Birthday dinner on the balcony at NV80 in Sea Point

We’ve been returning to stay in Sea Point for eight years now and it’s been wonderful to see the area blossom. We now have such an array of lovely restaurants easy walking distance from us that it seems like we should be going out all the time. It would be wrong not to, really.

So tonight to celebrate Terry’s birthday we headed to our local steakhouse in the shiny new shopping centre called The Point in Sea Point’s Regent Road.

I’m not a huge fan of restaurants in shopping centres. But NV80 has been done so well that as soon as you walk in, you no longer feel like you’re in one. Plus it has a lovely wide balcony, just perfect for the balmy February night we were there. Always love a bit of alfresco dining.

Oyster heaven

I love oysters and at NV80 you can have them three different ways. Plain, with Bloody Mary jelly or Vietnamese dressing. Beautifully fresh with amazing toppings, the Vietnamese ones are my favourite oysters ever. I do love the flavours of Vietnam.

Tasty oysters at NV80 in Sea Point

Tasty oysters to dream about

The Trinchado is pan-fried cubes of lean fillet of beef saved with a tangy lightly spiced sauce. The tenderest of fillet that melted in the mouth and a lovely zingy sauce. And not a small portion of it either – seriously, it’s almost main course size.

Tender trinchado at NV80 in Sea Point

Tender trinchado in a silken sauce

As well as their steak specialities, NV80 also has a good selection of fish and seafood. The salmon teriyaki was grilled and marinated in teriyaki and served with mash and drizzled with sweet soya and sesame dressing. A beautifully presented dish with great flavour and textures.

Succulent salmon at NV80 in Sea Point

Succulent salmon nestles on creamy mash

NV80’s steaks are fabulous and the king of them all (in my opinion) is the sirloin steak on the bone. I always have a bit of a debate in my head before ordering it – because it is HUGE – 600g. Way more than I can eat in one sitting! But the good news is that the restaurant has a doggy bag at the ready and I joyfully took home my leftovers. And as a result I could make a lovely Vietnamese salad (I know, we’re back in Vietnam!) for dinner. So three meals in one really. Recipe coming soon.

It’s a legendary steak this one, mouth-wateringly flavoursome. I probably shouldn’t bother looking at the menu and debating choices, I know it’s the way I’m going to go ultimately.

Giant sirloin at NV80 in Sea Point

My super-big sirloin on the bone

Also love a bit of creamed spinach and it goes especially well with steak.

Creamed spinach at NV80 in Sea Point

Luscious creamed spinach to accompany

As well as the lovely food, there’s such a great buzz about NV80 with its background of animated chatter and laughter. And the service is wonderfully welcoming, friendly and informed. When we left it seemed like half the restaurant thanked us for coming and hoped we’d had a good evening. We really had. Can’t beat that wonderful Sea Point hospitality.

Today’s price point

We paid R626 for our food tonight. That’s about £38 at today’s exchange rate.

NV80 is on the first floor of The Point at 76 Regent Road, Sea Point, Cape Town.

What is your favourite restaurant in Sea Point? Do get in touch and let me know.

 

 

Tasty Italian and a warm welcome at C’Alice

So today we’re dining out in Fulham. Fulham sits on the north bank of the River Thames, between Putney and Chelsea and is an elegant area of London teaming with stylish shops, bars and restaurants.

Historically half of Fulham was originally occupied by market gardeners, so a lot of London’s produce came from here – nowadays plenty of it is being eaten.

C’Alice is a new addition to the scene (it opened about two months ago), about halfway along the Munster Road, a short and pleasant meander from Parsons Green tube station.

It’s run by an Italian husband and wife team who felt there was a lack of what they describe as Italian aperitvi places in the area, so they wanted to create a relaxed meeting place for drinks or dinner that locals could enjoy. Well, there’s plenty of enjoying going on at C’Alice.

The menu abounds with Italian favourites and dishes with a difference, too. To start off we enjoyed two fishy starters. The scallops were panfried with grapefruit juice, an unusual combination. The sweetness of the scallops was a little overpowered by the tartness of the grapefruit but they did melt in the mouth. And don’t they look beautiful.

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A beautifully presented scallop starter

A dish of three-pepper marinated salmon in olive oil, lemon and celery was light and zesty, a lovely summer night starter.

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Succulent pink, peppery salmon

For mains there’s a good selection of pasta, risotto and salads as well as classic dishes like tagliata. And this pan fried, breaded sirloin steak simply served with chips and salad. Must try breading sirloin at home – it was tasty and tender and gives a nice twist to a steak.

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Lightly breaded, tender sirloin

And here’s a real Italian favourite – Saltimbocca. The pan fried veal steak is topped with Parma ham and served with Parmesan risotto. A truly indulgent and satisfying dish.

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A traditional veal dish with parmesan risotto

And then of course we were on the Italian dessert trail and we went for two beauties. The creme brûlée was warm, creamy and light.

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A classic creme brûlée

The tiramisu was a little overloaded with cocoa powder but underneath had all the beautiful textures and flavours of this Italian staple. I seem to be tasting tiramisu all around London…nothing wrong with that.

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Time to taste another tiramisu

C’Alice serves good Italian cuisine in substantial portions. The service is friendly welcoming and the space is light and decorated in a relaxed, contemporary style. There’s plenty of wine on display – they sell over 130 different kinds from Italy – and lots of other liquor options as we discovered.

After dinner we settled in on the small terrace and sipped on a glass of their beautiful Amara – a lemon-based liqueur from Sicilly.

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Delicious lemony liqueur from Sicilia

And we chatted to some of the locals who were clearly happy with their new meeting spot. C’Alice’s strapline on their website and shopfront is Wine – Food – Talk. They’ve definitely got all that covered.

Today’s price point

Our three-course dinner cost £69.50 for two people, not including wine.

There’s a wide range of Italian wine available, including by the glass. We had a bottle of Primitivo Itynera for £19.

Starters begin from £6 and mains from £12 for pasta dishes.

C’Alice is at 199 Munster Road, Fulham, SW6.

Square Meal