Cape Town Lounge and Wine Bar Review
Among the exotic and beautiful restaurants and eateries at the Animal Kingdom Lodge Resort, Jiko is among most high class and delicious with service that will outstand and enthrall. However, high class dining comes with the necessity for appropriate attire and possibly a bill that exceeds your initial expectations. But there is one place where resort guests can enjoy a relaxed evening of drinks and conversation without the need for fancy dress or a reservation. That place is Cape Town Lounge and Wine Bar.
Near the entrance of Jiko, Cape Town Lounge and Wine Bar sits invitingly with authentic African artwork and cultural decor on every side. While the area itself may appear small to the unsuspecting, the wine list spans several pages and in many ways provides more options than the food menu of its neighbor. The bartenders here provide service beyond compare shaking up drinks and pouring them with expert finesse, and among the African flavor of the lounge, you will even find a wall of wine bottles that towers over your head and gives reason to the pages of wine on the menu. However, it was the mixed drinks, unique to the Cape Town Lounge and Jiko location that caught this reviewer’s attention.
Starting the evening with an old favorite, we ordered a Safari Amber, the hint of caramel and molasses smoothing out the dark amber taste. Then, it wasn’t long before we decided to delve into those unique mixed drinks, the first of which was Hanging Out in Capetown. With a kick of tangerine liqueur, peach schnapps, a generous splash of cranberry and a bit of Hanger 1 Mandarin, the Hanging Out in Capetown was a beautifully concocted drink that embodies the spirit of the lounge as well as Cape Town itself. This wasn’t the last time we filled out glasses, having a taste of the Zebratini and a to-die-for Nutty African as dessert drinks. Both drinks featured Amarula, a fruity cream liqueur from Southern Africa that will blow your mind, but frankly, the best way to experience these is to go and enjoy them yourself!
And what are cocktails without a few appetizers? Enjoying a variety of intriguing breads and delicious dips, we took a trip to the appetizer menu and didn’t return without a few stories. We also got a taste of the flatbreads Jiko offers, and they were like nothing we had ever experienced. While the focus of Cape Town Lounge is definitely the drinks, DO NOT overlook the food here.
With great food and better drinks, Cape Town Lounge and Wine Bar has to be one of the best, and also most convenient and luxurious places, to relax with a drink at Animal Kingdom Lodge. Enjoy the wines and cocktails, but certainly don’t overlook the outstanding food. It’s the perfect place to have a scrumptiously exotic bite and a glass of wine without spending a fortune on a full service meal. And if you’re eating at one of the restaurants nearby, it makes for a fantastic place to hang out until your name is called. Take a safari into Cape Town Lounge and Wine Bar, and get the perfect taste of Africa.
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Food: Cape Town Lounge and Wine Bar has a cocktail and wine menu that is bigger than the food menu at Jiko. From the desert wines to the signature cocktails only sold at Jiko and Cape Town, this lounge offers a drinking experience far beyond the usual.
Atmosphere: The lounge is situated near the entrance of Jiko, so traffic flow is fairly consistent, but after you taste the drinks, you’ll hardly notice. The African accents on the walls, along with the walls of wine make it an interesting place to relax with without having to feel overwhelmed with the full service of the restaurant.
Service: Top notch and utter luxury are two ways to describe the service here. The drinks are some of the best at the resort and bartenders are not only knowledgeable of the menu, but they are happy to make recommendations based on any food you order
Tips: If the proximity to the front door is too much, the staff insists that the Cape Town Wine Room is acceptable seating for lounge guests. Make an inquiry and you might end up with full service without a reservation, if that’s what you’re looking for.