The Fish Hoek Galley occupies an enviable position right on one of the most popular family beaches of Cape Town, and has been around for decades. It is popular both with locals and visitors as it offers an excellent choice of fish and seafood at good value for money. Although we have eaten there many times over the years it had been some time before we visited them recently, attracted by an advertised special offer which included grilled yellow tail, favourite of both my wife and myself.
The summers in Cape Town are made even more enjoyable by the fact that the sun only sets at around 8 pm. When we arrived at the restaurant at 7 pm there were many children playing happily with their parents in the gently sloping waters and on the clean white sand that characterises the sheltered beach of Fish Hoek; one of False Bay’s most popular beaches. Tables in the restaurant are thoughtfully placed so that the majority of diners are able to enjoy, through the large glass windows of the restaurant, a magnificent view of the Bay, the Jaeger walk along the shore, the mountain at Kalk Bay and the bathers enjoying the beach.
We had made an early reservation in order to be able to enjoy the view as much as the meal. When we arrived however we stood waiting for quite some time for anyone to attend to us and lead us to a table. Waitrons buzzed by, ignoring us as we stood waiting, which did not start our evening well. As my irritation level raised, the lady who appeared to be in charge arrived to greet us but then the reservation book could not be found which resulted in further delay while it was sought to see our table number. We were then seated at a very nice table right in front of the windows and promptly served with a drink, while we browsed through the menu. Unfortunately the first waitron that we asked about the special was not aware of it and thought that the special included grilled sole. Having called the supervisor, who clarified the matter, we placed our orders, relaxed and enjoyed the drink. The platters of grilled yellow tail fish, 3 small grilled prawns and some strips of breaded cuttlefish steaks arrived -not calamari as advertised. The fish was served both with fries and savoury rice, garnished with a little salad. It was certainly attractively presented; accompanied by some five different sauces, and a thoughtfully provided finger bowl.
The fillet of Yellow tail was superb; a generous portion lightly topped with a spice mixture and nicely grilled so that it was just done; being a game fish it is easy to dry out this fish by overcooking. The “calamari” was also perfectly done and very enjoyable. The prawns, however, were mealy and it was a battle to persuade the shells to release the meat. Aside from this little complaint, the whole dish was very satisfying, and, we thought, great value for money at R99.00. On previous occasions I have enjoyed their Fisherman’s platter : “a choice of prawns, calamari, mussels, seafood kebab and line fish caringly prepared and served with rice, French fries and a selection of sauces” which is also great value at R129, as well as the line fish of the day, which has never failed to please. Having had an ample meal, we declined the desserts to enjoy a walk on the beach.
The Fish Hoek Galley is unpretentious, serves really good fish and seafood at prices that don’t break the bank, even in peak season, but a little more supervision of the restaurant or training of the staff could improve the dining experience.
The Bayside also includes a “Bistro” with table both inside and out , offering a wide selection of affordable dishes, making this ideal for informal family beach meals. Bathers in baggies, or those in shorts and T shirts are welcome. Parents can enjoy a sundowner drink at an outside table while the kids play on the beach or in the playground and we usually recommend this option to guests with families staying at our affordable self-catering accommodation in Cape Town.