Quest for the Best: Chili Poppers in Cape Town

Best Jalapeno Poppers in Cape Town

My mission: Find the best Jalapeño Poppers in Cape Town

Time frame: 3 days



“ The secret ingredient is always CHEESE “

 


 

Ain’t it the truth!!! And especially when it comes to those delicious little crispy pockets of cheesy goodness we call Chili Poppers (which often contain bacon – and I’ve come to learn that if the secret ingredient isn’t cheese – it most certainly is BACON!).

 

Chilli Poppers are one of my ultimate treats: They are crispy – they are creamy – they are cheesy – they are salty –and they are spicy…need I say more? This prompted me to embark on the honourable quest of finding the best spots in Cape Town to sit down and enjoy a bite of these delicious mexican delights.

 

So without further ado…let us begin the reviews!

 

 


MY TOP 10:    based on taste


 

#

RESTAURANT

WHY

10.

Fat Cactus, Mowbray

Fat Cactus Jalapeño Poppers

Taste was average in comparison to the rest.

9.

Spur, Waterfront

Spur Jalapeno Poppers

Taste was good, better taste than Fat Cactus because poppers were stuffed fully and with 3 different cheeses.

8.

Quay Four, Waterfront

Quay Four Jalapeño Poppers

Great crumb – one of the best, but the flavour was average.

7.

Hudson’s, Claremont

Hudson's Jalapeno Poppers

Overall, they tasted good, but weren’t as flavourful as I would have liked; bacon flavour didn’t come through strong enough, and the spiciness was a bit overwhelming. A bonus was that they were half-price.

6.

Mexican on Long

Mexican on Long Jalapeño Poppers

Good taste and lovely dipping sauce, but didn’t like that they left so many seeds. Great presentation, good service, nice atmosphere.

5. Jamaica Me Crazy, Woodstock

Jamaica Me Crazy Jalapeno Poppers

They had good flavour, good crumb, and not too spicy. Good atmosphere, but service was slow.
4.

The Taproom, Devil’s Peak, Woodstock

The Taproom Jalapeño Poppers

I loved the taste of the batter, and the overall flavour was good. Reasonably priced, good service and lovely atmosphere.

3.

Mitchell’s, Waterfront

Mitchell's Jalapeño Poppers

The flavour was great – loved the cheesiness of the filling, and the flavourful puffy batter. Only downside was that you had to purchase 2 additional appetisers.

2.

Sticky Fingers BBQ

Sticky Fingers BBQ Jalapeno Poppers

The bacon poppers tasted amazing – the filling was nice and creamy and the bacon flavour really came through. The dipping was great and very flavourful. Bonus, was that it was delivered to our home and could be enjoyed infront of the telly! Only downside: batter was slightly greasy.

1.

Buena Vista Social Cafe

Buena Vista Jalapeno Poppers

They had great variety of choice: the chorizo option, for example, was something different. All their options had overall great flavour, batter and filling. Their bacon poppers were my favourite overall because I loved the sweet-salty-spicy flavour. And I found nothing to criticize: if anything, the price.

 


 

WORTH MENTIONING

 


 

 

Cheapest poppers:

  • Sticky Fingers BBQ
  • Hudson’s if you go when it’s half-price

 

Best service: Mexican on Long

 

Best atmosphere:

 

  • Mitchell’s – casual pub atmosphere, always beautiful at the Waterfront
  • Hudson’s – relaxed, very social atmosphere
  • The Taproom – it is great that you can see them brewing the beer behind the bar (old-school brewery vibe), comfortable atmosphere
  • Mexican on Long – great atmosphere if you’re sitting ouside, looking out onto Longstreet, casual and comfortable
  • Quay Four – if you can get a table outside, the Waterfront is beautiful

 

For lots more information on pricing, flavour, atmosphere and service – READ ON…

 


THE 10 RESTAURANTS I VISITED 


 

  1. Fat Cactus, Mowbray

 

Fat Cactus Jalapeño Poppers

Price: R59 for 3 – around R20 per popper

 

Batter: nice and crispy breadcrumb batter

Filling: looked like they were only filled with cream cheese, and not stuffed very full

Taste: average – the spiciness overpowered the flavour a bit

Dipping: tasted like a creamy mayonaise/ thousand island-type sauce

 

* Service: good

* Atmosphere: chilled atmosphere, however – location is on a busy street in Mowbray

 

  1. Jamaica Me Crazy, Woodstock

 

 

Price: R58 for 4 – R14.50 per popper

 

Batter: very crispy breadcrumb batter, good crunch – nice and dense against the jalapeno

Filling: only feta, but stuffed quite full

Taste: very good, spicy but not overpowering

Dipping: a mayonaise sauce with some (what looked like) tomatoes or peppadews

 

* Service: very slow, but the restaurant was quite empty

* Atmosphere: very nice

 

  1. The Taproom, Devil’s Peak Brewery, Woodstock

 

 

The Taproom Jalapeño Poppers

 

Price: R48 for 3 – R16 per popper

 

Batter: a beer batter that reminded me of vetkoek, a bit chewy, not very crispy

Filling: seemed like a creamcheese filling with some added herbs

Taste: the taste of the batter was great, overall very good flavour

Dipping: plain creamy mayo dipping that reminded me of Hellman’s Mayonaise

 

* Service: good

* Atmosphere: great – you can see them brewing the beer behind the bar

 

 

  1. Hudsons, Claremont

 

Plain Chili Poppers

Hudson's Jalapeno Poppers

Price: R59 for 3 – R20 per popper

(Half-price Mon-Fri 4:30-6:30pm: R29.50 for 3 – R10 per popper)

 

Batter: a doughy beer batter, slightly more crispy than The Taproom, but not as tasty.

Filling: seemed like more than one type of cheese – perhaps feta, cheddar and creamcheese, stuffed nice and full.

Taste: good taste, but a bit spicy.

Dipping: tomato-based relish sauce

 

Bacon Wrapped Chili Poppers

Hudson's Jalapeno Poppers

 

Price: R80 for 3

Halfprice Mon-Fri 4:30-6:30pm: R40 for 3 – R13.30 per popper

 

Batter: wrapped in bacon, and then dipped in batter and deep-fried (batter was same as above)

Filling: same as above, slightly more crumbly texture.

Taste: spiciness was a bit overpowering, and the bacon flavour didn’t come through very well.

Dipping: blue cheese mayo sauce

 

* Service: average – because if you go during halfprice rush, don’t expect too much attention.

* Atmosphere: very relaxed, friendly and social – expect to bump into people you know.

 

  1. Mitchell’s, Waterfront

Mitchell's Jalapeño Poppers

Price: R40 for 2 – R20 per popper

Note: the waiter pushed us to order at least 3 appetisers (sounded like we had to, but not 100% sure).

 

Batter: puffy, crispy beer batter

Filling: creamy soft cheeses like cheddar and mozerella

Taste: great taste, good spiciness that didn’t overwhelm the flavour, batter had good flavour

Dipping: sweet chili dipping sauce

 

* Service: avergae

* Atmosphere: lovely atmosphere at the Waterfront, very relaxed pub vibe

 

  1. Spur, Waterfront

Spur Jalapeno Poppers

Price: R64.90 for 4 – R16.20 per popper

 

Batter: very crispy, crunchy breadcrumb batter

Filling: cheddar, feta and mozzarella, stuffed nicely

Taste: good taste, but not flavourful enough to my taste

Dipping: sweet chili dipping sauce

 

*Service: good, considering how busy the Spur was

*Atmosphere: probably the Spur with the best atmosphere in the country, due to the view onto the marina

 

  1. Quay Four, Waterfront

Quay Four Jalapeño Poppers

Price: R69 for 3 – R23 per popper

 

Batter: very crispy beer batter, but also slightly chewy – great crumb

Filling: just cheddar

Taste: good taste, but not great, spicy but not as spicy as Hudson’s

Dipping: sweet chili dipping sauce

 

* Service: had to call a waiter to help us after we had been sitting for a while

* Atmosphere: relaxed atmosphere, not fancy – great if you can get a table outside looking down on the water

 

  1. Sticky Fingers BBQ, Rondebosch

 

Plain Chili Poppers

Sticky Fingers BBQ Jalapeno Poppers

Price: R16 each (can buy separately)

 

Batter: crispy fine beer batter, a little oily

Filling: creamy cheese texture

Taste: good taste, not very spicy

Dipping: a Tabasco-flavoured dipping sauce

 

Bacon-stuffed Chili Poppers

Sticky Fingers BBQ Jalapeno Poppers

Price: R50 for 4 – R12.50 per popper

 

Batter: crispy fine beer batter as above but less oily

Filling: creamy cheese with bacon bits, stuffed nicely

Taste: great taste, bacon flavour really came through, not too spicy

Dipping: a Tabasco-flavoured dipping sauce

 

* Service: ordered from Mr Delivery, and the order came within the estimated delivery time.

* Atmosphere: these were enjoyed at home – obviously a bonus!

 

  1. Mexican on Long, CBD

Mexican on Long Jalapeño Poppers

Price: R50 for 3 – R16.60 per popper

 

Batter: very thick crispy breadcrumb batter

Filling: creamy cheese with a red spice that looks like paprika or cayene pepper, looks like all seeds were left inside (could be intentional).

Taste: quite spicy because of the many seeds, good taste

Dipping: a yogurt-y dipping sauce with some added spice, was a good offset to the spiciness of the poppers

 

* Service: very good – service was very friendly and we were served promptly

* Atmosphere: it was lovely to have a table outside looking down on longstreet, also very relaxed

 

  1. Buena Vista Social Café, CBD

 

Chorizo-stuffed Chili Poppers

Buena Vista Chorizo Jalapeno Poppers

Price: R59 for 3 – around R20 per popper

 

Batter: great crispy breadcrumb batter, larger breadcrumb pieces

Filling: cream cheese and chorizo sausage, stuffed nicely

Taste: chorizo adds amazing flavour, spicy but not overpowering

Dipping: chakalaka-type tomato based dipping sauce with herbs

 

Plain Cheese Chili Poppers

Buena Vista Jalapeno Poppers

Price: R49 for 3 – around R16 per popper

 

Batter: great crispy breadcrumb batter, larger breadcrumb pieces

Filling: plain creamy cheese filling, could taste the cream cheese, stuffed fully

Taste: one of the poppers were extremely spicy, the rest were not too spicy, very good overall taste.

Dipping: chakalaka-type tomato based dipping sauce with herbs

 

Bacon-wrapped Chili Poppers

Buena Vista Bacon Jalapeno Poppers

Price: R59 for 2 – around R30 per popper

 

Batter: wrapped in bacon, dipped in same batter described above and deep-fried, nice and tight against the jalapeno

Filling: creamcheese filling and a date

Taste: amazing taste, bacon flavour came through very nicely, and the date was unnoticeable, but added a wonderful sweetness that offset the saltiness of the bacon and the spiciness of the jalapeno.

 

* Service: very good, friendly, and the chili poppers came very quickly

* Atmosphere: nice social atmosphere, comfortable couch seating – although most seating is inside (which is the only downside, for me anyway).

 


 

What I learnt from this experience:

 

  1. The competition is stiff in Cape Town: all the above restaurants had good chili poppers.
  2. It is very difficult to eat so many poppers per day! – my insides weren’t happy

 


 

I am certain there are still many hidden gems out there!

 

So please: If you know of a good place to have chili poppers around Cape Town (that isn’t mentioned here) – PLEASE LET ME KNOW so I can add them to the list!

You may also like

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *