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Harbour House, Kalk Bay
Harbour House sits grandly atop a rocky outcrop at the entrance to Kalk Bay Harbour, and has all the clever, classy creativeness that such a location might inspire. The cocktail lounge is the epitome of understated elegance, and the overall eclectic effect has just the right hint of Zanzibar. If you are organised and book well enough in advance, you might just be rewarded with a table by the window. You will then spend your evening eating exquisite food against the dramatic backdrop of floor-to-ceiling glass walls that do a very admirable job of fighting off the waves as they crash against the rocks just below you. All so dramatic already, and I haven’t even started on the food!
Speaking of starters…
The sweet melon wrapped in Parma ham is delightfully different and in my humble opinion the combination works perfectly together.
The fresh west coast mussels in a creamy white wine and thyme sauce are some of the best I’ve ever tasted. So good that I very distinctly remember the first time I tried them over 7 years ago. It was back in my university days when my parents were in town and I recommended a restaurant well out of my budget because Mom and Dad were paying (I mean, who wouldn’t?!).
I also love the roasted butternut and beetroot salad served with basil-pesto crusted feta. Yum.
On the odd occasion when I’ve been able to order anything other than the panfried paprika calamari as my main course, I’ve either gone for the grilled fillet (with out-of-this-world wild mushroom and truffle sauce) or the rack of karoo lamb which comes snugly coated in a parmesan herb crust. Perfection.
Line fish is seldom at the top of my list, I think perhaps because I grew up in Zimbabwe, and our family rule is never ever eat seafood in a landlocked country. You can just imagine. Well, best I get over that little prejudice, as it was with deep regret that I didn’t venture out on a limb and order the line fish of the day recently, because Rob and I spent the rest of the meal fighting over his portion of cob in a thai green curry coconut sauce. Hmph.
Now, you don’t need to have browsed this blog very extensively to pick up on my penchant for a really good creme brulee. So it goes without saying that Harbour House more than does justice to this holy grail of desserts. As for their yoghurt panna cotta served in a berry soup, or the dark chocolate terrine with fudge sauce – well now that’s just what I’d call showing off.
Harbour House is not one of Cape Town’s most distinguished restaurants for nothing, and is a classic case of ‘you get what you pay for’. So be prepared to splurge a little, though I am pretty sure you will regret none of your extravagance. Or, you could be more discerning and a) take your own wine and b) visit their website for their winter specials (I spied both the mussels and paprika calamari on the list).