Restaurant Review

Camps Bay's latest hotspot, Surfshack, is all about chic yet laidback vibes

New Cape Town eatery Surfshack combines great views of one of SA's iconic beaches with café-style fare and well-crafted cocktails, writes Robyn Alexander

13 November 2019 - 17:09 By Robyn Alexander
Surfshack offers up easygoing food and excellent drinks right on the Camps Bay beachfront.
Surfshack offers up easygoing food and excellent drinks right on the Camps Bay beachfront.
Image: Supplied/Claire Gunn

There are days on Camps Bay's "Golden Mile" when you just want the mellow, sun-dappled afternoon to go on forever. And so it was a few weeks back when lunching at Surfshack, the fresh new eatery by the Mother City's innovative Kove Collection. 

The view, of course, is charming – the sweep of Camps Bay beach, its line of palm trees – and it's perfectly matched at Surfshack by interiors that reflect the outlook perfectly.

Think layered, stylish natural finishes that range from granite flooring to raffia and rattan furniture, natural fibre hanging pendants and a terrazzo bar: this is a space where you'll be transported into a holiday state of mind (even if you're a Capetonian who has to head back over Kloofnek to the office ...  at some point).

The interiors at Surfshack perfectly reflect its relaxed mood of contemporary beach chic.
The interiors at Surfshack perfectly reflect its relaxed mood of contemporary beach chic.
Image: Supplied/Claire Gunn

"Our intention was to create an all-day bolthole where you’re welcome to chill before or after the beach, where there’s something for every kind of hunger, where daytime drinks ease into night-time cocktails and where everybody feels absolutely at ease," says Michellene Leo, marketing manager at the Kove Collection.

And that's undoubtedly what has been achieved at Surfshack, both in terms of the design of the space, and with regard to what's served up to eat and drink here.

The menu kicks off with an extensive Shareables section and a plethora of classic salads.

From the Shareables menu: crispy, curly deep fried 'corn on the cob'.
From the Shareables menu: crispy, curly deep fried 'corn on the cob'.
Image: Supplied/Claire Gunn

From the former, highlights we tasted included deep-fried "crispy, curly corn on the cob" pieces that featured a pretty much ideal ratio of sweetness to savouriness, as well as "rice crispy prawns" both crunchy and sweet, with a little lick of chilli heat setting off the latter perfectly.

Beyond the prawns, a number of other menu items – such as a "dirty Caesar" salad I noticed being devoured with relish at a nearby table – have been given a distinctive Surfshack twist, and the unique Buns menu couldn’t be more suited to a beach environment.

My own Poor Man’s Lobster Roll – featuring grilled prawns with avocado and aioli – was served on a soft brioche bun and tasted absolutely delicious. I'll be recommending it to (hungry) fellow sandwich lovers all summer long.

Surfshack's Poor Man's Lobster Roll – loaded with prawns and avo – will leave you feeling far from deprived.
Surfshack's Poor Man's Lobster Roll – loaded with prawns and avo – will leave you feeling far from deprived.
Image: Supplied/Claire Gunn
Perfect summer fare: freshly shucked oysters and an ice-cold margarita.
Perfect summer fare: freshly shucked oysters and an ice-cold margarita.
Image: Supplied/Claire Gunn

There’s also a grilled meat and seafood section to the menu for diners wanting something more substantial.

Drinks include a plethora of beautifully crafted cocktails – the Tidal Pool is the must-try standout here – as well as a decent selection of beers, reasonably priced (especially given the location) wines and plenty of ice-cold Champagne and MCC options too. 

Surfshack is located at 201 The Promenade, Victoria Road, Camps Bay, Cape Town, and is open for lunch and dinner, Monday to Sunday from noon until 11pm. For more information and bookings visit their website or call 021-437-1802.


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