OYSTER, SALMON & SUSHI BAR
031 514 5000 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Who could resist an invitation to lunch at the Oyster Box and sample sushi from their new seafood bar?
Not only was weather balmy enough to to sit out on the terrace and enjoy the amazing view, but the sushi and seafood were great and the monkeys hugely entertaining.
It seems the monkeys which roam the neighbourhood are particularly enamored of the sugar sachets on the terrace tables.
Despite the many hilarious attempts by the staff to dissuade then, they kept swooping down from the roof, scampering over to the tables and grabbing as many sachets as they could before leaping back to safety on the roof. And then they came back for more.
It was a while before some bright spark came up with the idea of removing all the sugar from the tables. That worked but I missed the monkeys.
Back to the sushi and seafood.
Frank Chemaly, Mercury’s food writer had been invited by Joanne Hayes to sample the food from their new seafood bar and he, in turn, invited me to accompany him. I’ve known Joanne for yonks so it was a happy threesome who lunched on that perfect winter’s day.
TO THE FOOD
While it is difficult, as Joanne says, to totally reinvent the wheel when it comes to food, hotels and restaurants are having to constantly come up with new ideas to keep regulars happy and attract new customers.
Hence their new seafood bar, grandly titled Oyster, Salmon & Sushi Bar, which, as its name suggests, focuses on sushi, fresh oysters, salmon gravlax, shellfish like baby crab with lumpfish caviar, their version of a prawn cocktail and more.
The seafood bar has been set up in the lounge area opposite the the main dining room. It operates from Monday to Friday from noon to 8pm (so a good place for an after-work snack).
They have employed a Japanese chef to keep it as authentic as possible. In case you’re interested, her name is Wenxiu Liu.
First off we tasted Asian tacos which were crisp tortilla shells folded over and filled with Asian-style slaw, Japanese mayo, salmon gravlax and pica de gallo (a tomato and onion salsa). Instead of salmon you can opt for prawns or tuna tacos. Cost ranges from R160 to R180 for a plate.
It was pretty tasty but difficult to eat as the tortilla shells crumbled with each mouthful. I made a big mess. So did Frank. Joanne seemed to handle it with more panache. But then panache is her second name.
We then went on to sample from platters of sushi which included tuna California rolls, salmon rainbow rolls, salmon roses, salmon gravlax, and bamboo rolls filled with crispy crumbed prawns (my favourite). The sushi is made to order so is very fresh. Very delicious too.
We also tasted a crayfish and prawn cocktail flavoured with Frank’s nemesis – pink sauce – which he hates. But this one he liked. I found the prawn cocktail a little on the bland side.
Of course there is other kinds of sushi too. You can pick and choose from the menu. If you are feeling flush try the Oyster Bar platter for R290 (for two) which includes oysters, salmon, prawn cocktail and sushi.
Cost of sushi ranges from R95 for eight salmon rainbow rolls to R120 for four Nigiri with prawns.
The Oyster Box is a beautiful venue and I love going there. Whether you order a toasted cheese sandwich (which I once did and it was the most expensive ever) or something from the fine dining menu, the high standard of service and food, plus the and fabulous views, always makes it an experience to remember. Now of course you can have sushi too.
If you really want to indulge yourself try their Sunday buffet breakfast. Close on R300 per person it includes a cold buffet (salmon, oysters, cheese, fruit, baked goodies and more) to a hot buffet (everything you can think of ) to even waffles and crumpets made to order. And as much fresh juice, tea and coffee as you can drink.
There is also live music from Monday to Friday from 6.30 to 9.30pm.
The Oyster Box has the best ladies’ room in town. With that many cubicles no queuing is necessary. Everything is spotless with individual hand towels and a range of hand washes and hand creams. And perfumed air! What more can a woman ask for?