Restaurant Review

Muizenberg's Live Bait reinvents itself as a casual seafood eatery

After a major revamp, this beachfront restaurant in the Cape is now more about fish and chips, or sundowners and sushi, than formal seafood dining

30 August 2018 - 00:00 By Kit Heathcock
Fried calamari with chips is one of the delights on Live Bait's new casual menu.
Fried calamari with chips is one of the delights on Live Bait's new casual menu.
Image: Michelle Parkin

Live Bait in Muizenberg has redesigned themselves as an everyday eatery that will appeal to locals, surfers and families visiting Muizenberg beach, revamping their decor and creating a more informal menu.

It’s now more about fish and chips, or sundowners and sushi, than formal seafood dining and the whole look and feel is a bright and airy seaside joint, so that you feel comfortable climbing the stairs with sandy feet and board shorts.

You can’t get a better location than this spacious upstairs restaurant right on Surfers Corner. With the grandstand view of the beach and surf, you don’t miss out on any of the action. There’s even a counter running the length of the window opposite the bar, so that you can watch surfers catching the breaks while you tuck into your sushi or calamari and chips.

The sparkling new interior has a washed Greek island feel with deep blues, clean white, stripped wood, old frayed ropes and glass fishing floats, and even a wooden fishing boat hanging from the ceiling.

There’s a kids’ play area with a big chalkboard and a special kids’ menu.

Live Bait's new look conjures up thoughts of the Greek ilses.
Live Bait's new look conjures up thoughts of the Greek ilses.
Image: Michelle Parkin
Watch chefs at work at Live Bait's dedicated sushi counter.
Watch chefs at work at Live Bait's dedicated sushi counter.
Image: Michelle Parkin

Moving away from the more formal presentation and plating of its Harbour House sister restaurants, Live Bait goes for informal and unpretentious platters of seafood, heaped with deep-fried hake, prawns, bread-crumbed calamari strips, mussels in a curry sauce, and a line fish of the day. Sweet potato chips, regular fries and basmati rice are the accompaniment, or a green salad.

There are finger-food starters such as deep-fried fish goujons; rock shrimp tempura; and Thai fish cakes, dunked in tartar sauce. It’s uncomplicated family fare without any frills.

The central area has been redesigned as a dedicated sushi counter, where you can watch the sushi chefs at work. You can even get sushi deep-fried American style, which might horrify the purists, but could be an entry point for those who struggle with the concept of raw fish.

Desserts are straightforward comfort food: the chocolate brownie, warm and fudgy with a dollop of vanilla ice cream, is one to go back for, and the baked cheesecake is rich and creamy with a touch of lemon. Kids of all ages will enjoy the ice cream served sprinkled with Astros.


This article was originally published in the Sunday Times Neighbourhood: Property and Lifestyle guide. Visit Yourneighbourhood.co.za


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