Friday, September 11, 2020

Seafood supper at Sea Breeze Fish and Shell

During lock down we were restricted to our homes and very few businesses could continue to work. The hospitality industry was hard hit and so was the wine industry. Jordan Wine Estate was the first to come up with a clever idea - buy a voucher now for a meal at a favourite restaurant for use in the future when we would be allowed to go out and they would contribute the same value in wine. We each bought one! Although many have been hard hit in the wallet, many of us wanted to help assist these industries and we were no exception. They have been our business focus for many years and there are many friends we want to support. The Restaurant Rescue, initiated by Alex Dale of Radford Dale, was another project in the same vein and we decided to buy a voucher for the restaurant we would have gone to for my birthday in August, SeaBreeze Fish & Shell in Bree Street, and celebrate later. This is one of the best fish/seafood restaurants in the Cape. Their focus is on sourcing local, sustainable seafood. We also got six bottles of wine from De Grendel as part of the voucher system. The voucher cost R1200 and we think this was extremely good value. Now that we are on Level 2, we may now eat out at restaurant and so we went there last Friday night. The first time we have ventured out to a restaurant at night in nearly 6 months

What felt so strange was getting dressed early evening to go out, and dressing smartly for the occasion. I put on makeup, eye shadow and lipstick (knowing that we would take our masks off while we were eating), and perfume. And had to find smart shoes that I could get my carpet slipper feet into again, they seem to have spread a bit. We left home at a quarter to six and arrived slightly early at Sea Breeze Fish and Shell restaurant, where we had made our reservation. They have seating outside and parking was easy

They obey all the necessary precautions and procedures and the tables are well spaced apart. This means fewer customers, but it was good to see that they were busy. We booked for 6 because of the curfew and asked if they would be able to "turn the table" at 8? No, because we were expecting a power cut at 8 so they had to close. Damn Eskom. They close on Sunday and Monday. Check out the website for opening hours, They also have an on-line shop and do takeaways and deliveries

They take all your details at the door and there is hand sanitiser there and on every table. The staff are friendly and attentive, but not overly, thank heavens and we were served very quickly.. And they were nicely full, given that the numbers that they can now accommodate are reduced

It is a very efficient looking open kitchen. Those oysters looked really big and fresh

The menu is small but perfectly formed, featuring fish and seafood and there are vegetarian options. There is a very good range of prices and covers a wide range of tastes and desires. The menus are one time only photocopies which are destroyed once you have made your order; the wine list is laminated

The restaurant is run by husband-and-wife team Alex and Ruth Grahame, who just happen to be near neighbours of ours. Chef Alex came to welcome us and we had a chat about how hard Lock Down had been for the restaurants and the staff. They are so pleased to be back at work. We saw a few people whom we recognised eating there and had a chat to Dane Raath, an old friend in our wine world who, with his mother Kathy Raath, runs their successful beverage merchandising business, Raath Promotions. Another company that was badly hit by lock down, but is now doing lots of business and trying to catch up on the losses. He was there with his wife and young son, also enjoying being out

John's starter was a very fresh ceviche of Hake with a squid ink mayonnaise. The food may sound simple on the menu; it is not and when it arrives you can see the attention to detail and you know that the cooking is perfection, everything is done with such precision and flavour, the right way, as it should be. It was quite a heady feeling, eating top class food again, cooked by a chef who is expert at his craft. We liked the wine list; it is a very good selection and you can order all the wines by the glass, a 500ml carafe or by the bottle. As John was driving, we ordered one carafe and could not resist one of our favourite wines, Kevin Grant's Ataraxia Sauvignon Blanc from the Hemel and Aarde, a wine made to go with sea food

Lynne could not decide on whether she wanted prawns for main or starter - she finds good prawns hard to resist - and opted for the starter portion. Large, tender and tasting as they should, of the sea; they were just what she wanted. Served on an Asian salad of crunchy slivered vegetables, with a Sesame mayonnaise and crisp deep fried parsley 'seaweed'. You can order these as a main

John had the Cape Malay Seafood curry and no, it was not full of leftovers (as it can be and often is in restaurants), but with as good a selection of excellent fish and seafood as possible and loads of flavour. It came with coriander rice and rotis

Lynne was in raptures over my main course of fresh, moist and flaky Grilled Saldanha Bay Sea Trout with minted peas, beans and spring onions, herb oil, a lovely refreshing grapefruit mayonnaise and sliced radish. The flavours and textures really worked together so well. The wine sang with this dish

And we did crack and order some of Chef’s crisp chips as a side to share. We had these at a function we attended here last year and they are excellent

We shared the only dessert which was a generous slice of an apple crumble baked cheesecake. It comes with a wicked salted caramel sauce; scrumptious. Everything was delicious. . Perhaps the dessert was a step too far for us as we are not used to eating 3 courses anymore (we happily used to be able to do 5 or more at past functions. We will have to get back into practice - if there ever are such events again. We left rather full but very happy. Do try this restaurant, we do heartily recommend it. Our voucher covered the price of the meal with some left for the staff

We collected our case of De Grendel wine which was part of the voucher deal we had bought, departed just before 8 and arrived home just in time for the second power cut of the day. We lit a fire, lots of candles and Lynne collapsed on the sofa, John in his armchair, with our head torches and books. Some may even have had a tiny nap, it’s the full tums and the warmth and dark that does it. A lovely evening and so good to get out of the house

All content © John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus

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