The sushi scene in Cape Town has completely exploded over the past 10 years and I do think that Beluga has helped play its part in making sushi a much less foreign concept to most. They were one of the first to bring a half-price sushi and cocktail special to the city, and it’s now a very popular and cost-effective activity for a Sunday afternoon. But Beluga has a superb offering not only in the way of sushi, but in a summer menu too, which we recently discovered.
The Green Point setting of Beluga is worth mentioning – situated in a 100-year-old building that has retained its original solid floors and high ceilings with the modern influence of an Art Deco New York loft. The famous outdoor terrace is cobbled and intimate, offering outdoor dining with a touch of glamour.
A three-course summer menu special is what we visited Beluga for on a busy Friday evening. At R180 a head, one can begin from a variety of tantalizing starters.
We went with the ginger calamari and the butternut pot in this case. The calamari was delicately crumbed and then flash-fried with the accompanying flavour explosions of chilli and lemon. The butternut pot is a lovely vegetarian option served in a 100% edible pot.
For the second course we went with the slow-braised shoulder of lamb and the thai vegetable curry, the latter being a medium-on-the-heat-scale fragrant green curry with a good measure of lemongrass and ginger with exotic coconut rice. My winner was the hearty serving of tender lamb, almost potjie-like, on a delicious bed of buttered mash with roasted vegetables.
We were relieved when our waiter gave us breathing space after the second course. Having already finishing a bottle of Blonde Cap Classique and a sneaky cocktail to go with it, space was needed. Settling into the surrounding, it’s no surprise that Beluga sells over 40 000 mojitos a year. This gem, owned by the Caviar Group, is an institution of Cape Town in its own right.
The lemon posset and white chocolate beignets were our desserts of choice on the night. Desserts from Beluga? I can not really put into words how well these two topped our night off. Just as Beluga picked up on the increasing need for sushi in an emerging market some years ago, they are once again filling a need – this time for a cost-effective meal in a classy and intimate setting.
Photography Justin Williams