A night on the Camps Bay strip: Our review of Bilboa Restaurant

images: Restaurant's own

The Camps Bay strip is, I must admit, often an ultra-luxe dining experience – gorgeous interiors, unbeatable ambience – but the quality of food and flavour don't size up. You certainly don't go to Camps Bay for top restaurants, you go for the views, cocktails and an overpriced sub-quality meal. However, with the strip's newest foodie attraction, you can get everything that Camps Bay is loved for – and an excellent dining and food experience too.

Bilboa Restaurant, a new Kove Collection offering, is impeccably beautiful. The interiors feature just the right amount of glam, complemented by soft neutrals, warm wooden floors and ceilings and crisp white table settings. The service is friendly and accommodating and our waitron was well-versed in the wine and menu offering. 

The food, a varied selection of fish, seafood, Mediterranean-style flavours and international nuances means you can mix-and-match courses. Seafood being Bilboa's biggest drawcard (apart from the setting), expect freshly prepared fish with earthy, herbal flavours, or surf and turf it with the selection of steaks, ribs and lamb shank. If you enjoy fish and seafood I'd definitely opt for their fish from the ice bar; alternatively, a tasty selection of "bowls and green things", as well as grain and pulse-based dishes – try the cauliflower tabbouleh or asparagus and pecorino risotto.

Seated along the terrace balustrade, we had unrivalled views of Camps Bay beach and bustling Victoria Road at sunset. The South-Easter was blowing at a vicious rate but we were still able to enjoy the views within the protected balcony. Prices aren't cheap – appetisers begin at R65, seafood mains from R165, meat mains from R160 and salads and pulses from R85 to R150 respectively – but the portion sizes are generous and, when paired with a wine from their accessible yet well considered wine list, it's a match made in Camps Bay heaven. Relax in the tasteful sophistication, while enjoying Cape Town's favourite beach setting.  

(We suggest: book your dinner reservation at Bilboa but arrive early and go upstairs to Chinchilla for a sundowner.)

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