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Cafe Orca Seafood Restaurant

Cafe Orca Seafood Restaurant
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Cost
R125 avg main meal
Ambience
Comfy & casual
Food
Mediterranean, Moroccan, Seafood
Payment
Amex, Mastercard, Visa
500
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Critic's review

Greg Landman

Food
The obvious thing to have here is fish in its many forms – and it’s always as fresh as can be. You can watch the staff collect buckets of ocean water to keep the oysters happy, and the line fish is never frozen. Try fat West Coast mussels, plain or with bacon bits, garlic and blue cheese (called Blue Ocean), or spicy prawns with Cajun butter for starters. Go on to line fish – dorado or bluenose with lemon butter – or go the whole hog, Moroccan style, with baby tomatoes and capers in a spicy harissa sauce. The Melkbos Platter, with fried hake, prawns, and calamari, is a generous, well-priced option, but don’t attempt it after having had a starter.

Drinks
A well balanced wine list has been carefully chosen to complement the food, with some gems available too. A good range of prices means you will always find something to suit taste and pocket.

Service
Slick and friendly, from a charming young crew. Owners Ricky and Jason are always on hand, making sure things run smoothly.

Ambience
The cute little cottage building, blue and white, situated right on the seemingly endless Melkbosstrand beach, is wildly popular with locals. The deck is much vied for when the weather is good, and especially at sunset.

And…
Café Orca doesn’t take lunch bookings on the weekend, so get there early. The dinky little bar in the back is just the place to get cosy while waiting for a table.

(September 2016)

Eat Out critics dine anonymously and pay for their meals in full. Read our editorial policy here.

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  • Thulisa Gogela

    Food
    After its recent make over, Café Orca is abuzz – you may find yourself on waiting list to be seated, which may take up to 20 minutes, but it helps that the waiting room is equipped with wine and coffee and a waiter on attendance. What makes this place special is that it is a family-run business, which lends a personal touch. The kitchen staff have been here for years, which adds to the sense of family and community. The food is stylishly plated, though not intimidatingly so. Starter highlights include the spicy shrimps with Cajun butter and Asian noodles, as well as the peri-peri chicken livers with spicy tomato salsa. Of the mains options, the Moroccan line fish with spicy harissa, cherry tomatoes and capers is very tempting. Hungry diners would be advised to try the Melkbos-platter, which contains fried prawns, calamari and hake, or perhaps the West Coast platter, a healthier option that also includes creamy garlic mussels. This is the type of restaurant you have to visit multiple times in order to sample as much as possible. The house dessert – sponge cake with a light custard – has been a staple for over a decade. It’s big enough to share; an amazing treat that remains very popular.

    Drinks
    An extensive wine list, sourced from several estates, with a good house wine option.

    Service
    Service is great; all the staff members show good attention to detail.

    Ambience
    The atmosphere is friendly and welcoming. The individual rooms are beautifully decorated, and there’s enough space to move around. Café Ocra is a great place to hang out on any day of the week, but especially on a Sunday afternoon.

    And…
    Outside seating is first prize. –

  • Greg Landman

    Food 
    At some seafood restaurants it doesn’t really matter what kind of fish you order, it all tastes the same – here all the fish tastes delightfully different. For starters, try one of the dishes featuring West Coast mussels, plump and drenched in various sauces. The Blue Ocean version is the richest, with garlic, blue cheese, cream and bacon bits.

    Starters include spicy prawns with a real Cajun bite, calamari tentacles or strips (deep fried or grilled), oysters and various superbly fresh salads. The staff go down to the ocean to get buckets of sea water to keep their oysters as fresh as can be. The line fish is brought in daily and is never frozen; it could be blue nose, Cape salmon, dorado, or whatever's running. Try the catch of the day with lemon butter, creamy garlic or Moroccan harissa paste, tomato and capers. It’s an excellent dish, especially with a fairly gamy fish that can stand up to those powerful North African flavours.

    Desserts are rich and change regularly. If they have the Israeli tart make sure you get it. Comprised of brandy drizzled chocolate cake, layered with custard pudding and topped with chopped chocolate, it's a rich treat served by a chef who has (thankfully) never heard of low-carb.

    Drinks 
    The wine list is adequate for most tastes and pockets and features some gems, like the Ataraxia Chardonnay, Meerlust Rubicon and Rietvallei Muscadel.

    Service 
    You’ll be well taken care of by a young and eager crew that's friendly and professional.

    Ambience 
    The seemingly endless Melkbosstrand beach is the setting for this wildly popular little restaurant. Located in a converted cottage with white and blue touches, it has a Greek feel with a touch of West Coast thrown in. In summer the place to be is on the deck, especially at sunset.

    And… 
    They don’t take bookings for lunch on Sundays, so get there early if you want to nab a table.

    (July 2014)

  • A superb gathering place for the neighbourhood. Highlights: some of the best line fish on the West Coast, the ambience and the warm service. Plan to stay a while. (EO mag 2014)

User reviews

  • Brilliant restaurant!! I have been a few times and I've never been disappointed. The staff are friendly and have good knowledge about all the meals served. The meals are generous, delicious and well presented. Definitely the best seafood place around!
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  • Fantastic Seafood! Definitely some of the best we have ever eaten! Even in you are not in Melkbosstrand this is well worth the drive! The food was absolutely fantastic thank you!
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  • Absolutely fantastic Restuarant where the service is always on too form and the food incredible. Simple dishes that are so delicious you will want to go back. A real gem of a restuarant that the other restaurants in Melkbos fail to compete with. A superb location too. Really recommend it for sunset dinners.
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  • All we can say is, "superb!" One of the most, if not the most enjoyable dining experiences I have every had. The service was not only exemplary but the staff and management were so friendly and attentive we really did feel like honoured guests.
    The restaurant is very popular and so is very busy, however not once did we feel rushed or harried and at very short notice they found us a lovely table and our food arrived piping hot and fresh in much less time than I would have thought possible.
    The food was just fantastic. Unpretentious, perfectly cooked and generous portions. My wife had the Orca seafood platter which was excellent value and throughout she was "MMMMing" and "Aaahing" and "OMGing". I am a vegetarian and so had the blue cheese salad which was excellent and perfect as a main course. We had Dom Pedros made with Kahlua as desert - they were really delicious and a perfect end to a perfect meal.

    I would like to thanks all the staff and congratulate the management for providing us with not only a very pleasant meal but a thoroughly enjoyable and memorable evening. Well done Café Orca. You'll be seeing us again!!
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  • Always awesome food, particularly the seafood platter. But don't come here if you don't want seafood, because you are not going to find anything else on the menu. Large satisfying portions, always cooked to perfection. Beautiful setting on the beachfront. Only gripe is not being able to book for lunch when coming from a long way away because the restuarant is often very busy, especially in the summer.

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  • Food was excellent as always, but I was a bit disappointed with the manager and waiter who treated us as guests. I took tourists there and we were told that the only table available was inside, but that we could move outside as soon as a table becomes available. Later on we were told that once you are sitting inside, they are not allowed to move you to another table outside. This put a bit of a cloud over the stunning dining experience we always have at Orca.

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  • One of the best dining experiences in Cape Town. Service excellent, fantastic view. I never eat dessert, but the food was so good, I had to try the dessert - and was bowled over. Well done Cafe Orca.

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  • We visit Blouberg a few times a year, and cant wait to get to Orca for Lunch or Dinner. The best service and food ever. Wonderful staff and service. 10 out of 10!
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  • I brought three guests to this restaurant on 1st February. One guest was from Taiwan. It was absolutely wonderful, the food fresh, the service friendly and informative and best of all, it didnt cost an arm and a leg. May your restaurant go from strength to strength!
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  • Cafe Orce is een van die beste uiteet plekke in die Kaap, hulle kos is altyd lekker en baie goeie value for money. Ricky en Jason is baie goeie hosts en vriendelik met almal. Het en sal Cafe Orca voorstel vir enige iemand wat n lekker aand met vriendelikke,goeie diens en fantastiese kos wil geniet.
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  • Cafe Orca is a stunning restaurant with great value for money and food that is always fresh and prepared to perfection. Owners Ricky and Jason are wonderful hosts and maintain high standards for their staff, food and establishment. We have never had a bad experience in any of the 15 years that we have been eating there. I recommend Cafe Orca to many people and will continue to do so. Booking is essential!!
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  • Having come across the review by Francois with regards to Cafe Orca (Melkbosstrand) on the 2nd March 2011, I feel I have to comment.
    Having been a regular patron at this restaurant for the last 15 years (almost once a week) I find it absolutely unbelievable that a broad statement about Ricky having no manners can be made. I have recommended this restaurant and its esteemed hosts Ricky and Jason to family, friends, colleagues and even for business occasions and have ALWAYS had exceptional feedback from everyone who has visited this venerable establishment – in particular about the atmosphere and congeniality. The fact that this restaurant has been as successful as it has been is due not only to the fantastic value for money and quality food that is purveyed but also the extremely comfortable atmosphere and the warm generous nature of both Ricky and Jason and the Cafe Orca “crew”.
    Sadly over the years that I have been patronising it, I have also been witness to behaviour by customers that has been unacceptable by anybody’s standards. Some customers seem to feel that the mere fact they are paying for a meal gives them the right to do what they please – it does not. The word “host” by definition means inter alia someone who manages a restaurant, Inn or Hotel, not simply allows people to behave however they like simply because they are the customer. Unfortunately we all know that you cannot please all the people all the time.
    For anyone looking for a great meal at good prices in a wonderful atmosphere and environment with fantastic hosts then you could certainly do a heck of a lot worse than visiting Cafe Orca – try it and make up your own mind and give the boys feedback they will appreciate it.
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  • We have read the comment of Mrs Le Roux who did not eat at our establishment.At 17hoo we phoned to confirm her booking and she requested to increase her table from 10 to 12 people.We were fully booked and could not accomodate her,at which time Vasti Le Roux cancelled her booking with us .We will be taking legal action against Vasti Le Roux
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  • Our booking was incorrect and we were seated in the very back of the restaurant when we specifically asked for a table outside. The service and food were so appalling that I will not be going back.
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  • Part owner Ricky should be in the kitchen and let Jason rather do the Pro, sorry Ricky you have very little manners!
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  • Fantastic value-for-money restaurant.
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  • Awesome seafood, and the daily specials add a special variety to the already fantastic menu.
    Great service, and with the Melkbos beach sand practically blowing in your face, you cant dream of a better setting to much down on your seafood platter.
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  • Outstanding cafe at the beach - just cross the road. Stunning view of looooong beach at Melkbos - and a piece of Table Mountain. Understated simplicity and just getting everything RIGHT.Prompt professional service. Great seafood - fresh linefish - bluenose and angel fish perfectly prepared - grilled with lemon butter on the side. Will definitely be back - with every visitor to Cape Town - and also just to chill over a lengthy lunch on a Saturday or Sunday.
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Facilities

  • Accepts credit cards
  • Booking required
  • Child friendly
  • Eat Out reviewed
  • Fireplace
  • Parking

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