While many might equate the term ‘same same but different’ to an exotic holiday in Thailand – here in Cape Town it can also be used it to describe two food of the same group – same level of excellence but the view is so completely different.

Harbour House is no newby to Cape Town but you have to give them kudos for their ‘Keeping up with the Kardashians’ approach to food.

I take that back, a little. I am not a Kardashian fan, God help those souls who are. But reality is that you can wake up one morning with more fame and fortune than common sense, which makes changing with the times so important. Evolution is a huge part of staying relevant in the food industry – and Harbour House seems to have the recipe down pat. The menus focus on seafood, simple, yet delicious preparations. There’s a variety to choose from if you’re not into seafood – steak, chicken, vegetarian plates are optional too – but there’s a reason why they are a seafood establishment.

With no intentional exclusion of the Kalk Bay Harbour House, I was invited to enjoy the good food and spectacular setting of the Constantia Nek and V&A branches. Same same… but oh so different.

Harbour House V&A Waterfront

Gin ‘O Clock – this should be Cape Town’s middle name. If there’s a drink that has taken the city by an unconscionable storm, it is gin. I keep hearing rumors about what the next big trend is, whispers of rum, tequila or a vodka come back remain unsubstantiated for now. But gin is here and gin deserves a clock!

Harbour House at the V&A is riding this wave with exquisite libations paired with a unique offering of a cold seafood selection. Your Friday just got a whole lot better!

The freshest seafood prepared delicately, to keep the integrity of each morsel, is draped on three tiers. Preparations include delicious sauces, pomegranate oysters, calamari salad and a deconstructed crayfish. While it is meant for two people to share, it is more than enough for four people to enjoy.

They don’t skimp on the shrimp either. Crayfish, oysters, calamari, oysters, mussels and prawns pile up the plates. And if you feel like something else, the Ala carte menu never fails to impress.

It is a bespoke seafood experience with views to match the flavours. You are literally a few steps away from the water. Watch the day turn into night and the V&A transform from sunny to sexy in minutes.

Contact: 021 418 4744 / 021 418 4748
Email: [email protected]
Address: Quay Four, Ground Floor, V&A Waterfront


Harbour House Constantia Nek

The views change implicitly at this branch of Harbour House. You swap the sea views for the mountains, vineyards and forest. The doors open out to let the view in and you’re comforted by a cool mountain breeze smelling of pin needles.

The restaurant is a brilliantly white uncluttered space made up of clean white lines, and tons of daylight.

Their standard menu is pretty much the same as the other branches, their seasonal offering is where it gets exciting. A tian of prawns is my starter. It is beautifully plated, paired with avocado, tomato and sweetchilli sauce. The prawns are crispy on the outside and tender on the inside.

It was my aim to taste my way through the seafood so judge me now, the langoustines were my choice for a main course. They were beautiful and delicate, and while I had no complaints with the flavouring – I would have preferred a little more pazzazz with this course. Stir-fried rice was my side option but it didn’t enhance the flavours of the langoustines, even though it was good on its own. Chips or potatoes are not an option for langoustines, and salad didn’t fit either.

Dessert was simple but it blew me away. A trio of homemade sorbet, passionate fruit, lemon and nartjie is really all that you need to square off any three course meal. The lemon sorbet created bursts of flavours and has me salivating at the thought of it, still.

The winter menu offering encourages sustainable eating and I can attest to the freshness of the catch. The essence of any great seafood restaurant is determined by the quality of the catch – and I’m a fan, hook, line and sinker!

Contact: 021 795 0688
Email: [email protected]
Address: Hout Bay Rd, Constantia

Article written by

Nidha Narrandes

Nidha Narrandes is a food-obsessed travel addict with 21 years of journalism experience. Her motto - Travel. Eat. Repeat. She is happiest on a road to nowhere without a plan. A masterchef at home, she can't do without chilli - because chilli makes the world a tastier place.