Dec 10th 2009, 00:00
Have you felt frustrated by the number of restaurants situated in some of Cape Town’s most scenic spots that serve dreadful food? Somehow it feels sacrilegious, as well as unpleasant, to eat soggy toasted sandwiches served by truculent waiters in a pristine setting. The proprietors seem to think that views and scenery suffice. Hence it’s a special treat when both view and food are inspiring. A case in point is Boulders Beach Restaurant in Simon’s Town.
On the day of our visit, with appetites raging and fingers freezing after the fi rst swim of the season, the balcony, drenched in afternoon sun, was warm and inviting. An Egyptian goose with her chicks eyed the sunny deck hungrily and a few penguins waddled past insouciantly, adding to the uniqueness of the setting.
I opted for the vegetarian risotto with roast tomato, olives and artichokes (R55). Although it looked a touch overcooked and arrived with a dry crust, it was fl avoursome. My partner enjoyed the fi sh of the day, Cape salmon, served with roast aubergine risotto, spinach and harissa (R75). The menu, created by Australian head chef Sean Kiely, features Pacific Rim Cuisine gleaned from his extensive travels through Asia. It wisely also caters for ravenous kids and unsophisticated palates. The Big Boulder Burger (R69) will keep even the most rambunctious kids quiet and the battered fi sh and chips with homemade tartar sauce and fresh lemon (R59) seemed a favourite with diners at nearby tables.
The restaurant doesn’t rest on its laurels and the entire menu is revised every three months, keeping options exciting and experimental and making it all the more unusual, given its location near a tourist attraction where return visitors normally are rare. I recall spotting exotic offerings such as crocodile among the fare on offer.
The deserts were varied and we sampled them all. The Cape brandy pudding (R35) made a wonderfully warming post-swim treat. The Frangelico and cinnamon crème brûlée with almond tuille (R35) was rich in alcohol and exceptional. My favourite, though, was the coconut and mandarin torte with Cointreau syrup and vanilla ice cream (R35).
Locals, be encouraged, visit Boulders Beach restaurant before the tourists arrive in summer. Don’t worry if it’s a chilly spring day as the interior, where Jacques Dhont’s Black Wattle bark sculptures adorn the walls and add to the natural ambience, is as pleasant as the outside deck.
4 Boulders Place, Boulders Beach, Simon’s Town, 021 786 1758.