Seated above the hustle and bustle of Victoria Street on a typical Camps Bay Sunday afternoon, Mantra Cafe, a store of the Melissa’s franchise, epitomized the saying “never judge a book by its cover”. This quaint cafe overlooking the beach front seemed like a great hideout for the tourists-filled summer days. The antics shop at the entrance held many treasures sure to keep you there for hours discovering new delights.
The variety of cocktails in terms of flavor and presentation was splendid – it made you imagine future afternoons at Mantra sipping Pimms and Gin while the sun can be seen lowering through the floor length windows.
3-Course Surprise Dinner Menu
This restaurant will surprise you with a Restaurant
Week 5 YEAR Anniversary Special, using only
Seasonal fresh ingredients to give you a real taste of
Price 200 p/p any 2 courses and a cocktail R 300 pp any 3 courses and a cocktail
Gin Fizz – Tanqueray gin, Angostura Bitters and Melissa’s fruit syrup cordials on crushed ice (Lemon / Naartjie / Apple & Raspberry)
Pimm’s – Melissa’s fruit syrup cordials, soda, apple, cucumber, pomegranate and fresh mint
Watermelon Cooler – Crushed watermelon, vodka, fresh lime juice and mint
(served with Side, Mixed Veg or Potato Chips)
Beer Battered Hake
Spicy Chicken Salad – NO SIDE
Rich Dark Chocolate Mousse
Handmade Trio of Sorbet
The presentation and constituents of the menu specially selected for restaurant week dinner was left a lot to be desired. The starter options were that of Caprese Salad and Tuna Ceviche only.
One really had to be a tomato lover to enjoy the salad as that was the main ingredient. The limited number of ingredients overall formed a very mediocre version of Caprese Salad. The ceviche was met with mixed reviews where it felt flat and not flavored to one palette; it was fresh and well textured to another.
The mains served could almost be called “pub grub”. Sometimes simplicity is key; to show off flavor but that was not the case here. The steak on the menu was not available for serving at the restaurant, the fish was undercooked in the fish-and-chip dish, and the spicy chicken salad just missed the mark because the heat of the chicken did not suit the cold Salad. A redeeming factor could be of the aubergine parmigiana. Served with toasted ciabatta, the melty mozzarella was salty and combined well with the tender aubergine.
The number of desserts for the picking mirrored that of the starter. The Rich Dark Chocolate Mousse sounded very appealing but in almost came deconstructed in reality. The mousse was stiff amid topped with whipped cream and roasted nuts. In truth, if the cream and chocolate were mixed together, it would have been heaven for chocoholics.
The Trio of Sorbet was vanilla, mango and strawberry. The freshness of the dessert complimented the picture of Sunday sundowners perfectly. The mango sorbet was flavorful and melted on the tongue- certainly the best of the sorbets.
For all the quaint decor and atmosphere, it was a bit concerning that the restaurant allowed a four-legged companion of one of the customers in. This was not pleasurable to some of the other customers and was certainly not expected. This retracted from the overall feel of the restaurant and did not leave the impression that Mantra will be one of my food mantras.
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43 Victoria Rd
Hours: ·Mon – Sun: 8am – 10pm
Phone: 021 437 0206
Written for JAR PHOTOGRAPHY by Lynelle Moodley