Venues

Bel Punto

Bel Punto
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Cost
R170 avg main meal
Ambience
Classic elegance, Family friendly, Hip & happening
Food
Italian, Seafood
Payment
Amex, Mastercard, Visa
Corkage
No BYO

Critic's review

Nicola Ashe

Food
On a sunny day you’d be mad not to head out to Bel Punto, just a short drive up the north coast to Umdloti, to spend a lazy afternoon admiring the magnificent views of the Indian Ocean, whilst enjoying some of the finest food in town.

Snack on the complimentary garlic focaccia while perusing the extensive menu, which includes an array of fresh seafood, as well as grills, salads and pasta, which the Cantatore family have infused with authentic southern Italian flavours. Take your time and order some starters to share before deciding on mains. Delicious bites include plump feta-stuffed olives, served warm with homemade mayo, chicken livers – served with a crispy roll to dunk liberally into the spicy tomato sauce – and deliciously plump and succulent lemon and herb calamari.

You obviously can’t go wrong with a seafood platter. They burst with any combination of queen or tiger prawns, langoustines, mussels, calamari and linefish – and throw in an oyster or ten if you’re feeling like Rockerfeller – these fly out of the kitchen as if he were paying everyone’s bill.

A creamy gorgonzola and bacon salad is perfect for a hot afternoon, and the prawn tagliatelle in a light chilli cream sauce hits the right notes.

Finish off with Italian kisses, which are served as lollipops over ice, or leave room for baked cheesecake topped with fresh strawberries.

Drinks
A large wine list offers a good variety of cultivars, with a temperature-controlled cellar in the centre of the restaurant, plus there’s a cocktail offering, and the customary after-dinner Italian drink, Limoncello, is a must to round off your meal.

Service
Owners Vanessa and Emanuele are hands on and ensure that service is swift – a restaurant full to capacity runs like clockwork. Servers are friendly and efficient.

Ambience
World-class views can be admired from the comfort of a large deck – close your eyes and imagine you’re on a yacht! A very cosmopolitan crowd gathers over the weekend to see and be seen.

And…
Book in advance, as this is a very popular eatery, but enjoy a drink in the bar while waiting if you manage to get a walk-in booking.

(September 2016)

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  • Shirley Berko

    Food
    An Italian-style menu with a heavy seafood leaning, which is expected considering the oceanside location. The menu is large and extensive. The mussel starter in a white wine sauce, cozze all marinara, has a generous portion of fat and succulent mussels and the sauce settles like a broth at the bottom of the bowl. It’s renowned for the crab soup, the zuppa di granchio, but it is very rich and salty, so be prepared. When we added a splash of the more acidic wine sauce from the mussels into the soup it helped cut through the richness a bit. The crab meat in the tomato-based soup is quite substantial and for R89 it was a reasonably good starter, all things considered.

    The marinara pasta is delicious and has a plentiful amount of seafood in it, which includes clams, prawns, mussels and calamari, amongst others. For something a little different, the calamari ripieni is prawn, red pepper and spinach-stuffed calamari tubes smothered in napoletana and mozzarella and baked in a wood-fired oven. It’s a very robust dish in flavour, although the helping is a little small with only 6 pieces for R189.

    Best to avoid the cassata if that is your choice of dessert. It is nothing like the authentic Italian cassata and is a disappointing grainy confection. The ice cream tastes synthetic, leaving an unusual residue on the tongue, and the candied fruit pieces are just a layer of chopped green and red glacé cherries on the top later. Rather opt for the home-made tiramisu.

    Drinks
    The large wine list compliments the varied menu, and the restaurant is equipped with a bar so the wine is supported by an extensive cocktail selection as well.

    Service
    We were greeted by the friendly hostess at the door, who quickly seated us and organised for the waiter to serve us. But it is best to come in the evening or during the weekend to enjoy continued good service. Halfway through our meal our waiter left for his lunch break and did not return. We had to flag down someone else for assistance. Presumably this occurred because it was a mid-week lunch.

    Ambience
    The décor is classy ocean-inspired fine dining. White furniture and linen emulate the bright coastal feel of outdoors. The covered outdoor seating area is a must during the day as the ocean view is beautiful. Patrons are a mix of locals and tourists and the atmosphere is relaxed and chatty.

    And..
    If going through the whole menu is not your thing, there is a convenient ‘meal of the day’ section, selecting one dish for each day of the week and giving you something new to try every day.

  • Food
    The warm Durban climate lends itself to antipasti, salads and fresh fish, which is what Emanuel and Vanessa do best. The prawn risotto is not to be missed on a cooler evening. A large menu offers modern flavour combinations without overlooking traditional ones. The homemade gnocchi is worth trying, as is the fresh fish always on offer. It’s no one wonder the locals flock to this restaurant.

    Wine
    One of the best wine lists on the KwaZulu-Natal coast; a bit pricey, but with some great offerings. A good selection of French Champagnes.

    Service
    Very attentive, slick and professional.

    Ambience
    There is very little that would beat this view overlooking the Indian Ocean. It’s a chic restaurant with wine cellar and interesting bar, although most people just sit outside.

    And...
    Homemade tiramisu and limoncello are to die for. (PM, October 2012)

User reviews

  • I love everything about this restaurant. From the romantic music always playing softly in the background to the sound of the waves just across the road. The food is good quality meals and taste amazing from starter to dessert. We've done endless date nights at this place and we've never been disappointed. Bookings are a must but I've had two occasions where I called and booked when we were on our way. We don't stay near Bel Punto and the drive is always well worth it. The staff are always very professional and always in sight. I used to work for a big Durban based global FMCG and always booked staff dinners there and also had it as one of our top of the list restaurants for international guests. My hubby and I decided to try it a few years back and haven't regretted it since. I'd definitely recommend anyone wanting to try it out.
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  • […] Center, which is on the right as you drive into town on South Beach Road. There is Mundo Vida, Bel Punto and Bush […]
  • The seafood here is always fresh and cooked with subtle but beautiful flavours and the risotto is heavenly. If you want a easy-eating starter, the deep-fried olives are delicious. The incredible sea views are an added bonus.

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  • […] Center, which is on the right as you drive into town on South Beach Road. There is Mundo Vida, Bel Punto and Bush […]
  • Tried this restaurant on my way back home yesterday.... While the view was terrific... My choice from the menu was terrible. Granted I am a vegetarian....but not acceptable to say your Melanzane is freshly baked in your open oven. Even after sending it back since it was cold, it returned slightly warmer... Not to mention the taste was horrible with mainly thick batter on thinly sliced aubergine... Lacked seasoning, all one tastes is the batter! U should call it layered batter... Very disappointing indeed!
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  • […] Center, which is on the right as you drive into town on South Beach Road. There is Mundo Vida, Bel Punto and Bush […]
  • We have been frequenting Bel Punto for years and we keep going back. Great food and ambience, this family run restaurant is well worth the visit.
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  • […] Center, which is on the right as you drive into town on South Beach Road. There is Mundo Vida, Bel Punto and Bush […]
  • One of my favourites in Durban. Their risotto is one of the best I've ever had!
    Great pizzas and steaks, cooked to perfection. Too much choice and all delicious.
    The views are beautiful and service very good.

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  • […] Center, which is on the right as you drive into town on South Beach Road. There is Mundo Vida, Bel Punto and Bush […]
  • Beautiful view and delicious food!
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  • […] Center, which is on the right as you drive into town on South Beach Road. There is Mundo Vida, Bel Punto and Bush […]
  • Good food. Shocking service - had to pour our own wine for half an hour and when the bottle was finished we waited another 15 min before eventually being served after having to get up to ask a waiter to assist us. Not what you would expect for the prices they charge.
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  • […] Center, which is on the right as you drive into town on South Beach Road. There is Mundo Vida, Bel Punto and Bush […]
  • I was there for a 60th on Friday. Stunning venue. The food was amazing! I had the gamberi from the set menu. Officially my favorite prawn dish.
    Would recommend highly.
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  • […] Center, which is on the right as you drive into town on South Beach Road. There is Mundo Vida, Bel Punto and Bush […]
  • Went at night, so couldn't see the sea, but I can imagine the view to be gorgeous during the day. Lots of wines available by the glass, which is always a plus in my opinion. Had the prawn special - absolutely delicious, but I perhaps should have checked the price beforehands! Would definitely recommend.
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  • […] Center, which is on the right as you drive into town on South Beach Road. There is Mundo Vida, Bel Punto and Bush […]
  • The most divine seafood restaurant that my husband and I have been to! Delicious food, great service and a view of the ocean - what more can one ask for?

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  • […] Center, which is on the right as you drive into town on South Beach Road. There is Mundo Vida, Bel Punto and Bush […]
  • Comments, Recently ate lunch here with 2 North Coast girl-friends who assured me this was the only place to eat for miles about. How right they were. We shared three courses; fish soup in a light broth to start, with tender young calamari, delicate fresh mussel and prawn, delightful. We followed with a specially requested and perfectly executed prawn and asparagus risotto which was fragrant and scrumptious to taste, lastly we shared a salad of grilled calamari heads on a bed of rocket. The calamari was nicely crisp and the rocket fresh and tender. I cannot remember the last time I ate out where I did not feel that something was less than perfect. This restaurant delivers good ingredients that are cooked to perfection with no airs or graces or pretensions. It is also owner managed - which says it all. Beautiful food and I cannot wait to return.

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  • […] Center, which is on the right as you drive into town on South Beach Road. There is Mundo Vida, Bel Punto and Bush […]
  • What a pleasure to see a slick operation in action. The service was seamless, without being too much. The food was excellent, but we already knew that as its our restaurant of choice whenever we holiday in Umdloti. It was good to see the restaurant filled with beautiful people and the deck is brilliant in summer. We ended off a perfect evening at Bel Punto with cocktails in their trendy cocktail lounge - a perfect end to a superb dining experience. We will be back!
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  • […] Center, which is on the right as you drive into town on South Beach Road. There is Mundo Vida, Bel Punto and Bush […]
  • Shocking service. Starters took 1 hour to arrive. Mains ordered during starters took an incredible 2 hours to arrive. We were celebrating a double wedding anniversary - what a terrible place we chose. We will never go back there and we will never recommend Bel Punto to any friends or associates.
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  • […] Center, which is on the right as you drive into town on South Beach Road. There is Mundo Vida, Bel Punto and Bush […]
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  • […] Center, which is on the right as you drive into town on South Beach Road. There is Mundo Vida, Bel Punto and Bush […]
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  • […] Center, which is on the right as you drive into town on South Beach Road. There is Mundo Vida, Bel Punto and Bush […]
  • very pleasantly surprised by the experience! The whole experience from greeting at the door to the service and food was great! Restuarant was really busy but this did not come across in the service or food delivery. Highly recommended!
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  • […] Center, which is on the right as you drive into town on South Beach Road. There is Mundo Vida, Bel Punto and Bush […]
  • The best restaurant Ive ever dined in. Fourth time ive been there and have not been able to find a fault. The way the flavours of the food come together is incredible!
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  • […] Center, which is on the right as you drive into town on South Beach Road. There is Mundo Vida, Bel Punto and Bush […]
  • By far one of the best restaurants in the country, food outstanding and service impeccable
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  • […] Center, which is on the right as you drive into town on South Beach Road. There is Mundo Vida, Bel Punto and Bush […]
  • best meal in town
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  • […] Center, which is on the right as you drive into town on South Beach Road. There is Mundo Vida, Bel Punto and Bush […]

Facilities

  • Accepts credit cards
  • Booking required
  • Cocktails
  • Dinner
  • Food
  • Functions
  • Licensed
  • Lunch
  • Parking
  • Serves food
  • Smoking
  • Vegetarian
  • WiFi

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