There's a new restaurant at the V&A Waterfront - but you won't find it in the shopping mall. The Alba is the first fine dining floating restaurant in Cape Town with professional chefs and a fully equipped kitchen on board.
The boat has been modelled on similar successful concepts in tourist cities across the world including the Bateaux London, Parisiens and Dubai, The Hornblower and the Melbourne River Cruises. It is 22 metres long and has a capacity of 72 seated guests or 100 for cocktail functions.
The Alba departs from the pier at the V&A Waterfront for lunch, late afternoon sunset cruises and dinner, offering guests magnificent views of Table Mountain and the city.
I boarded the Alba for lunch and was welcomed with a glass of chilled Durbanville Hills Sauvignon Blanc sparkling wine.
The three-course set menu is paired with wines from Durbanville Hills.
After a quick lesson on how to inflate a lifejacket and evacuation routes in the event of an emergency, we gently drifted away from the pier and were on our way. I was soon lulled into a feeling of pure relaxation by the gentle rocking of the boat and calming acoustic music.
I am not sure why it has taken so long for someone to offer a floating restaurant in the V&A Waterfront - it makes for the perfect dining experience and when locals and tourists discover Cape Town's latest dining experience it is definitely going to be a winner.
For starters, I ordered the citrus cured salmon served with baby greens served with sweet beetroot purée.
For mains, I chose Springbok shank accompanied by potato mash, caramelised onions and red cabbage. The portion was extremely generous - and the meat was done to perfection, tender with rich earthy flavours.
The dessert option was a dark chocolate truffle served with a fresh strawberry in a white chocolate cup with a touch of chilli. Slightly bitter, but with a good balance of sugar from the white chocolate, the chilli bursts through the chocolate giving your taste buds a momentary explosion of heat.
As the boat stays in the harbour guests do not experience any chop, ensuring a smooth sailing experience - so diners can enjoy the benefits of being on a boat without having to deal with drinks spilling or sea-sickness.
The 3-course lunch costs R595, departing d aily at 1.30pm and returning at 3 pm.
The Sunset cruise includes canapes, costs R595, departs at 4.30pm returning at 6 pm.
The 3-course d inner is from 7 pm to 9 pm and costs R695.
All drinks are included.
For more information visit www.thealba.co.za or contact +27 (0)65 975 8060