Dining at The 41, Camps Bay
There is no shortage of expansive views and Instagramable vistas from the Camps Bay strip, yet we’re still awed by its beauty each time we hang out there. A recent visit to The 41, a Mediterranean-inspired restaurant on Victoria Road, was no different.
The sun was just beginning to drop, flooding the horizon with a backdrop of rich blues and oranges. The air was warm, we had a glass of Diemersdal Chardonnay in hand and we toasted living in one of the most beautiful cities in the world – one with incredible restaurants at every turn.
Why The 41?
Gilles Blanc and his partner, Nicholas Da Costa, are two Frenchmen who arrived in Cape Town in late 2015 and decided to stay (I mean, who wouldn’t?). Having previously owned restaurants, the pair decided to call Cape Town their home and set up a restaurant of their own here. When we enquired about the name of the restaurant, Gilles told us that his favourite Parisian restaurant is called No. 41 and when this venue came up, it was No. 41 Victoria Road and it just felt right. Fortuitous indeed.
The Chef and Menu at The 41
Having a great venue does not a restaurant make however, so the pair spent time finding the right person to run the kitchen and the right person was Chef Aristotle Ragavelas. With a resume as long as your arm, full of well-known names such as Byzance Restaurant in JHB and Ragafellows in Hout Bay, he brings his style of cooking and years of experience to the menu. The offering is classic Medi-inspired flavours and dishes with a notable dose of South African influence, which visitors to Cape Town will love.
Must Have the Prawns!
We saw Kataifi-wrapped Prawns on the starter menu and knew that these were a no-brainer for us – combining two of our favourite things. Gilles told us that the dish has been on the menu since day one and there would be a public outcry if they removed it. And we understand why. The prawns were juicy – they could not have been cooked more perfectly and were wrapped in delicate, angel-hair pastry that is kataifi. They sat on top of a bed of avocado purée and the combo was heavenly.
We wanted to try something from the sushi menu as well and loved the Prawn Crunch – a salmon California roll with the addition of a deep-fried prawn rose on top – decadent but yum!
For mains we went meaty – pork ribs and the rib-eye steak, both served with a portion of fries, which we must note are hand-cut and cooked to golden, crisp perfection, while retaining a fluffy inside. The pork ribs had great smoky sweet flavour and were well-cooked and tender. The steak, a generous 300g was also perfectly seared, tender and served with a creamy mushroom sauce on the side.
The 41’s signature dish is ostrich steak with chakalaka and phutu pap and we saw a few tables around us tucking into this with relish. The restaurant also does a mean looking burger, as well as pizzas and seafood.
After all that we were positively popping so sadly didn’t make it to the dessert menu, but the likes of vanilla panna cotta and chocolate brownie with mascarpone sounded heavenly.
Getting it right
While it is always a worry when a restaurant serves up everything from steak to burgers, pizzas and seafood, there are some that just get it right. The 41 is one of those. We believe it comes down to the combined experience of the kitchen team, along with being owner-managed.
There are many choices when it comes to dining and drinking in Camps Bay and almost all have the benefit of the great view. However, not all of them combine great service and food with that as well – we can attest that at The 41, you’ll enjoy all three of these things in abundance.
The 41 also serves breakfast on Saturday and Sunday from 09h00 – 11h30.
41 Victoria Road Camps Bay | 021 437 0558 | firstname.lastname@example.org | Weekdays 12h00-22h00 | Weekends 9h00-22h00
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