A lot of people assume that I don’t enjoy eating at the V&A Waterfront because it’s a mall and it’s always packed with tourists. This is not in fact true, the Waterfront may be a mall and it may be packed with tourists, but I do eat there often. There are several reasons I eat there: The view is amazing from some of the restaurants, it’s conveniently located, parking is easy and I actually like having tourists around (I love seeing people enjoying Cape Town). But the main reason I eat at the Waterfront is that there are actually some decent restaurants there. Here is my top 5 restaurants in the Waterfront (in no specific order):
Balducci’s – This restaurant is supposed to be Italian, but apart from some Italian deli items on display I don’t get the Italian vibe at all. But that’s ok with me, it makes it onto my top five for other reasons. The place has lovely decor, a nice al fresco area and the some of the best service and food you will find in Cape Town. They also have a great wine bar with a large selection of wines by the glass and great bar snacks.
Sevruga – This is the sister restaurant of Beluga and while they do share some similarities they are not the same. The menu and quality of the food is similar, but Sevruga is smaller and a bit more upmarket. I’ve enjoyed many great meals here and they also have a lovely bar.
Meloncino’s – If you’re looking for proper Italian, this restaurant is one of your better options in Cape Town. They are quite pricey, but for your money you get superb food made with the finest fresh ingredients. Situated on the upper level, the views from Meloncino are spectacular.
Baia – These last two options are seafood restaurants and they are both excellent but so very different. Baia is a smart restaurant with excellent service and the most delicious food (with a Portuguese influence). If I want to spoil myself with shellfish especially, this is where I go. Baia is the sister restaurant of Pigalle.
Willoughby & Co – This is the more casual seafood option. Most of the seating is located in the mall concourse which some people don’t like and something I don’t like is that you can’t book a table. I don’t like going somewhere and having to wait in a queue for a table like at the spur. Willoughby’s has many fans that will tell you they serve the best sushi in Cape Town, but it’s not to my taste. The rest of the seafood, however, is certainly to my taste. Whether you have the clam chowder, calamari, linefish, prawns or whatever, it’s all good.
So there you have my top 5. Feel free to argue with me and share your top 5 in the comments below. Look out for my top Waterfront bars coming soon.
Sevruga really let us down the first time we went there. We were provided with the wrong information by reservations, the hostess was as bitchy as possible and the service was indifferent at best. In their defense, after we contacted Caviar Head Office, they did give us a voucher and allow us to use the voucher at Beluga which was better by a factor of 100.
Meloncino was a a awful experience on our last visit. My partner & I visted often and always enjoyed the food & service, knowing the owners well as well as being in the hotel trade we got you could say ‘special attention’. The day we arrived unannounced and sat quietly in a corner we were almost ignored, the waiter emptied the old ashtray ON the table next to ours. I ordered linguini pasta which was RAW, like literally dough and all…!Shocking!
I like your list; and I agree that the Waterfront has some great restaurants. My favorite by far is Baia. I don’t understand that Willoughby & Co makes it in the list; must be the most awful seating in the whole of the Waterfront.
You should also try out Karibu at the waterfront sometime. It serves traditional South African cuisine, has fabulous decor and an extensive wine list. It has an outdoor section allowing one to take in the splendid view on a good day. It’s definitely one of my favourites.
In this post you say that you do eat at the Waterfront often. However, last week when reviewing Meloncino you said “There are so many restaurants in the Waterfront and being a local, I don’t eat in the Waterfront that often.” Think you need a good nights sleep!
haha, well noticed there Roger. Good to see someone actually reading my posts!
Both statements are actually correct, because it’s relative. As a percentage of all the restaurant meals I have, the Waterfront is a small percentage. But, if you think I never eat there then the amount of times I do eat there will seem like a lot.
But, you’re not wrong about me needing a good night’s sleep!
I don’t know why nobody ever talks about Ocean Basket!Whenever i feel like a nice and quick seafood fix i head off to the nearest Ocean Basket mainly Sea Point, Blouberg and Waterfront – love it!
I’m a big fan of Ocean Basket myself. Hake & chips with a prawn top up is my staple.
Sevruga beats Beluga hands down in my opinion. The sushi is far better, the patrons are less pretentious and once they get to know you as a regular you are treated like royalty. Everytime we’ve been back to Beluga we are disappointed.
I didn’t include Nobu because it’s not right in the Waterfront, but it’s technically part of the Waterfront and it is one of the best restaurants in Cape Town.
I’ve also heard great things about Dash at the new Queen Victoria hotel, but I haven’t had a chance to try it out yet.