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RIVA – Italian Fish Restaurant

RIVA – Italian Fish Restaurant
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Cost
R150 avg main meal
Ambience
Groups
Food
Italian, Seafood
Payment
Diners Club, Mastercard, Visa
Corkage
No Corkage

Critic's review

Kathrine Pope

Childhood friends Nicoló Rovarini and Federico Rocca grew up on the shores of Lake Maggiore in Italy. Their resulting love of seafood is now being translated for a South African audience in De Waterkant.

Food
If you’re expecting Italian classics, think again.

We kick off with a carpaccio (the fish changes daily), sliced and served with coconut flakes, olive oil and kiwi fruit. It’s an unusual pairing, and the flavours don’t quite meld. Saldanha Bay mussels – marinated in olive oil until wonderfully tender – served on a crispy fried piece of polenta, are a safer bet.

Pasta is made in-house, and the bronze drawn spaghetti, served with cherry tomatoes and clams is perfectly al dente. Squid ink gnocchi with prawns comes laced with vibrant threads of saffron, which lend a unique flavour to the dish.

If you’ve space for secondi, there’s the option of a vast platter, a smaller platter of fried hake, calamari and bait fish, or the Abalobi catch of the day.

For dessert, there’s a wonderfully chewy, almost creamy lemon sorbet, and a very good tiramisu.

Drinks
At the time of writing, four months after opening, the restaurant was still waiting for a liquor license. For now, take your own wine, or make do with a rock shandy.

Ambience
The restaurant takes its name from the legendary boat building company, Riva, who make the kind of wood-clad speedboat that James Bond would pilot. The white walls are cleverly decorated with broad blue stripes, a clutch of black-and-white photos and a little boat-themed brick-a-brack. Above, the light bulbs dangle from thick rope. All-in-all, the feeling is of a relaxed seafood trattoria, with lights just dim enough for it to feel romantic rather than cheap-and-cheerful.

Service
Friendly and swift.

Best for...
 A fun evening with fish-loving friends.

(2018)

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

  • Ambience
  • Service
  • Food
  • Katharine Pope

    Food

    We kick off with a carpaccio (the fish changes daily), sliced and served with coconut flakes, olive oil and kiwi fruit. It’s an unusual pairing, and the flavours don’t quite meld. Saldanha Bay mussels – marinated in olive oil until wonderfully tender, and served on a crispy fried piece of polenta – are a safer bet.

    Pasta is made in-house and the bronze-drawn spaghetti, served with cherry tomatoes and clams, is perfectly al dente. Squid ink gnocchi with prawns comes laced with vibrant threads of saffron, which lend a unique flavour to the dish. If you have space for secondi, there’s the option of a vast platter; a smaller platter of fried hake, calamari and bait fish; or the Abalobi catch of the day.

    For dessert, there’s a wonderfully chewy, almost creamy, lemon sorbet and a very good tiramisu.

    Drinks

    At the time of writing, four months after opening, the restaurant was still waiting for a liquor license. For now, take your own wine, or make do with a rock shandy.

    Ambience

    The restaurant takes its name from the legendary boat-building company, Riva, which makes the kind of wood-clad speedboat that James Bond would pilot. The white walls are cleverly decorated with broad blue stripes, a clutch of black-and-white photos and a little boat-themed bric-a-brac. Above, light bulbs dangle from thick rope. All in all, the feeling is of a relaxed seafood trattoria, with lights just dim enough for it to feel romantic rather than simply cheap and cheerful.

    Service

    Friendly and swift.

    (October 2018)

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

    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Food

User reviews

  • The best fish restaurant in town!!! Fresh, simple... cooked at the "Italian way" by the amazing chefs Federico and Nicolò. The service is fast, the atmosphere cozy and vibe. Highly highly recommended!
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Food

Facilities

  • Accepts credit cards
  • Dinner
  • Food
  • Lunch
  • Parking
  • Serves food
  • Takeaways
  • WiFi

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