RIVA – Italian Fish Restaurant

RIVA – Italian Fish Restaurant
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R150 avg main meal
Italian, Seafood
Mastercard, Visa
No Corkage

Critic's review

Katharine Pope


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.


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.


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.


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


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

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