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Posted on: Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Getting my Mexican on in Mowbray at Fat Cactus – a review

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On the busy Durban Road of Mowbray, somewhat secluded behind trellis work and bright lights, is the Mexican Mecca of the Fat Cactus. We arranged a dinner there, all at the last moment. Fortunately, Bon Jovi was playing live in Cape Town, so the restaurants were fairly empty throughout the city, so we secured a table. Still, there was a very distinct vibe, and only a few tables to spare.

The waitresses are relaxed in their approach and attire, so we waited a while for service, but it was sort of in keeping with the ambience.


Cheesy Nachos


We started with a strawberry and lime margarita jug, which was not on the menu, but was recommended by our waitress. It was very delicious and refreshing – the perfect chiller for a spicy Mexican meal. The drinks menu includes a lot of firm favourites as well as plenty of Mexican variety for an authentic experience. This includes the all-important tequilas (including La Muerte and Don Julio Reposado). I will definitely be trying The Iceberg next – a 500 ml draught topped with a frozen lime iceberg!

For starters, none of us could look further than the chilli poppers; mammoth jalapenos, stuffed with cheese, battered and deep-fried. They were spicy but not too hot, so chilli-lovers could definitely ask for a side-order of fresh chopped chillies or a splash of hot sauce. The sweet potato puffers with guacamole, salsa and bean dips also sound awesome, as do the calamari, cactus wings (barbeque, buffalo or peri-peri chicken wings with dips) and chimichangas (prawn and vegetable spring rolls).

The mains include a range of burgers, quesadillas, nachos and snack platters. We had a huge helping of chicken nachos, which were great to share after our starters, but those with larger appetites can enjoy one to themselves. There were quite a few specials chalked up on the board, which included steaks and line fish for the more traditional diners.

Due to the restaurant’s being right on Durban Road and having open doors, we encountered one hefty cockroach strolling under the tables. This having been said, everything else was clean and made for an all-round fun evening (even if we missed Bon Jovi).

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After a cheesy fest make sure you’ve got a place to stay for the night and you can find this at SA-Venues.com where you Deal Direct and Save!

Tania Stephenson


Tania loves to cook and create magic in the kitchen for family and friends (or even just herself). Be it finding a new recipe or making a tried and tested dish from her recipe folder - the kitchen is her sanctuary. Find her hanging out with friends round the braai or curled up on the couch reading the latest crime drama. With a spring in her step and a song in her heart you’ll find her supporting local artists in theatre, music and dance – from a hip hop competition or the latest musical on stage at Artscape in Cape Town. Enjoying all things culture she likes to share her experiences and delights with those around her.

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