I’ve been wanting to visit this sweet little spot for a while so I persuaded my mum to test it out with me yesterday. Hout Bay’s all abuzz about its beautiful new cafe and it’s easy to see why: cosmopolitan, charming and nostalgic, the decor achieves a rustic, understated elegance with vintage touches such as old-fashioned plates lining the wall and silver crockery forming another unusual mural.
Delicate, feminine touches entice the eye everywhere, from the gorgeous sugar bowl to the antique cutlery. Behind our table, there’s a row of scrumptious looking cakes arranged haphazardly on various stands, and joined by giant chocolate bunnies and other Easter eggs of all descriptions. There’s a particularly delicious looking piece of Banting cheesecake, along with decadent Lindt brownies adorned in pearls, hummingbird cake, banana loaf, apple slices and other treats.My mum orders a slice of lemon tart, but I’ve got more savoury ambitions.
Sadly we’re too early for me to sample the already-famous Piggy Poppers (think jalapeños stuffed with tender pulled pork and cream cheese, wrapped in bacon and flash fried), so I settle for fresh, thick-cut toast with salmon, cream cheese and avo. The bread tastes like it was baked that morning and the smoked salmon portion is generous – suffice to say I’m happy.There are myriad other delights on that menu which I aim to sample soon – the Bunny Chow catches my eye, along with the tuna steak served with lime curd.
Riverway is the latest offering from the Ragavelas family, the brains behind beloved Hout Bay institutions Ragafellows and Spiros (my family’s favourite restaurant). Riverway is specifically Julie’s baby, which is evident in the chic furnishings and artful menu. As my mum said, the whole place has a lovely feel – it’s warm and inviting and an idyllic location for daytime indulgences.
I have to say the High Tea sounds absolutely wonderful and something I would very much like to try. There’s a Banting High Tea version on offer as well for the Noakes disciples amongst us. I’m not a Noakes enthusiast, but the cheesecake and banting-friendly brownies certainly looked pretty damn delicious so I may be willing to temporarily convert.
If you’re after sumptuous decor, detail-oriented finishings and fresh food served with finesse then this should be on your lunch-time list. I’m available if you need a tea-time companion.