No heading into the sunset

Loaded hummus with roasted cauliflower, artichokes and capers at the Sunset Club in Sibaya.

Loaded hummus with roasted cauliflower, artichokes and capers at the Sunset Club in Sibaya.

Published Jul 9, 2022


The Sunset Club

Where: Gold Coast Estate, 100 Heleza Boulevard, Sibaya

Open: Tuesday to Sunday 8am to 9.30pm

Call: 082 777 8792

The Sunset Club in Sibaya is the latest venture of restaurateur Andre Schubert, who opened Cafe 1999 and later brought us Market on Durban’s Berea. Open for two weeks, food blogger Ingrid Shevlin and I decided we'd have a Sunday outing.

We were told to skirt the Sibaya casino complex and we’d see it further down the hill. Well there’s nothing further down the hill. At the circle, we decided it must be part of Sibaya’s Coastal development and so we meandered around until the road came to an abrupt halt.

And there was Gold Coast Estate. The road will one day soon connect up with eMdloti which is literally just over the hill.

Phyllo prawns with a soy and ginger dipping sauce.

The downstairs restaurant is open to the public. Boom gates and fencing make sure the public can only go to the restaurant, with everything else effectively roped off. Ingrid had to restrain herself from breaking into the 1960s protest song Little Boxes as we drove down. Except these are not pink or green or blue or yellow ones, but universally slate and indigenous. And, I suspect, the well-heeled decor resembled nothing to Malvina Reynold’s song “made of ticky tacky”. Neither of us are natural estate lifestyle type people.

The restaurant is a large room facing west, hence the name, with a wide deck overlooking the estate. There’s colourful blue mural wallpaper complete with local water birds all the way along the one wall. Upstairs is a members-only club, where estate residents can eat and enjoy sundowners and host meetings in a boardroom or a lounge.

The salmon poke bowl done cerviche style with lime.

We were seated a a high table with these super modern swanky bar stools but we soon found them absurdly uncomfortable, not least because it took effort to climb onto them and then we couldn’t move them while we were sitting on them. So we found a regular table on the terrace, which we moved periodically as the setting sun came in.

Our waitress was pleasant and willing, but fairly new in the job; she has the personality to pick this up quickly.

The menu has been devised by Marcelle Roberts, with many of her signature touches clearly visible. Both hark back to the opening of Cafe 1999.

Breakfasts are served all day and may include as light an option as home-made granola or avo on toast to a range of eggy benedictions. The Market speciality of Chourico and beans on toast is evident. Many of the breakfasts are vegetarian friendly.

Then there’s the deep fried ricotta-stuffed olives that were on the Cafe 1999 menu from day 1, and salt and pepper squid tentacles with coriander and lime mayo, and herbed fish cakes with sriracha slaw. The mussel bowl in a coconut and lemongrass broth inspired as did the crispy chicken wings with spicy Korean glaze. Instead, we had wonton prawns (R115) which were nice and crisp and served with a good sweet soy and ginger dipping sauce. We enjoyed, but it was the loaded hummus (R65) that got all the compliments. This was a rough and rustic hummus served with roasted cauliflower, char-grilled artichokes and capers, and served with a good light garlic focaccia. It was delicious. I’ll have that for lunch more often.

There are a selection of salads, think roast beetroot and blue cheese, or char-grilled chicken and lentil. There’s burgers and some pizzas and pastas, including one with creamed leeks, artichokes, mushrooms and rocket.

And then there’s the poke bowls. I must admit poke bowls aren’t really my thing. Too often it’s like the scrambled egg of sushi – a mishmash of sushi ingredients tossed over a mound of ice-cold sticky rice. The best we’d had is at Surfriders on South Beach, so we had to share one. The salmon option (R180) came pretty close, with the salmon marinated ceviche style in lemon and a spicy soy sauce to lift everything. And the rice, thank heavens, wasn’t straight out the fridge – and it didn’t feel like I was eating glue.

Lobster Mac and Cheese.

We also shared the lobster Mac and Cheese (R220) which was enjoyable and served with roasted tomatoes.

Could we find room for dessert? They’re limited to baked white chocolate cheesecake, triple chocolate brownie and carrot and sweet potato cake. We shared a lemon posset (R50) which was beautifully smooth and rich. It didn’t need the fruit salad on top.

Food: 4

Service: 3

Ambience: 3 ½

The Bill: R800

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