Under new ownership, the V&A Waterfront’s Two Oceans Aquarium has been completely transformed with the addition of the slick, sophisticated harbour-facing Vista Marina Restaurant. Formerly called Shoreline Café, the aquarium-adjacent restaurant offers tourists and locals a touch of elegance with marina views, an expansive all-day food offering, and interesting drinks.
To steer away from the dine-and-dash concept, Vista Marina offers a more sophisticated menu with more options. It remains open in the evenings after the aquarium closes, so that visitors can enjoy a more refined meal as the sun goes down.
The Mediterranean-inspired menu of upmarket cuisine begins with breakfasts of twice-baked cheese soufflé with mushroom sauce, French toast with crispy bacon and roasted pecans, and salmon royale with hollandaise sauce.
Lunches can come in the form of light eats like calamari, salads, pizza and pasta dishes, seafood and burgers; alternatively, guests are invited to order off the more refined dinner menu for something a little more special. This features starters of burrata cheese with tomato mousse or mini pearl-onion tarte tatins with roasted beets; mains of chermoula-spiced rump with bonemarrow sauce or local black mussels with spicy chorizo and Provençal sauce; and desserts of salted caramel semifreddo or an artisanal South African cheese board.
There is also a perfect-for-sundowners tapas menu with snacks of locally inspired ham-and-samp croquettes, pickled button mushrooms, crispy potato skins, and marinated calamari with olives and chilli.
Guests at Vista Marina will be spoilt for choice with the lengthy beverage list. They are invited to sit at the glitzy well-stocked bar or grab a table on the deck and choose from an extensive range of local wine varietals ranging from easy-drinking options to special-occasion wines, as well as imported Champagne. They could also turn to the selection of draught or craft beers, ciders, the interesting array of spirits and whiskies, or indulgent liqueurs.
The new look boasts a slick and sophisticated interior that is reminiscent of a yacht with white leather seats and linen tablecloths, accented by pops of gold and hues of blue. On warm days, the deck offers views of the yacht marina, where you can spot seals and seagulls lazing in the sun.
Ideal for families, Vista Marina offers a special menu for little ones as well as colouring-in activities. There are also dedicated child minders to walk the kids around the aquarium while parents enjoy breakfast or lunch.
Vista Marina is open seven days a week from 7.30am to 11pm.