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Review: The Waterside – Elegant, relaxed dining with harbour-side views

Cape Town’s award-winning La Colombe restaurant group has added another sought-after dining experience to their foodie arsenal. This time, they’ve chosen the Pierhead Building to house The Waterside restaurant, aptly named for boasting picturesque harbour views from the edge of the V&A Waterfront.

Fast facts:

Restaurant name: The Waterside

Address: Pierhead Building, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town

Phone number: 021 879 6329

Opening times: Lunch daily: 12–2:30pm, Dinner daily: 6–7:30pm

Average price of a main meal: R795pp for the reduced menu

Corkage: No corkage

Parking situation: Ulundi parking area (Opposite the Cape Wheel)

Food type: Contemporary fine-dining

Best for: A special lunch with friends or valued clients. Ideal for date nights and other special occasions and celebrations.

The food

The Waterside currently offers a set reduced menu with over seven courses of contemporary dishes, featuring speciality ingredients and cooking techniques that we have come to love and expect from the La Colombe group.

A first course is an important part of the meal because it paints a picture of what’s to come. And Waterside does not disappoint in this regard. The bread course is an intricate affair that centres around a stack of suspenseful bowls that arrives at the table with a glossy soft milk bun on the top bowl. The second bowl reveals a strikingly plated chicken liver parfait, adorned with intricately piped dollops of flavoursome salsa verde and rhubarb jelly, followed by the third bowl of creamy roasted garlic, smoked pine nut and rosemary. The final bowl of the first course, an oat and jalapeno beef tartare tartlet that packs a flavoursome punch, confirms the excellence that is to follow.

The Waterside bread course

The crayfish salad comes highly recommended for a reason. Fresh morsels of crayfish are served alongside dainty sweet potato spheres and the flavours are delightfully balanced with a spicy Cape Malay-inspired apricot sauce. A roasted combination of crushed herbs and curly poppadum strings deliver a divine texture and crunch to the plate.

The palate cleanser, a miniature granadilla lolly inspired by Cape Town beach culture, is a playful nod to the informal nature of Waterside.

Drinks

A harbour view implies cocktails, wines, beers and much more, and The Waterside has these in impressive supply. Guests can choose from an array of lauded local wines, either by the bottle or by the glass. Wine is served in stunning Riedel glasses and, for those who prefer non-alcoholic drinks, the cocktail menu includes an array of virgin options.

Service

From the hostess at the front desk to the waitrons on the floor, guests can expect warm and attentive care. Waitrons are masked, attentive and knowledgeable about both the food and wine menus. Guests are sanitised and temperature checked at the front desk, and each table is supplied with a hand sanitiser.

The Waterside location

Ambience

The unobstructed harbour views and alfresco dining options from The Waterside lend an elegant yet relaxed ambience to this eatery. The contemporary, restrained décor reinforces this ambience and guests will find themselves enthralled by the yachts floating in and out of view. The Waterside is one of two new restaurants by the La Colombe group in this location. The more formal restaurant, Pier, is located upstairs, while the Waterside downstairs is touted as the less formal restaurant. 

Supplied images by Andrea van Der Spuy.

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

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