Replacing the former Conservatory Restaurant, Camissa brasserie and wine bar opened its doors to the Table Bay Hotel guests and to the public on 12 December 2013.
Offewring an amazing view of the boats and the busy harbour inside the V&A Waterfront, it was named after the Khoi-San name for Cape Town and it translates to ”the place of sweet waters” (referring to the Camissa River which was the primary source of potable water for the Khoi people before the Dutch colonial settlers arrived).
We were welcomed through a beautiful antique door, surrounded by face bricks. Inside, while reminding of a typical brasserie, with the leather banquette seating running the full length of one wall, the décor has an art deco twist in the form of prints and shelving on the wall, and above those one can notice the face bricks that match the entrance. The cast iron tables on the opposite wall are small and have an air of privacy, even though they are not too far from one another., the chairs are made of comfortable, luxurious leather. The décor was complemented by the live band and singer that entertained us throughout the evening.
The restaurants provides an extensive wine list, with approximately half of them being available also by the glass, which offers a great opportunity to sample different types of wines from a variety of local wine farms. We decided to go for an old favourite and chose the Graham Beck Brut Rose.
As starters I chose the soup of the day, which was seafood soup served with a fresh bread roll, and my partner chose the chicken livers, also served with bread, and we were both very pleased with the presentation – they were served on thin stone platters. The soup was creamy, with a strong but not overpowering seafood flavour, while the chicken livers were perfectly spicy.
The restaurant offers a 5-star experience at very attractive prices, with main courses ranging from R 120,- to R 170,-. As main dishes, I decided to try the vegetarian option on the menu and my dining partner chose the Parma ham wrapped pork loins. The vegetarian dish was composed of a mushroom and rocket pie, smooth mashed potatoes and crisp vegetables and although it was not spectacular, it was fresh and it was presented beautifully. The Parma ham wrapped pork loins were on the other hand very crispy on the outside and tender on the inside and overall delicious. The meal was quite filling, so we decided that we would have to return to try also the desserts.
The service was excellent throughout the evening, we were greeted warmly upon arrival and led to our table, where we took a moment to admire the beautiful cutlery. The waitrons were very attentive to our needs, without being intrusive, and seemed very knowledgeable about the food. We were kept updated regarding the status of our order and we were asked if we were satisfied with our food at an opportune moment – when we were not chewing, detail that seems to not bother most waitrons in Cape Town. Our drinks were topped up discreetly during our meal, and the clearing of the table was done swiftly after we finished eating. We were the greeted by the staff upon departure, another detail that sets Camissa staff apart from a regular dining spot.
The restaurant’s operating hours are Monday to Saturday 11h00 to 15h30 and 18h00 to 22h30 and Sunday 18h00 to 22h30. Free parking is available within the hotel premises.
This article was featured in issue 37 of The Afropolitan Magazine