La Parada Del Mar in Camps Bay has been creating quite a bit of buzz on social media since it opened, with a prime beach-front location and highly Instagram-able interior. It also helps that the restaurant chain already has a good reputation to build on, with sister restaurants in Bree Street and Constantia Nek that are both consistent crowd-pleasers.
That being said I was highly skeptical of the new spot since it opened, with a (prejudiced, yes) opinion that most restaurants on Victoria Road target tourists, serving overpriced and mostly underwhelming food. What can I say, I’ve been burned before. But I was willing to give it a fair shot (full disclosure, I was highly curious). So this past Saturday – a particularly gorgeous, true-blue-sky kind of day – I made my way over the mountain and down to the beach.
I’ll admit that I was instantly charmed by the decor. They have created a space that is calm and serene despite the buzzing road passing at the front. Soft blue patterned tiles lead up to a large patio area, with a pergola dropping strips of soft white light onto diners. It is the type of space where you want to linger.
I sat down on the porch and ordered a glass of Spier Sauvignon Blanc, with a portion of their mussels and a house salad. If you’re not too hungry the mussels are a decent portion for one person, so you can get away with this tapa as a light lunch. However the idea is that you order various small dishes between friends, which will allow you to try a multitude of flavours.
I thought the food was pretty good, with clean, simple flavours and good execution. The mussels were fresh and plump, served in a buttery white wine sauce with a slice of fresh bread on the side. The salad was a basic Greek combo which was good though not great, but they did add really delicious smoked olives that I loved.
As expected, lunch is not going to be cheap. The tapas range between R80 and R150 per portion, and your mains start at R210. But then you can expect these kinds of prices all along the Camps Bay strip. If I were headed to Camps Bay I would definitely choose them over most other neighbouring restaurants. The service was excellent, with knowledgeable, friendly waiters that brought a fun flair to the meal.
The space is also truly stunning; like something you would find on a tropical island, complete with pineapple-print cushions and worn-wood finishes. But really it’s the large windows that did the trick, allowing natural light, stellar views and a cool ocean breeze to drift through.
Have you visited La Parada Del Mar? What did you think? Pop your thoughts in the comments section below, I would love to hear from you.