REVIEW: Try Quaglinõs for sophisticated food and sea views

quaglino_view.jpg The Atlantic Seaboard has a new spot where you can contemplate late-afternoon light while yachts bob and people walk their dogs. With wraparound glass, lounge music and modern furnishings in muted tones and occasional vintage mirrors, Quaglinõs feels cool but not ostentatious. Four-month opening delays to placate the luxury flat-owners upstairs, allowed for finishing touches.

Quaglinõs is about creative breakfasts, or casual lunches and dinners of Asian duck broths or classics with a twist. Comfy bar stools in blonde wood are positioned for views and picking on pintxos snacks, but most diners choose tables and booths. Jean-Yves Muller, Brendon Crew and Marc Langlois used to run Caveau Restaurant in Heritage Square and Newlands. They still operate Sotano. At Quaglinõs they have a fourth shareholder.

We booked Friday lunch, but loadshedding meant Quaglinõs never confirmed they were operational. It became a positive, bringing on an early dinner and a seaside vista. The waiter reported no mussels, clams or oxtail tortellini. So we enjoyed zingy sesame seed kingklip sashimi from the raw menu, served carpaccio-style. A fresh fusion touch in rocket leaves, over sesame oil, pickled ginger and wasabi mayo.

The beef sirloin main was alright, with Café de Paris ‘butter’ beaten into a runny sauce. Pork belly was better, its cubes fattily crisp, with perky lentils in gravy and smoked tomato salsa – super-tasty with pea shoots.

A good dark chocolate-crusted tartlet holding soft caramel under a bittersweet chocolate layer held its own. But beef shortrib was the dish of the night. Technically pintxos, but practically a small main, this was beefy fall-off-the-bone stuff, with quality jus to mop up Shimeji shrooms and baby onions. Sauces are good here.

So a good Quaglinõs experience overall, although communication could be better. After being asked to bring our own wine, a corkage fee on the bill was a surprise.

What to eat Something from the raw or snacky pintxos menu.

When to go Daytime, or early dinner with the sun setting.

Who to take Friends or a date. The crowd is predominantly in their forties.

What not to do Take kids at night, if you don’t have to. Although a children’s menu is on offer, tables are close. Let them tag along in the daytime.

What to drink Until the liquor licence is approved, take your own alcohol. The wine list is grouped by variety, with a great selection by the glass.

Whatever you do don’t be a cheapskate. One couple brought a R35 semi-sweet rosé wine to partner their three-course meal.

How much Starters and pintxos R60 to R80; mains R120 to R170; most desserts R44.

The verdict Some teething problems to be ironed out, but worth a visit.

QUAGLINõS, Corner Beach Road and Rothesay Place, Mouille Point. Open from 7am until 11pm daily. Tel 021-202-2720, Quaglinõs

This review appeared in The Times on 22 April 2015.