Dine at the edge of the world.
Every year thousands of tourists from all corners of the globe converge on Cape Point, the narrow finger of land that marks the most southwesterly tip on the African continent and the plane on which Africa’s currents collide.
They pour through the riot of fynbos that carpets much of the 7750 hectares of reserve that make up the surrounding Cape of Good Hope section of the Table Mountain National Park, and they charge with gusto to summit Cape Point’s series of jagged cliffs and sheer rock faces to look out across a horizon so epic it seems to have neither start nor finish.
And then, once exhausted from the edge-of-the-world allure and the untouched natural beauty, they take up a ritual commonplace even among the ghostly pirates of past (many of the shipwrecked lot are said to still haunt the shores below): they break bread.
Sit on the deck of the newly refurbished Two Oceans Restaurant at Cape Point and you could be lulled into thinking you were relaxing on an ocean liner with the sea spread out before you.
Since opening in December 1995, the Two Oceans Restaurant, Cape Point’s longstanding eatery, has reliably served the ravished – and often wind-whipped and rosy-cheeked – masses before and after their journey to the pinnacle of one of South Africa’s greatest natural wonders. But even after 17 years and 2.8 million customers (and counting), the establishment is still fresh-faced, full of life and – thanks to a July 2012 refurbishment – eager to take on the future.
These days, the Two Oceans’ darker, more austere, African-inspired look of old has been replaced with an airy, stylish interior that summons thoughts of salty beach days and elegant Mediterranean seaside living. The recent R3 million refurbishment has resulted in one of the most stylish restaurants in the Cape, reaffirming the importance of this location as a major tourist attraction.
It is all of these elements that have been the inspiration behind the new features. Innovative yet subtle the design ensures that all guests are able to enjoy the stunning views of this unique location – a view that is unrivalled and entices visitors from all over the world.
The décor now takes its cue from its surroundings, and even the menu – which has always had a large seafood focus – better reflects the wild coves and expansive seas that spread out in every direction.
General Manager, Troy Constandakis was explicit in his briefing to the project managers and the detail of the décor reflects their desire to complement the setting while making the restaurant accessible, suitable for the whole family yet with an added sophistication.
A bright white, ribbed ceiling inspired by the belly of a whale undulates its way across the restaurant roof drawing the eye inexorably towards the sea; a bespoke glass chandelier pieced together with hand-picked shells and coral dangles from above reflecting natural light, rippling softly in the breeze; sea-washed floors is the perfect foil for the antique wood furniture and lamps take on the soft shapes of sea creatures. Cool crème and aquamarine accents play across the place settings and furniture. With its new look it is undeniably seductive.
Still, though, the artfully designed new conversation pieces can do little to rival the legendary hero feature of the eatery: the breathtaking vista that unravels across the bay.
Thanks to an expansive deck that looks out onto the distant silhouette of shoreline, diners can almost become part of the picture-perfect postcard themselves: by taking their breakfast or lunch al fresco. Though, even if the weather’s poor, floor-to-ceiling windows afford those sitting indoors views nearly as impressive.
Thanks to the addition of an innovative sushi bar, the kitchen no longer has to shoulder so much pressure (the restaurant seats around 300 people), and can thus concentrate on mastering a smaller selection of dishes.
So, while the chefs are orchestrating the creation of popular Two Oceans’ favourites, such as the Ostrich steak with beetroot mash and the legendary seafood platter, expertly-trained Thai chef Sarawut Sukkowplang is reigning over both enormous sushi platters and inventive individual rolls – like the tempura prawn and shitake mushroom roll topped with tuna and salmon. The sushi is as fresh as it gets, as is the large selection of shellfish and seafood on the menu: crayfish, tiger prawns, linefish and mussels.
Though, even if you’re not in the mood for a meal seemingly plucked from the surrounding South African waters, there’s also plenty on the menu to suit other whims and palates. After all, on any given day Cape Point’s population demographic is diverse enough to give even the UN a run for its money.
So, whether you need to fill up prior to tackling Cape Point’s cliff-cut steps, or whether you’re looking to recharge after returning from the walk, you can look forward to a relaxed, but premium dining experience at the Two Oceans Restaurant.
Tip: Make a reservation in advance – especially between the months of November and April – as the restaurant fills up fast. Also, it’s best to work up an appetite (climb to Cape Point’s summit) first, and eat second.
- Editorial contribution by Stephanie Katz