Bilboa is the latest addition to the Kove Collection, which includes Firefish, and Blanko, and like it’s sister restaurants you can expect smart-casual dining in a top locations. We popped in for lunch.
When it comes to the setting, you’re seriously winning with Bilboa. It is slap bang in the middle of the action on Camps Bay’s sunset strip, with a first floor location that gives you spectacular sea views – and takes you out of the madness down on the road.
The decor suits the seaside setting, with white and blond wood finishes that lends a calm, clean and sophisticated air to the dining room. You can spend an entire day sipping Sauvignon Blanc and watching the sun dip into the ocean, or wander over to the beach after lunch to dip your toes in the water.
You have a nice range of options at Bilboa, balanced mostly between seafood, beef and lamb. We ordered a couple of dishes from their appetizers in order get a feel for the kitchen.
The oysters were decent though I’d opt for them Au Natural instead of going for the Pomegranate & Lemon variant, which I found a bit sweet. The Crispy Prawns are really good, and meant to be eaten shell-on, giving them a nice, crunchy texture. It takes getting use to but I liked it. The Spiced White Bait is equally delicious, a dish of tiny fish that you eat whole. We also tried the mussels but I’d give them a skip – size and flavour-wise they fell short.
If you’re not that big on seafood, I can report that the beef and lamb dishes are just as good, if not better. We had the Moroccan Beef Kofta with coriander, garlic, yoghurt and pine nuts, and they were packed with flavour. The Lamb was another win: juicy cubes of meat seasoned with cumin, coriander and chilli, and served with yoghurt and flat bread.The Grilled Haloumi was also really yummy, served with freekeh, chilli, mint, sumac, dukkah and lemon to give you a balance of sweet, spicy and savoury flavours.
From the mains, the Trout was beautiful, with preserved lemon, spiced couscous, coriander and sultanas. And for dessert, try Custard, with vanilla sponge, honey ice cream and marshmallow.
Bilboa has a really good winelist with options from farms like Iona, Delaire Graff, Springfield and Rupert & Rothchild, some of my personal favourites. We were curious about their Kove Collection wines, each made by a different farm. The Kove Collection Sauvignon Blanc by Waterford was a delicious and refreshing wine with a nice balance of tropical flavours and acidic balance. If you like German white wines like Riesling you can also try the Kove Collection blend by Thelema, a blend that delivers hints of peaches, pear and vanilla – yum!
Our waiter was really fantastic. He was friendly, charming and could give good guidance around the menu. The service was also fast and efficient.
The prices at Bilboa are definitely aimed at your tourist market, which is to be expected from their location. That being said, it’s not unreasonable. Your appetizers range from R65 to R125, while the mains start at R130.
If you’re looking for a sophisticated seaside spot, give Bilboa a try. They’re serving up good food and wine, and the view is pristine. There’s a reason why all the tourists flood to Camps Bay during this season.
Bilboa is located on the first floor at The Promenade, Victoria Road, Camps Bay.
They are open Monday – Sunday, 12:00 – 22:30.
For more information, visit Bilboa.co.za