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New tapas bar and restaurant opens at The Design Quarter – with OTT desserts

Two new linked restaurants opened at Design Quarter on 1 February: A casual dining restaurant called The Rock, and an elegant tapas bar called Carnelian at The Rock. The restaurants have taken over the space formerly occupied by the long-running Kitchen Bar, and will be run by the same owner, Chris Tatsakis.

The Carnelian’s stylish bar. Photo supplied.

Linking the two spaces is a seashell-inspired staircase. The menu at The Carnelian is still being fine-tuned, but at The Rock, you can expect a wide range of loosely Mediterranean-inspired dishes.

The excallibur chicken is speared on a sword before being grilled over the coals. Photo supplied.

Tuck into a selection of light, tapas-style dishes, as well as pasta, pizza, burgers and meatier mains. The excallibur chicken – deboned chicken thighs grilled over the coals with a rich mustard sauce – is a signature dish.

The chocolate sphere dessert is another signature. Photo supplied.

Also on offer: some decadent, OTT desserts. Try the chocolate sphere, which features homemade pistachio gelato and fresh berries inside a chocolate sphere, and comes served with a hot chocolate sauce; or the deconstructed crème brûlée with almond-infused custard and a cinnamon sauce. Also try the vavlaki (mini waffles), monster shakes, and fallen ice creams (homemade cones overflowing with gelato.)

The fallen ice cream. Photo supplied.

The Rock also serves breakfast, including homemade scones, French toast and eggs Benedict.

To drink: sip on a signature shake (think flavours like salted caramel and pretzel, PB&J, and a s’mores-inspired one with Oreo, chocolate and marshmallow.) The hard tack includes 17 whiskeys, eight gins and some unusual cocktails. Try the Oreo Oreo baby – a hot cocktail with Jameson, sugar syrup, coffee and Oreo cream. There’s also Prosecco on tap, and a good wine list with some by-the-glass options for featured wineries like False Bay’s Waterkloof Wines and Kleine Zalze.

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