On the road from Stellenbosch to the Cape of Good Hope, when driving along the coastline, one passes through the small town of Kalke Bay. When we stopped there to take a walk on the pier we were lucky to find an awesome place for lunch just next to it: The Harbour House Restaurant. We actually enjoyed it so much, that we instantly reserved a table for the next day. And then it was equally as satisfying. Check these pictures and find out why.
First of all, I really liked the restaurant’s laid back white and blue design, reminding me of a Greek taverna and the relaxed spirit that comes with it. It is comfy, airy and the brightness, together with the much used wood reflects peace and freedom.
Then, there is this fabulous, breathtaking view on the ocean, and even better: since the restaurant is directly built on some rocky shore, the waves litteraly clash against the wall, creating a stunning show right next to your lunch table.
And of course, truly not the least important: the food is great!
Mmmh how I loved that Seafood Ceviche for example. It was maybe lacking a bit of lime and chili, but whatever: I just asked for it and added it myself. It is foremost the fish quality that rocked my day – Imagine the quality you’d expect at a harbour restaurant: it was even better than that.
Sauteed Paprika Calamari, just a dream again, with a slight char and as tender as they can get. Good sauce with a perfect Mediterranean touch of tomato, olives and herbs.
Kinglip with orange beurre blanc, the line fish of the day and my brother’s dish. I didn’t get a taste cause he finished all way to quickly. It was apparently that good!
The wine was great as well. You probably know how little I like these butterscotch-vanilla Chardonnay, so I went for the 2 non-oak Chards on the wine list and got lucky. This one by Bouchard Finlayson had an aromatic lemon and citrus nose, a good weight and balsamic texture on the palate with a nice acidic zing to it and a herbal freshness. Burgundy in South Africa.
I was later to have a red wine from the same estate in another restaurant. Bouchard Finlayson is one of the discoveries of the trip.
Bluefin Tuna Tartare with basil mayonnaise. It was delicious. Only realized later that I probably indulged an endangered species. But on the other hand, maybe it’s legitimate since it came straight off the coast and hasn’t been shipped accross the globe? Room for debate..
Seared tuna medium-raw, anchovies-mayonnaise, capers, beans. A wonderfully simple Mediterranean combination. This is also something I’d prepare myself at home, but I’ll never have that good of a tuna then. Puts a smile on my face.
Another nice non-oaked Chardonnay, this time with a totally different flavor profile: white fruit such as pears mixed with interesting spice notes reminding ginger (!). The Ginger spice was particularly powerful in the finish. Definitely have to find out more about Rustenberg Roxton.
Desserts were also well appreciated – but it’s definitely the fish and this easy complexity of Mediterranean dishes that I will happily remember.
So what more to say, other than warmly recommend this great place. Oh, there is also sushi on offer, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it was equally as delicious, also given the fact I spotted 2 Japanese chefs behind the counter. Then, there is also whole crayfish aka lobster on the menu, and it also looked glorious seen from far on other tables. The wine list isn’t too big but quite neat: we picked 2 wines and they were both more than just satisfying.
Basically this is a restaurant I’d go back anytime: I’d even say I would have lunch everyday there if I could. I wouldn’t call this type of food fine dining, but rather something like high end casual dining. I mean, I’m sure you all get it from the pics.
The Harbour House Restaurant
Kalk Bay Harbour
Kalk Bay, South Africa