We had a tiny Goddess of Light serving us. Salochini (for that’s what the name means) could have a Best Waitress Oscar. The pitch-perfect attention – thoughtful and attentive without being intrusive – was one of the highlights of our meal at Sevruga.
We had chosen one of the warmer nights of the winter so far, and spurned the classy wood-and-glass interior choosing rather to sit outside overlooking the yachts tied up at the quay. The gas burners remained on standby and the blankets for our knees remained on the backs of the chairs. The lights of the Waterfront shone around us and Table Mountain loomed as a dark silhouette against the night sky. Good start.
We began with a couple of oysters from Walvis Bay in Namibia. They were good, but the Tabasco jelly was the highlight. The small plate of sushi was bright and fresh without fussiness, in contrast to the ‘signature’ starter of crayfish topped with avocado mousse and a sesame cracker which was inevitably rich and sumptuous, though let down by a garnish of taste-free tomatoes. Best of all was the prawn and mushroom har gau with spot-on ponzu sauce and miso paste.
A mains of Asian-inspired Kingklip from the daily specials menu was fabulous – cooked to perfection and brimming with subtle texture, though the taste was a tad heavy on the sweet chilli sauce.
We’d been told that no one ever finished the dim sum tower, so we took that as a challenge, especially having just discussed how much better food tastes from chopsticks than from a fork. The spinach and cream cheese dumplings and the springbok steamed buns weren’t much to write home about, but there was some aggressive chopstick wrestling over the last beef pot stickers and the chicken and prawn siu mai, which were individually wrapped pieces of heaven.
Bursting at the seams we nonetheless couldn’t resist Salochini’s suggestion of a crème brulee to share. It came in a little ramekin, on one end of a rectangular plate with a long smear of burnt cream, big enough to play noughts and crosses in should you find yourself too stuffed to speak.
For the most part, Sevruga ticks every box. With a convenient and elegant location offering both indoor and outdoor seating, it offers fabulous food ranging from fresh seafood through Asian and sushi to lamb shank and beef pot pie, and first class service.
What a shame therefore that the classiness of the decor and the friendly confident efficiency of the service are let down by the self-consciousness of the newspaper-styled menu, covered in pictures of busty pouting young blondes. Similar girls appear to be in charge of receiving guests but are utterly overshadowed by the rest of the staff. Presumably it is a ‘signature’ of the Caviar Group owners but it’s a pity that a restaurant of this class couldn’t come up with something more original. It’s the only thing that would put me off going again.
Sevruga Restaurant is on Quay 5 at the V&A Waterfront. Its winter menu costs R 120 for two course or R 160 for three courses and runs until 31 August 2011.