The emphasis here is on fresh, good quality seafood – from Knysna oysters to linefish, calamari, queen prawns, crayfish and the rest of the crustacean family. At its heart, Bel Punto is an Italian restaurant owned and operated by an Italian family that specialises in seafood, steaks, poultry, game and Italian specialties.
Starters entice, with dishes like deep-fried olives or squid legs served with various sauces. The mains embrace the sea, from the linefish to seafood platters wholly or partially dedicated to shellfish. The red meat and poultry dishes are equally enticing. Vegetables and side orders are served from a silver platter.
Cherries flambé, Italian kisses in caramel and chocolate, or homemade ice-cream round out some of the dessert choices. The portions are large enough to satisfy sweet cravings, but not overwhelming.
Bel Punto has an award-winning wine list offering both South African and European wines and champagnes. Its expanse means patrons are presented with a stylish tome so lengthy that perusal is worth ordering an interim drink like a sumptuous cocktail or craft beer. There are also extensive options for wine by-the-glass.
The service is exceptional, with professional waitrons consistently ensuring drinks are served, orders are on the table and dirty plates are swept away without notice.
Chic and modern with an open-plan approach and large bar. The glass windows ensure a magnificent view of the Indian Ocean regardless of where you are seated.
Making a reservation can secure a table in front of the window for the best views.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Eat Out reviewers dine anonymously and pay for their meals in full. Click here to read our editorial policy.