Today we’re taking to the rooftops for dinner at Utopia in Cape Town’s De Waterkant area.
Utopia is well-named, living up to its dictionary definition. “An imagined community or society that possesses highly desirable or nearly perfect qualities for its citizens.” Except this Utopia is not imagined – UberUtopia perhaps? Sounds like my kind of place.
From the moment you emerge from the lift on the 15th floor you’re entranced. The 360-degree views of Cape Town are breathtaking with a different perspective wherever you look through the floor-to-ceiling glass. Up at magnificent Table Mountain, towards the strikingly modern Cape Town Stadium with sapphire sea and Robben Island beyond and along the sleek length of the lion with its Lion’s Head, rump and Signal Hill.
There’s a large al fresco terrace – the ideal spot for some pre-dinner drinks – or anytime drinks, come to think of it. Inside the restaurant is bright and modern. And still those views which change as the sun sets and the lights start to twinkle across town.
What’s on the menu
There’s a mix of salad, fish, seafood and meat to choose from. It’s a pretty compact menu with, as we were soon to discover, dishes executed to perfection.
Starting with sublime, fresh prawns and a spicy lemon garlic sauce. Large and juicy prawns and such a sensational sauce that we had to ask for extra bread so we could mop up every drop from the bottom of the bowl.
The large Caprese salad made for a substantial starter for sharing. This classic combination never fails to satisfy when properly done with the freshest of ingredients – as this one was.
And now for mains
The pan roasted Norwegian salmon rested on a bed of sautéed spinach. A simple, elegant dish of superbly cooked salmon with crispy skin and flakiness.
So, tonight nearly everyone at the table ordered steak – don’t know why but we were mostly in a meaty frame of mind. Something I am so thankful for as this was one of the best steaks I have ever eaten. The ribeye was simply grilled – with the addition of some kind of magical glaze which intensified its flavours and I dare say it’s tenderness, too. I need to know the chef’s secret – he’s Bulgarian incidentally. Without it steak will never taste the same again. Seriously – it’s that good.
Steak comes with a choice of sides so we all ordered different ones – clever huh! Which resulted in a lovely collection of lentils, spinach and crispy chips.
There was also a choice of sauces. I went with mushroom and it was deliciously creamy and earthy. The perfect addition to the richness of the meat.
Oh and the service…just what you would expect in Utopia. We’re a pretty demanding bunch (in a good way) and our waiter Anthony was superb. Welcoming and efficient – and halfway through our evening he started anticipating our needs before we even asked. Love that.
What a wonderful new discovery. Utopia’s maxim is “Dining elevated”. Quite right too, in more ways than one. I’m still feeling on quite a high after such a great night out. Enjoy the views.
Today’s price point
We paid R720 (around £37) for two courses.
White wine starts from R200 (just over £10) a bottle and red from R250 (around £13).
Utopia is at 40 Chiappini Street, De Waterkant, Cape Town.