Dining at Urchin Restaurant at The Hyatt Regency Cape Town

Words: Crush

Cape Town’s culinary landscape is always evolving and one of its newest additions is Urchin Restaurant located at The Hyatt Regency Cape Town, located on Buitengracht Street. If you’re looking for a spot to enjoy an evening out of delectable seafood, then make sure to plan your visit.

The Restaurant

When you think of seafood, you naturally think of dining by the sea, but this inner-city space has its own contemporary urban vibe. Urchin is set in an elevated space off the foyer The Hyatt Regency Cape Town; the interior is understated yet elegant and we relished its calm and cool energy (both literally and figuratively – dining on a hot summer’s evening in a busy city centre can be chaotic). Once the glass doors swish closed behind you and the city noise recedes, it is an oasis.

Interiors at Urchin Restaurant

The Chef

Chef Gerard van Staden seems to slot right into this cool calmness with his gracious and personable demeanour; he and the team want you to have the very best experience and they go out of their way collectively to see that you do.

Van Staden is a well-travelled creative who blends knowledge and experience from around the world to create a varied menu that fuses global influences with fresh local produce.

A focus on seafood is elemental and the careful preparation and presentation thereof makes for an exciting culinary experience. Don’t panic if you prefer something other than seafood though, the menu caters for everyone and even a vegan tasting menu can be arranged.

The Food at Urchin Restaurant

Diners can enjoy a selection from the sushi counter, peruse the à la carte menu or opt for a tasting menu, which is a really great way to taste several dishes on the menu in perfectly portioned sizes. We recommend a curated wine pairing along with your tasting menu if you go this route – the list features some great local gems that have been selected to complement and elevate the dishes.

We opted for a set menu and really enjoyed the progressiveness from light dishes and wines through to a gorgeously juicy rib-eye main, paired with Holden Manz Visionaire 2017.

A lobster amuse bouche started us off in style – an al dente capellini with a lightly lemongrass-infused butter sauce. We really loved the pairing of Delaire Graff Cabernet Franc Rosé 2022 with this dish, a young wine but bursting with juiciness.

Following that was a hot and sour soup with Asian vegetables. It’s easy to underestimate the complexity of a soup like this, but the perfect balance of sourness and spiciness takes talent to achieve. Also, ensuring that the shrimp is perfectly poached adds another layer of delicacy. We thoroughly enjoyed this one.Seafood at Urchin Restaurant

There is always a standout dish on a menu and for us it was the entrée of salmon with roast cauliflower, sweet potato dumplings and Asian glaze. For me personally, these are all my favourite ingredients on a plate and bringing them together in one dish made it an absolute knockout.

Van Staden told us that he won ‘Best Salmon Dish’ with a version of this entree at the Food Asia competition in Singapore, and it’s not hard to see why. This signature dish is on the menu as a main and I fully intend to go back and enjoy every last morsel!

Ribeye at Urchin Restaurant

To end our evening, we enjoyed a pretty-as-a-picture raspberry mousse with paper-thin meringue petals and coulis.

Raspberry Dessert at Urchin Restaurant

The tasting menu we enjoyed showcased some of the best options from the à la carte menu; this is a really great way to experience the food without the conundrum of choosing from a menu where everything sounds enticing (always a battle for me).

Book your Table

Urchin is positioned for hotel guests to enjoy an in-house dining experience if they don’t feel like leaving the hotel – after a day of sightseeing it offers the perfect respite.

Both the menu and the wine list cater for all palates and the environment allows for conversation to flow.

It’s the ideal venue to entertain clients for a luxe business dinner and couples looking for an upscale place to enjoy a delicious meal with seamless service, will find it equally appealing. Bespoke tastings can be tailor-made by chef Van Staden, so if you have something particular in mind, you can get in touch to discuss.

Reservations for Urchin can be made via Dineplan or by calling +27 21 214 1234.

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