetCape Town’s Peruvian connection 

Keenwä restaurant, at the beginning of the fanwalk in Cape Town’s buzzing CBD, serves great food in a fashionable yet comfortable environment. The menu is kept small in a bid to make every meal a knockout. From ceviche to tacu tacu and ribs Keenwä serves the best Peruvian recipes sometimes adapted slightly for the context and local taste.

Peruvian food is so much more than the hot new food trend. Apart  from being the sizzling new cuisine of the moment it is absolutely  delicious and super healthy.

Pisco Bar, upstairs from Keenwa, is a cocktail bar and party venue. Spoil yourself with the house cocktail, Peru’s famous Pisco Sour, and nibble on a tapas or two.


The Latest

  • Mixing it up with the Grande Olde Dame

    Tradition out the window: Keenwä and Groot Constantia food and wine pairing

    A food and wine pairing at Keenwä without ceviche? Sounds scandalous … but it is true.

    GrootConstantiaGateOur house dish, Ceviche – the most delectable combination of the freshest of fish, lime and chilli – goes beautifully with so many wines. We do not insist that one fish is better than another: we use the best available on the day. Sometimes it is the meaty gamey-ness of tuna; at others it is the flaky delicateness of angel fish.

    Last week at the tasting lunch for Keenwä’s food and wine pairing with Groot Constantia it was the decadent butteriness of marlin. A perfect match with Gouverneurs Reserve white: Groot Constantia’s inversion of the proportions of the classic Bordeaux blend (ie much more Semillon than Sauvignon Blanc) highlights the vague salty promise of the ocean.

    GtConstCellarWe submitted the combination to the acid test: a sip of leche de tigre (tiger’s milk) – the juice that is left after you have marinated the fish – and then, in quick succession, a sip of the vino.

    Hmmmmm perfect! Test passed with flying colours but still there are only 5 places in the finals … and in the end this duo didn’t get one of them. But then nor did the Groot Constantia Shiraz, our stand-out favourite red at a recent tasting at the estate.

    But, of course, these nights is not about the also-rans and the nearly-rans.

    Our chosen stars for the night:

    ChardonnayThe Causa de atun, a layered dish of potato and lime mash and tuna tartare, stands in for the ceviche, with a glass of Chardonnay on her arm. This will make perfect sense on the night – even those who are not normally chardonnay fans.

    Break with tradition and you may soon discover that rebellion is like a drug …

    We couldn’t quite decide which of the lamb dishes was tastier and more dramatic with the zesty pepperiness of the Pinotage, so we decided to let the people decide.

    LambMeatballs1RedbottlesDiners will get the lamb meatballs with yoghurt, cucumber and mint dressing and a hot salad of red cabbage and quinoa with a glass of Pinotage.

    After that, they will be served the Seco de Cabrito (lamb braised in beer with coriander, peas and potatoes) with another glass of Pinotage.

    By the time we have decided on this are on our umpteenth glass of Groot Constantia and we are building a rhythm breaking with tradition. So we decide to put the cart before the horse, the chicken after the lamb and a white after a red.

    At this unexpected twist in the road (and in a sort of nod to tradition) we will give diners a little something to re-set and refresh the palate.

    KiwiMarcianoMaricano de kiwi, a little Martian of a dessert combines kiwi fruit sorbet with caramelised chilli and a sliver of Brie cheese.

    chickenRoseThymeThat should clear the taste buds in readiness for the thyme and rosemary chicken with a light guacamole cream and lemon zest-infused quinoa.

    We are in full flight now, the rebellion is in full swing … we are banging on the gates of the palace.

    We will be pairing this course with two wines but not like last time: this time every second person gets a glass of Sauvignon Blanc, the others get a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon. I am sure you can work it out without fighting.

    Then the grande finale: Grande Constance. A lone star, an outlier on the Richter scale of wicked sweetness. Not much needs to be said about this except that there is no more for sale, we will be pouring the last of the farm’s supply at Keenwä.

    A welcome drink, 5 courses paired with 5 wines, and Grand Constance: R400

    Book your table on 021 4192633


    Boy, have we got a treat for you: Keenwä chef Gift Matwaya and Groot Constantia wine-maker Danie Keulder


    1 Welcome drink: Blanc de Noir

    2 Causa de atun. Chardonnay

    3 Lamb meatballs. Pinotage

    4 Seco de cabrito. (also) Pinotage

    5 Palate cleanser: Marciana de kiwi

    6 Thyme and rosemary chicken with a light guacamole cream and lemon zest-infused quinoa.
    Cabernet Sauvignon or Sauvignon Blanc

    7 Grande Constance


  • trEAT me right

    trEAT me right: the Rougettes at Keenwa

    What a wonderful night this was!

    burlesque poster sold out Blog

    August 4:

    Keenwa is collaborating once again with the delectable ladies of the Rouge Revue to bring you a feast of burlesque and food that will satisfy every kind of hunger.

    Lady Magnolia, principal dancer and choreographer, will make you gasp and blush as she uses old world elegance and charm to weave her web of magic.

    Drawing inspiration from the seedy underbelly of Old Hollywood and the debauched excess of pop culture, Marlene Dicktrick’s tasty treat of a performance will have you licking your lips for more …

    Cookie Von Tastee is as delectable as a chocolate fondant, as sweet and tart as a raspberry … tart, as silky as crème caramel and as delightful as a mouthful of popping candy.

    Don’t be fooled by her kittenish charm, Miss Penny Pinup will soon turn up the heat … the chef will not be the only one who is cooking tonight.

    Just as Dear Mrs Panda will whet your appetite taking you on a musical voyage through many an era and genre so will Jezzy Belle, the sauciest of sirens with the silken voice, satisfy your every craving.

    Burlesque2Tickets: R295 (includes a 2-course meal and a glass of wine). Booking essential 021 4192633

    Doors open at 7pm. Show starts at 7:30pm.



  • Toastie and tasty

    MichelleCheeseGrillerWith all the fuss over the decision by a well-known sports scientist (starts with N, rhymes with blokes) to turn his back on a life’s work conspiring against carbohydrates, we are jumping on the bandwagon and expanding our sandwich menu.


    Chef Gift Mwatwaya

    To most people, making a sandwich is merely a process of assembly. However, when Gift, Keenwä’s chef, makes a sandwich, he cooks a meal and wraps it lovingly in bread. He only has to make us a sandwich to make us jump up and shout, ‘That’s it! Put this on the menu immediately!’

    We have added a couple of his delicious gourmet toasted sandwiches to our lunch menu:

    • Tostado de carne: Medium-rare beef, avocado and tomato toasted sandwich R55
    • Tostado tricolor: Basil, mozzarella, tomato toasted sandwich R30

    And just in case you know nothing at all … about this … Peruvians are no strangers to gourmet sandwiches. Their love for the simplest of them all, the Triple (pronounced tree-play), is almost cultish. These and other simple-yet-delicious meals are skilfully crafted from the best, freshest ingredients at Keenwä, Tuesday to Friday lunch 12.30 to 3pm. (Full menu and tapas available at lunchtime too)

    Lunch menu

    (V) Triple: White bread layered with avocado, tomato and egg R30

    Tostad Triple de Pollo: Triple sandwich layered with shredded chicken, mayo, avocado and egg R45

    Lomo Saltado wrap: Peruvian-style beef and red pepper stir-fry R55

    (V) Vegetarian wrap: Quinoa, mushroom, tomato, onion and red pepper R40

    o de carne: Medium-rare beef, avocado and tomato toasted sandwich R55

    Tostado tricolor: Basil, mozzarella, tomato toasted sandwich R30

    (V) Chef’s salad: A feast of the best ingredients … beans, greens, tomatoes, cheese,
    avocado… (changes daily) R45/R65



  • Ooh baby, it’s cold outside …


    It is freezing outside, the rain is coming at you from all sides, no amount of money could warm you right through … anyway payday is still a way off. To make it easier to drag yourself from the fireside we are offering 2-for-the-price-of-1 on all main courses, at lunchtime and dinner, on Wednesdays in July and August. Mention this offer and the cheaper of any two main courses is free.

    In addition to all the usual deliciousness at Keenwä we are now serving a selection of classic bar meals in Pisco. Steak and chips, macaroni cheese and other classic and comforting meals for those days when you don’t feel like anything too adventurous. As always, we buy the finest ingredients and make everything – from the burger patties to the mayonnaise – here ourselves. These meals are available in Pisco during the evenings and throughout the restaurant at lunchtimes (Tues-Fri 12.30-3pm).

    HawksmoorAn excellent companion to one of these great meals, a glass of Hawksmoor shiraz, is available at Keenwä and Pisco only. Wilhelm Defries for Hawksmoor (Paarl region) made just 8 barrels of this delicious vino. I hate to say it but it looks unlikely they will replicate the recipe next time. For a number of reasons (happenstance rather than design) the wine was left in old French and American oak barrels for 30 months, longer than anyone might think advisable.

    The result of this ‘happy mistake’ is an unusually round wine that seems to give a little something extra with every sip. It is not clear if any of this vintage, the 2011, will make it on to anyone else’s shelves but Hawksmoor’s owners, Mark and Simon, were persuaded to let us have 50 bottles before they headed to Europe for the northern summer or research … or something. Our 50 bottles are disappearing fast!

    Book a table on 021 4192633 or, if you like to live dangerously, just turn up at 50 Waterkant Street.

  • Upstairs at Pisco

    BarMenuIn addition to tapas, we are now serving classic bar meals at Pisco Bar, upstairs from Keenwa.

    We use the best ingredients and always assemble everything on site.

    Beef burger and chips R70

    Lamb burger and chips R80

    Fish and chips and coleslaw R60

    Macaroni cheese and salad R55

    Rump steak and chips R120

    Chef’s salad: A delicious, ever-changing daily plate of deliciousness combining all the best meat-free ingredients the chef can get his hands on (has been known to include lettuce, tomato, butternut, avocado, quinoa, cheese, beans, corn, peppers) R45

    Add a side salad (lettuce, tomato, avocado, red onion) to any of the dishes for R15

  • Goooaaaaaal! = 2-4-1 tequila


    For the duration of the Football World Cup in Brazil every time the ball hits the back of the net Pisco Bar will sell 2 tequila shooters for the price of 1. It doesn’t matter who scores, for whom, or how many times … when the whistle blows the price of Jose Cuervo Silver drops by half.

    Pisco Bar, 50 Waterkant Street, a stone’s throw from the beginning of the fanwalk built to connect Cape Town’s CBD to the stadium for the World Cup 2010, is the perfect venue to watch Brazil 2014.

    Fans are welcome to drop in, or plan an event of their own at Pisco bar.

    Order tapas in the bar, or book a table at Keenwa (downstairs) for dinner before or after the game. Booking advisable, tel 021 4192633.

    Leopold7InviteOn Tuesday June 17 a tasting of Leopold7 (a sparkling, tasty champagne of a beer that will soon be brewed in South Africa) was held to mark Belgium’s first match of the World Cup (versus Algeria!).

    Pisco Bar was Cape Town’s own Little Brussels for the night. This event set the standard at Pisco with close to 100 Belgian fans colonising the bar and persuading the proprietors to open on their day off (Sunday) for the second Belgium game. See you there!


  • Food and wine pairing with Groot Constantia

    Aug 2014
    - 7 for 7.30 -

    Welcome drink, 5 courses of wine and food plus a knockout palate cleanser, and a glass of Grande Constance



    A glass of Constantia was one of Napoleon Bonaparte’s last wishes
    before he died in exile on St Helena

  • It is coming to Keenwa …

    Sep 2014
    - 7 for 7.30 -



Tues-Friday lunch


Tues-Saturday dinner


... and a late late bar ...

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