The quintessential Cape Town summer experience is nursing a delicious, yet exotic, cocktail while listening to scintillating tunes, in a swathe of bohemian-chic decor. If you include the exclusive address of Camps Bay, overlooking the azure Atlantic waters, you’ve ticked all the boxes and you’re summer ready at Chinchilla.

High above the buzz of the busiest strip in Cape Town, Chinchilla offers a light-filled, airy oasis to refuel with custom-made cocktails and sumptuous food. My first tryst with Chinchilla, when it first opened, was an exceptional experience and every visit after didn’t disappoint either.

The Cape has been serving up some serious summer weather and there’s no better location for an afternoon of complete chill. The cool Atlantic breeze wafts through the restaurant as we take our seats, the cooling effect is immediate and exactly what is needed after a stroll on Camps Bay.

You can’t help but feel like you’ve stepped out of Cape Town into a beach bungalow somewhere on an island where it’s cocktail hour all day and the sun never sets.

The bar is the focal point of the restaurant.

Light-wood furniture, a bamboo ceiling and neutral-tone chairs with bright scatter cushions add to the bungalow vibe. The focal point is the bar area with a carved wooden surface softly lit by hanging bulbs and just about any cocktail your heart desires. Everything on the drinks menu is desirable but their signature cocktails are among the best in the Cape. If you love sweet, tangy drinks then definitely try the Watermelon Mint G&T which has a hint of ginger to up the ante on extraordinary.

Watermelon and mint G&T.

The lunch menu serves options of light bites, bar bites, sandwiches, mains and desserts. If you’re going for the cocktails, which really is a good enough reason to visit, then small plates should suffice. The food is exceptional and I doubt you could go wrong with anything you order.

I am convinced there is a link between being close to the ocean and wanting fish or shellfish. We order oysters as a starter, but this is Camps Bay so you get to choose between au natural or spicy cocktail sauce. Other light bites include prawn cocktail, salt and pepper squid, beef carpaccio or crudités.

You can never go wrong with fresh oysters.

The oysters are perfect. Fresh and salty. Simply delicious. For mains I opt for a light dish too in the form of a Poached Prawn Roll. It can only be described as pure indulgence. The brioche roll was filled with creamy avocado, creme fraiche, fresh herbs and lightly poached prawns. It is more than enough to fill you up but so rich and delicious that you wish you had more.

The poached prawn roll.

The white wine mussels are also a great option. Scoop and drench pockets of bread with the lush sauce covered fresh mussels and if no one is watching, you have permission to finger swipe the leftovers to ensure you get every single last drop.

White wine mussels.

Take a few moments in-between courses and cocktails to appreciate the world-class beach within spitting distance. It’s these common pleasures we take for granted in Cape Town.

Dessert is not an elaborate affair, but the cocktails are so it can be forgiven. Choose from three options: creme caramel, chocolate brownies or frozen kisses.

Chinchilla really is more than a drinking hole with a spectacular view. DJs transition the long afternoons into leisurely evenings. If you’re lucky you get to watch the sky go up in flames as the sun drowns into the sea, it’s a sight the world has heard about.

The service, food, view, music and drinks are stellar which leaves you with only one option – to chill.

Contact: 021 286 5075
Address: Victoria Rd, Camps Bay, Cape Town

Pictures: Facebook/Chinchilla

Article written by

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.