I visited the restaurant on a balmy Saturday night, and it quickly filled up as the sun went down.
Previously known as Blues, the restaurant has done a 360-degree turn under the leadership of the Kove Collection and I must admit that I was sceptical at first.
Blues was an institution of sorts back in the day, and Bilboa could find itself the recipient of unwarranted comparisons. But there’s no comparisons here.
From the moment you step into the airy fine dining area, there’s an air of sophistication and class - but don’t compare it with snobbery - far from it.
Our waiter, Sydney, was attentive and described each dish as if he meticulously crafted it himself. And kudos to him for his on-point menu suggestions.
For starters I opted for the baby squid with clams, while my sister went for the oysters with pomegranate and lemon.
I must admit that I’m not a fan of baby squid, but I’m always willing to go out of my comfort zone when it comes to food. I was pleasantly surprised - lightly salted accompanied by tender clams still in their shells - it was quite the foodie experience.
I’m a strong believer in ordering a speciality dish off the menu, so I went with the kingklip.
Served with pine nuts, pistachios, parsley and spinach purée, the dish delivered on taste. The only thing I could fault is that the other ingredients overpowered the pistachio flavour from coming through.
My sister is a big meat lover, and ordered the venison served with cherry yoghurt and savoury granola. If you’re after a meat dish that’s out of the ordinary, then you should give it a try.
At first glance, our mains looked a little on the smallish side. But don’t let looks deceive you - no sooner had we tucked in than we realised our bellies were full.
Suffice to say, we hardly had space for dessert, and instead ended up sharing the baked chocolate. It’s a rich double chocolate dessert that will have your taste buds screaming for more, but that’s only if you can get through the first two courses.
Chic, classy, but not over the top, whether it be for sundowners or a dining experience.
Either way, do yourself a favour and book a table for a special occasion - you won’t be disappointed.
* Visit www.bilboa.co.za for reservations.