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The view of Table Mountain from the V&A Waterfront is pretty special, but if you can tear yourself away from it for a moment, leave behind the crowded restaurants and tourist prices, there’s an unexpected gem with a different view to discover. Dalliance is tucked among the designer stores upstairs at the back of the mall, a cafe frontage with displays of oysters luring you away from window-shopping. Dive in and wander through to the back where a wall of sliding glass windows looks out at Robben Island over the bay, shimmering at sunset with reflected colour and sailing boats.

Dalliance Restaurant

Menu at Dalliance Restaurant

The whole menu is designed for tasting and sharing tapas style – small plates to order in any combination. We started with the seafood section, immediately wowed by the tuna spiced with dukkah and a harissa dipping sauce, served as several melt-in-your-mouth chunks which disappeared quickly between the two of us. Before we succumbed to the temptation of ordering another plate of tuna, our calamari arrived, tender with pineapple sweetness and the crunch of red peppers. My cocktail, with a hefty kick of ginger and passion fruit, went surprisingly well with both dishes, which had enough character to hold their own.

Dalliance Restaurant

Food and Drink in Cape Town

Plates come to the table as they are cooked, so order several at once for a quick meal, or choose two at a time, repeating any favourites, over a leisurely evening catching up with friends. Another nice touch is that you can order tasting amounts of craft beers and wines from the well-chosen list to match each dish if you feel like an informal and affordable wine pairing dinner.

Dalliance Restaurant

Tapas and Finger Foods

The meat section hits for us were the beef short rib with mushroom duxelles and a bone marrow gratin – if the word “tapas” makes you think of finger food and light snacks, don’t be deceived, this is rich and satisfying. The butter chicken with naan bread was generous in amount and flavour. The vegetarian section of the menu is on the short side but we went for the summer salad for balance before winding down with desserts.

Dalliance Restaurant

021 418 1037


Words: Kit Heathcock
Images: Supplied


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