When the weather turns sunny in Cape Town, especially after a few days of grey downpour, the Camps Bay Promenade along Victoria Road is the place to be. On just such a day, Kove Collection's latest addition, Surfshack, proved itself as the perfect spot to soak up sunny sea views and the most delicious tastes.
All images supplied.
Described as “a contemporary seaside diner on Camps Bay's beachfront,” Surfshack is hard to miss, as it’s right in the heart of all the beachy action, right above Paranga. It brings the Kove Collection’s list of independent contemporary dining addresses, bustling bistros and trendsetting lounge, beach and rooftop bars to 13, and boy does it deliver on laidback luxury.
That sea view from the terrace is quite stunning – so much so that when the menu first seemed to sparkle in front of me, I thought it was belated dazzle from the ocean blue beyond, only to find there’s a definite shimmer to the pages.
More impressive is that this trick isn’t harming the environment, as the menu clearly states: “Our dishes are made from the freshest ingredients, but this paper has been around the block.”
The straws are also eco-friendly, equipped with trendy #iamnotplastic hashtagged wrappers, and best of all is that there’s no need to dress up for a meal at Surfshack. You’re meant to walk right up off the beach to quell your hunger and thirst.
All images supplied.
But don’t be fooled into thinking that laidback mood means there’s no need to book, especially if you’re after a table on the terrace. Only open since 2 October, the place has already made a name for itself and is positively pumping from opening at noon to closing at 11pm, every day of the week.
I know this first-hand as tables were buzzing with conversation throughout our two-hour stay, though muted against the easy background music and service was swift, with iPad-ordering meaning little chance of having an order go awry.
Shareable finger-food heaven
But this is a diner, not a fussy bistro, so this is food for the hungry. Expect food you can and should both share and eat with your hands.
Some of the items causing order envy at our table alone included several straight-out-the-pizza-oven steaming pies with simple toppings like prawn or pepperoni to savour; the blackened Cajun calamari skewers complete with apple and celeriac slaw; the ‘poor man’s lobster roll’ featuring prawns, avo, lime salt, and chive aioli.
Then there's the masterpiece crispy curly corn on the cob dabbed in smoked pepper aioli, pecorino and lime...
That said, the classic mussel ‘starter’ from the shareables menu was also super impressive, including 13 large pan-roasted mussels with a lime wedge and fresh mini loaf of ‘binge bread’, just the thing to mop up the garlicky red chili sauce.
You also can’t go wrong with a portion of the blistered jalapeno poppers stuffed with goat’s cheese – the ‘hot honey’ sauce they’re drenched in is amazing, and also the star of the pickle-rich ‘hot honey fried chicken burger’.
Mains that make you say ‘Mmm!’
There are salads aplenty, steaks to drool over, and the seafood options cover everything from shellfish served bucket-style to the highly recommended sesame seared Ahi tuna.
There's even a ‘seafood feast’ that can be bumped up for two, featuring linefish of the day, calamari tubes, prawns, fried whitebait, two sides and even more mussels. As a non-seafood eater myself (sob), take my husband’s word for it that this was ‘so good!’
As a result of all the drool-worthy food they offer, Surfshack expects you’ll have sticky fingers and adds a dash of classy theatre with their Th2Owels ‘magical wipes’, which appear in dry disc form and unveil into wet paper wipes as if by magic when dropped in lemon-water.
Speaking of theatre, evenings are when the magic really hits as Surfshack’s prime location makes it the ultimate sunset spot, especially when savoured with a variety of the in-house cocktail specialities like the long Birds of Paradise brimming with Bombay Sapphire gin, raspberry purée, coconut, orange-blossom water, fresh lime juice and soda; or the short Tropical Spice, featuring Patron Silver tequila, fresh pineapple juice, mezcal and fresh lime juice, topped with a curly red chilli pepper.
Those with a sweet tooth will also be thrilled at the dessert options – you can’t go wrong with the gold-flecked ‘campfire and marshmallow’ which is basically smores super-sized and classed up with praline ice cream.
We also sampled the banana cream pie –all salted caramel, tart passion-fruit ice cream and tiny nibs of crispy meringue, pineapple crumb just perfect with a cappuccino.
Image: Claire Gunn.
There’s also a choice of straw-burstingly thick vanilla or the chocolatiest milkshake you’ve ever tasted. These aren’t yet on the menu, just ask and tell them the #MilkshakeQueen sent you!
The Kove Collection’s marketing manager Michellene Leo hit the nail on the head when she said:
Our intention was to create an all-day bolthole where you’re welcome to chill before or after the beach, where there’s something for every kind of hunger, where daytime drinks ease into night-time cocktails and where everybody feels absolutely at ease.
The impeccable service and top-notch tastes mean this is the ideal spot to soak up the summer sunshine with friends, family and out-of-towners.
Image: Claire Gunn.
The only downside is that struggle to find a parking spot – if you’re lucky, you’ll find an undercover bay in The Promenade Centre.
Arriving at the latest trendy spot to debut on the Camps Bay strip and the Kove Collection, we were taken aback by the perfectly-timed gorgeous sunset view, tropical themed décor, scrumptious menu and attentive service...
Leigh Andrews was a guest at Surfshack. Surfshack is located at 201 The Promenade, Victoria Road, Camps Bay. For more information and bookings visit https://surfshackdiner.co.za/, call 021 437 1802, email or follow Surf Shack on Facebook and Instagram for the latest updates.
Leigh Andrews AKA the #MilkshakeQueen, is former Editor-in-Chief: Marketing & Media at Bizcommunity.com, with a passion for issues of diversity, inclusion and equality, and of course, gourmet food and drinks! She can be reached on Twitter at @Leigh_Andrews.
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