Winter sure is a bastard when it wants to be – So biting, so beautiful, and so cold.
One has to have a really good reason to venture beyond the solace of warm shelter…What better reason than good food?
Let’s move away from Cape Town’s gourmet seaside dining spots, and into the towering grey of the central business district. Today’s foodie escapade took us to: The Sea Street Bar & Lounge.
Located a hop, skip and jump away from one of the worlds most celebrated foodie strips, Bree Street, The Sea Street Bar & Lounge is embraced into the Radisson Blu Hotel & Residence.
In a hotel superficially looking like any other functioning office tower, getting into the bar & lounge actually unveils the reclusive class of the hospitality establishment, and introduces visitors to the Radisson’s warm professionalism – so welcome in the face of Cape Town’s winter chill.
“The iconic design of the building pays homage to the Art Deco design language and the same design direction has been applied in the public areas…inspiration was also drawn from the natural elements of the city. The design and décor of the rooms thus create a cocoon and instills a welcoming calm to the traveler.” – Desmond O’Connor, GM of Radisson Blu Hotel & Residence Cape Town
I tell everybody that I am never hosting anyone over at my place, until I get a chic lounge situation going on. I think the rad interior designers which Radisson Blu commissioned, heard of my interior design style woes, and delivered a lounge away from home, which I could easily be convinced to host business luncheons, milestone celebrations, and intimate dinners, at.
The reason why I vibe so well with sophisticated establishments in Western Cape, is primarily due to the ambiance. Their music choices alone, always mellow me right up; and their well-portioned, slightly overpriced comfort food, makes my tummy happy – such is the case with Sea Street Bar & Lounge.
With quite a few choices that got me salivating – because they had all of the meat, be still my carnivorous soul – I took the advice of my waitron Goodman, and ordered their Slow Braised Oxtail-filled Ravioli.
It was arguably one of the best dishes I’ve ever dug in on.
I could taste each individual ingredient really well (and I had flu, so what a feat that was), and they provided what could be classed as a ‘wholesome’ meal, in the truest sense of it.
The sauce on the ravioli was the clincher. It was a rich, flavorsome sauce which the ravioli was saturated in. I did have to recommend to the kitchen, that the abundance of the sauce be optional with diners being offered it in a small side jug…you know…for those bland foreign palettes we often stereotype.
The first dessert I had was the White Lindt Chocolate Sphere, with lemon curt and blackberry compote; and served with a hot star anise and vanilla pod sauce.
The dessert did not fit into the meals overall taste trajectory. It was hard to crack the top, the chocolate was not as rich as I’d needed, but the presentation of the dessert was lovely. I’m venturing away from my comfort zone ordering dishes unknown to me, so I figured I’d dig into the berries inlaid into the Lindt white chocolate sphere, but yeah, no. It was not for me.
I want to be overwhelmed with sweetness in chocolate.
The second dessert we settled on, was a simple Malva Pudding with Mango curt and a side of vanilla pod sauce, which I found quite the treat, and well matched with the main meal.
It was moist and not overly sweet.
I was at the tail-end of my flu when I entered the restaurant, and left uncured but whole, warm and sated…and that should be the penultimate goal of every dining establishment.
I’m really liking this spot guys. It get’s an 8/10.
What about the health nuts & vegetarians?
The winter food menu at The Sea Street Bar & Lounge is healthy in its ingredient choices, but not too accommodating for the vegetarians.
…atleast you have salad, and like 2 other non-meaty main dishes to choose from.
What of the drinks & booze?
The winter cocktail menu at the bar here, is uniquely qualified to satiate even the most discerning of booze-lovers.
Are we not all spending our moments out of winter hibernation, searching for something to fly-kick the flu symptoms away? (while getting us nicely buzzed enough to think being out of our beds in Cape Town’s wet, windy and wild winter, is a good idea).
I had a cuppa of Lemon tea with honey, to start; and then I delved into the land of alcohol with the Mulled House Wine garnished with a lemon twist, and made through: steaming together red wine and star anise, and blended with triple sec syrup and orange juice.
Try everything from the bar, from drinks made with the finest whisky to litchi juice, balsamic vinegar and more. A selection of non-alcoholic cocktails are there for the taking(what’s the point though, right?!), or head into their meticulous curated wine list loaded with the best of local and international wines.
*P.S: There are soft drinks, juice and water for the non-boozers.
The Sea Street Bar & Lounge get’s an all-round 8/10.
The Sea Street Bar & Lounge
22 Riebeek Street, Cape Town, South Africa, 8005
Grab & Run Breakfast – 04:30 – 06:30
Tel: (+27)21 467 4000