Great food with great friends at Harbour House

Okay, so it’s just the beginning of summer in Cape Town, but the weather is totally outdoing itself! We’re having hot sunny day after hot sunny day –long may it last. Just perfect for al fresco dining overlooking the water.

Today we caught up with Jeanine and Carol who I’ve known since I was about 10. It’s always lovely to see them and the plan was for a leisurely lunch at Harbour House at the V&A Waterfront. It’s right on the water with plenty of tables under shade where you can tuck into their amazing selection of fish dishes.

My advice to you would be not to even look at the menu until the specials board has been explained, then you probably won’t need the menu at all. And really, you need to have fish, it’s what they do best.

My marinated seafood ceviche was the perfect starter for a sweltering day. It had fresh fish, prawns, calamari and mussels dressed with a lime and coriander dressing and served with tomatoes, roast pepper, cucumber and red onion.

A really pretty dish that’s light with refreshing flavours

The yellowtail tartare was also a winner, again light and healthy eating for summer.

Yellowtail tartare was beautifully presented and melt-in-the-mouth

Main course choices took a lot of deliberation. The cob (it’s a local fish that’s generally available October through April) dish was served with Mediterranean vegetables and a basil sauce. A beautifully sweet fish perfectly cooked.


Kinglip is another local fish which has firm, dense flesh and a mild, sweet flavour. It’s one of my favourites and today was served with artichokes and potatoes and a citrussy sauce.


The Mozambique-style tiger prawns were pan fried in garlic, piri piri, lemon and bay leaves and came with chips and a tomato and red onion salad.

A platter that’s bound to create food envy around the table

The house salad of rocket, crispy bacon, tomatoes, avo, soft boiled egg and parmesan came with a wholegrain mustard and fresh herb dressing. Served here by special request with two chunky fillets of angel fish.

The perfect salad with fillets of angel fish

Dessert time and we could only manage one between four of us. But it was proper! The dark chocolate terrine had layers of dark chocolate mousse, meringue and soft almond biscuit and was served with a fudge sauce.

Rich and indulgent, who can resist a chocolate dessert?

And even the coffee looks beautiful at Harbour House, clever idea to serve it topped with a rose petal.

Capuccino with style

I also discovered a great new lunchtime wine. The Pierre Jourdan Tranquille is a rose with a delicate salmony colour, fragrant and dry taste and low alcohol content of 11.5%. I’ll definitely be stocking up on it soon.

Harbour House is the perfect place for a catch up. The service is leisurely and they really don’t mind if you sit there all afternoon, so we did! Lunch that goes on until after 5pm, now that’s got to be a good thing. Oh, and here’s the terrace, just heavenly.

Sit in the shade overlooking the water

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