Sunday dining on the North Coast in a relaxed environment with wonderful views and good food is seldom this appealing, writes Ingrid Shevlin.
TWO SHRIMPS RESTAURANT
Canelands Beach Club & Spa
2 Shrimp Lane, Salt Rock
Call 032 525 2300
Canelands Beach Club is a 4-star boutique hotel and spa with stunning views over the sea, barely a stone’s throw away. Contemporary in design, it overlooks a long, infinity-style swimming pool, an indigenous coastal garden, the ocean – and dolphins. A common sight.
The hotel is also home to the newly launched Two Shrimps Restaurant and while London food critic AA Gill firmly stated, “the better the view, the worse the food”, he’s not right when it comes to the Two Shrimps.
It’s not that their food is without fault, however. But there was more than enough to please the family who lunched there last Sunday, July 17 – and the view and setting were stunning enough to make any pain go away. And we saw dolphins. What a joy.
The menu is small but interesting and changes regularly. Starters/lite bites include chicken livers, and an interesting sounding Canelands Waldorf salad with charred grapes (a new one on me), walnuts, gorgonzola and apple slices, all drizzled with a craft beer vinaigrette. There’s also a Thai seafood salad, pulled pork brioche and a crumbed brie and leek marmalade sarmie. Prices range from R75 to R118.
Main options include line fish of the day, lamb shank, peri peri baby chicken, curry of the day, a ploughman’s platter and two pastas.
I would give my choice a nine out of 10. It was a seafood aglio olio pasta with mussels, prawns and line fish. In this case the line fish was Norwegian trout which, along with the other seafood, was tossed in angel hair pasta with garlic, chilli and herbs. It was absolutely delicious with the Norwegian trout particularly good. Don’t think I’ve tasted anything this good in a while where all the flavours were so perfectly balanced. Cost was R130 something.
Less successful was the 300g ribeye steak served with sweet potato gnocchi, charred baby tomatoes, snap peas, beer battered onion rings and mushroom jus, R168. Delicious flavours, but the steaks were strangely tough on one side and melt-in-the-mouth tender on the other. Maybe just the cut. Sides were excellent, though. But one real complaint was that only four gnocchi dumplings were served on each plate, which seems a little mean. Steak needs carbs, insists the daughter.
The son-in-law ordered the curry of the day, a beef, thanks to the tantalising smells coming from the open kitchen. It was served with all the appropriate sambals. He enjoyed it, but lamented it wasn’t quite the “real” Durban curry he had been promised.
A brother opted for the vegetarian pasta; fettuccine with Parmesan, cream, egg and mushrooms drizzled with white truffle oil and topped with deep fried artichokes. Delicious and a generous portion.
We ended with two gorgeous desserts; lemon meringue pie (made with real lemon curd) and baked cheesecake with berry compote – oh and a particularly good cappuccino with a great flavour. Unexpected that.
This is a fine-dining restaurant with heart that offers interesting and sophisticated food in an elegant environment with good service. Also a kiddies menu. Prices a little on the high side, though. For example they charged R40 for a hot chocolate, which was unremarkable. But then their portions are generous.
They are also prepared to go the extra mile for special occasions. The table next to us, for instance, was strewn with red rose petals. Nice touch. – All pictures by Roisin Mazoue.
Pristine and beautifully scented.