1. 9TH AVENUE WATERSIDE, Durban
In a glorious space designed by architect Kevin Boyd, 9th Avenue Waterside comes brimming with subtle nautical charm. Wesley Aucamp is the new head chef behind the pass, bringing years of international experience to bear on this multi-faceted dining destination. But the seafood-focus remains, with a sizeable à la carte offering meandering from generous seafood platters (SQ, of course) to line fish.
2. FICKS, Hermanus
The Cliff Path at Hermanus is a wonderful thing. It offers public art and you can wander its length to Grotto Beach. But you’ll really love it because it leads you to Ficks, where tables and chic lounge areas sit metres from the waters of Walker Bay. The menu of Spanish pinchos is extensive — don’t miss the lamb meatballs. Ficks doesn’t take bookings, so you’ll need to pitch up and wait for a table. With those views, that’s little hardship.
3. GAAITJIE, Paternoster
Since the Kruger family took over this charming spot in 2015, it’s become a staple of Paternoster’s culinary scene. Chef Jaco Kruger adds a subtle spin to every plate, infusing much of the menu with bright, bold Asian flavours. The West Coast mussels in a broth of white wine, lime, and cumin are particularly good. Nab a table on the small terrace: protected from the wind and with endless sea views. Book well in advance.
4. SEAFOOD AT THE PLETTENBERG, Plettenberg Bay
You’ll want to don your glad rags for dinner at what is perhaps the smartest hotel in town. With spectacular views over the bay, the menu celebrates the briny blue that stretches out below. Perhaps a bouillabaisse of local fish to start, followed by Mossel Bay sole with dill emulsion? It’s not all white tablecloths and fine dining though. Pull in for “Fish&Chip Fridays” — fish and chips for two for R320.
5. CHEF’S WAREHOUSE AT TINTSWALO ATLANTIC, Cape Town
Restaurateur Liam Tomlin expands his small-plate empire with perhaps the most spectacular location to date: Tintswalo Atlantic boutique lodge. Chef Braam Beyers heads up the kitchen, offering a menu of eight seasonal small plates across four courses. Think fricassée of langoustine, or seared tuna with whipped queso fresco. Those ocean views? They’re mahala.
• From the December edition of Wanted, 2020.