Restaurants and Eateries / Western Cape

Dinner at the V&A Waterfront Harbour House

Updated Friday, 26 May 2017

It was my birthday and I wanted to go out for a special meal with my family after plenty of debate we had a restaurant decided only to discover that so many restaurants in Cape Town are closed on Monday. I almost threw in the towel and was going to opt for a take away pizza instead when my boyfriend (who happens to live and work in Botswana) told me he’d arrange everything and I just needed to tell him what time and how many people.

A little while later, I got a message to tell me that a reservation had been made in my name at Harbour House at the V&A Waterfront for 19h00. I have never been to Harbour House, they now have two Cape Town branches the first of which is in Kalk Bay and their newly opened V&A one, however I had heard rave reviews so was rather excited.

We arrived on a gorgeous evening to be shown to a magnificently set up table. My mom leaned over to me and asked if I’d noticed we were the only table to have rose petals strewn across it … Wow, what a treat, at this point I hadn’t realised just how special the treatment was going to be. Shortly thereafter we were brought a bottle of bubbly and the celebrations began. Needless to say my boyfriend has scored major brownie points for arranging all the added touches received at this birthday meal.

Harbour House
Photographs — Left: Rainbow rolls / Right: Heaven in the form of ceviche!

I was absolutely ravenous and on hearing my sister was running late I decided to order a starter of rainbow rolls. These arrived quickly and were accompanied by the most delicious marinated kingklip ceviche (also specially prearranged). The ceviche was simply moreish with bursts of flavour from the red onion and basil foam and other delights on the palate. I could have eaten a whole bowl full had I been given the chance.

The sister arrived and it was a tough choice, but orders were placed. My sister went for the West Coast mussel starter (mussels that are steamed in white wine, garlic, onion, garden thyme and cream), both my parents went for linefish of the day specials – these change daily, but each option looked and sounded wonderful. I adore prawns and so when I saw them on the menu I was sold.

Harbour House
Photographs — Left: West Coast mussels / Centre: The BEST piri piri prawns Right: A linefish special

You had a choice between a piri piri style or a buttery option, I went for the piri piri. The portion was massive and beyond delicious, it also came with a wonderful savoury rice salad as well as a tomato and red onion salad. I can only comment on my dish as I tucked straight into it and refused tastes from the rest of the family. The prawns were a sheer delight and ticked all of the boxes I think a prawn dish should be, what a winner!

Even though we were all suitably stuffed (as the portion sizes are substantial) we couldn’t resist the mouth watering desserts and so had two to share between us. The classic crème brûlée which had the perfect, crackable, sugary crust on top and the caramalised lemon tart (which we almost needed to pry the spoon from my dad’s hand in order to taste), which was served with a scoop of chocolate ice cream and berry coulis.

Harbour House
Photographs — Left: Perfect crème brûlée / Right: Caramalised lemon tart – yum!

All I can say about this experience is BRAVO! I would be screaming it from the rooftops if I could. From the extra special treatment, to the amazing food and wonderful attention to both detail and service. What a fabulous experience. My boyfriend told me I would absolutely love it and he was 100% correct, this was a fine dining experience to the max. I loved every second of it and can’t wait to go back.

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