Situated on the vibrant Surfer’s Corner, Live Bait Seafood Grill & Sushi Bar is right at the heart of the buzz in Muizenberg. With a number of trendy spots popping up, the area itself has become a favourite for more than just surfers and locals. Now, it’s an eatery hub for foodies, with Live Bait – one of the famed Harbour House Group restaurants – being a jewel in the crown.
Live Bait has a wonderful ‘beach house’ aesthetic to it – high ceilings and simple whites, blues and greys create a soft, airy atmosphere, while the warm overhead lights clad in wooden lobster-pot-inspired shades prevent it from feeling too cold. With one entire wall being glass, every seat offers breathtaking views of the lazy waves on Muizenberg beach, the colourful Victorian huts and the endless, clear horizon.
I took mother dearest along for an evening of seaside dining, and being the indecisive pair we are, we found ourselves asking our patient waiter more than once to ‘please come back in 5 minutes’. Choices finally made, we were thrilled to be served our meals just a quarter of an hour later despite the busy restaurant. In fact the service was fantastic throughout the night, with our waiter showing the perfect balance of friendliness and efficiency.
Knowing that Live Bait is renowned for their fish dishes, I overcame my temptation for sushi and opted instead for the rather more daring seafood pasta: linguine with prawns, calamari, linefish and black mussels, served in a garlic and creamy white wine sauce.
The portion was enormous, and I would never have been able to finish everything myself. But for R125, it is definitely well worth its price. The linguine was al dente, the garlic subtle but seductive, and the seafood – so often overcooked – was delicately steamed to just the right consistency, ensuring each mouthful was unique and tasty and full of joy.
Mom opted for the linefish of the day – a thick fillet of kingklip – beautifully presented on a bed of roasted baby potatoes, roast vegetables and a creamy garlic Chardonnay sauce. This proved to be a dish that achieved the near impossible: it reduced my mom to silence, broken only by the occasional “mmm”. Intrigued by her reaction, I stole a few bites. Melt-in-the-mouth perfection. Between us, I think we may have had the best meal we’ll have this year.
Bellies full and hearts happy, we couldn’t miss out on squeezing in a dessert. I ordered the ice cream trio: vanilla, chocolate, and coffee drizzled in a fudge sauce. I’m a sucker for all things sweet, but I greatly appreciated the coffee’s more bitter compliment. Mom went for the lemon, orange and passion fruit sorbet served on a pineapple carpaccio with chilli and lime salsa. I’ll never understand how ‘dessert’ and ‘fruit’ go together, but mom declared it heavenly.
What a great evening of delicious food, an easy, buzzing atmosphere, and a picturesque setting. I’ll definitely be returning, perhaps for a lazy afternoon lunch, or to satisfy my never-ending need for sushi. Live Bait has me hooked.