I am so glad that we came across this gem. Situated in Melkbosstrand, Die Damhuis is a street away from the sea! Die Damhuis is literally translated as the Dam House and also has the look and feel of a beach house. The house itself is a national monument - it was originally a fish shed which formed part of De Melkbosch farm, which was awarded to Christiaan Brand by Governor van de Graaff circa 1785 as a reward for his services rendered.
"With the passage of time, the 'Damhuis' was utilised as a residence and underwent a number of changes up to the 'Damhuis' restaurant to preserve the historical importance for future generations."
At the restaurant, you can sit in a number of different areas. There is an 'inside' area that is completely covered, which would be great in winter. It has great 'beachy' décor. Then there is an 'inside/outside' area (see below right), which is inside, but with no roof. It is nice and light and sunny, during this time of the year. There is a kiddies play area here, where you can eat while watching your children play. Then there is an 'outside' area, where you sit at the front of the restaurant, completely out in the open, overlooking the street, where you have the wonderful sea view.
We ordered a bottle of Diemersdal Sauvignon Blanc (see below left), which is one of my favourites.
As a starter, we ordered oysters (see below), because we reckoned they would be pretty good at a place like this. We had 6 Saldanah Oysters for R90 and they were really great! I added all of the usual accompaniments: lemon, black pepper, salt and a touch of Tabasco sauce. Yum!
For the main course, we fancied some prawns. On the day we visited the restaurant, they were unable to serve us Queen Tiger Prawns, so they offered us Argentinean Prawns instead. These prawns are bigger, so you are served less of them for the same price. (So instead of 6 Queen Tiger Prawns, we got 4 Argentinean Prawns instead). We weren't really too bothered by this, though, as we knew they would be tasty either way.
I ordered the 4 Argentinean Prawns and Chips for R120 (see below left). Gary ordered a combination of 4 Argentinean Prawns and 150 grams of Beer-Battered Hake for R162 (see below right). This dish is called the "Duo 4" on their menu. For both dishes, you have an option of sauces to choose from to accompany your dish: either; peri-peri sauce, lemon butter sauce or garlic sauce. We ordered the lemon butter and garlic sauce, so that we could taste both of them. Although the dishes were really very tasty, there was the odd 'dud prawn' that was a bit mushy. However, the chips and sauces were nice and the beer-battered hake was especially great.
We simply had to try their desserts! They are very clever and bring you a dessert menu that has a picture of each dessert on it. Because they look so good, you are really tempted to order one. Smart! Gary's dad ordered a Double Chocolate Trufflé for R59 (see below left). It has two layers of white and dark chocolate, baked in a chocolate sponge and surrounded by even more chocolate. It was a bit rich for him personally, but I can imagine if you are a serious chocolate lover, this must be heaven. Gary ordered his ultimate favourite, Lemon Meringue, for R60 (see below right). The top was more of a marshmellow, than meringue, but he really enjoyed it.
I had the Crème Brûlée (see below), which I feel deserves a full page photo. It had spun sugar on top which made it absolutely stunning and very unique. It was R62 and well worth every cent, in my opinion.
- OVERALL RATING (based on a seafood restaurant): 89%
- Food: 85% - Although the desserts were amazing, there were the few odd mushy prawns in our seafood dishes.
- Wine Selection/Price: 85% - The wine list is extensive and includes some really great wines. Corkage is R35. Although the wine prices are a bit steep (our Diemersdal Sauvignon Blanc was R130, but it costs R64 in a shop), these prices are pretty much in line with other restaurants, and therefore, expected.
- Service: 90% - Great service. When we asked to move outside because the weather was so lovely, we were quickly accommodated. Our waitress was friendly and efficient, checking in to see if we were okay at the appropriate times.
- Ambiance: 95% - I really don't think you can get much better than sitting a road across from the sea...except sitting right on the beach itself. The décor is beachy and the restaurant itself is nice and light and open.
- Would I go back? Yes, especially when taking visitors who are not from Cape Town.