The other day I had the following conversation:
Friend: Do ya wanna go to The Mussel Bar?
Me: Yes. Where is it?
Friend: Camps Bay.
Me: No, I can’t go.
Me: Um.. I need to go bath my pet.. umm.. ferret.
Friend: Stop being an idiot.
Me: My ferret is waiting.
Friend: Shut up.
Me: F-ferret. W-w-wa-waiting. P-p-p-phoone. Isss. Brreaaking. U-uup
Friend: We’re on a landline.
Friend: We’re going.
Me: I hate you.
I hate Camps Bay. Hate. I go there only when forced. Sure if you knew me in first year, you may remember me dominating Caprice or Ignite, but to be honest, I hated myself back then too. So let’s just say, when we were invited to The Mussel Bar, right in the heart of the Camps Bay strip, I was not all that excited.
But, and it doesn’t happen all that regularly, I was proven wrong.
The Mussel Bar, unlike the rest of The Bay, has a down to earth and relaxed atmosphere. People chill on their own, reading a book and sipping on a delicious Pink Mojito, couples cuddles up in the corner and wild tables drink a draft (or 12) of craft beer.
The general idea is a simple one: If you are allergic to shellfish, The Mussel Bar is not for you. There is only one thing on the menu and yes, well done for guessing it right, the only thing on the menu is perfectly cooked, wonderfully seasoned, mussels.
Gorgeous, fresh Saldanha Bay mussels in a beer sauce, served with chunky fries, rosemary salt, aioli and home-made bread. The beer sauce had a base of celery, onion, a hint of garlic and a dash of cream and although it is creamy, it isn’t heavy or overpowering at all. A thick, rich cream sauce that detracts from the flavour of the mussels is the last thing you would want. The fries were more like wedges, great crispy wedges of happiness and the rosemary salt and aioli were lovely for dipping.
The ambiance is great, the cocktails are delicious, there is a nice selection of wine and a great selection of local craft beers, the mussels are amazing and staff are friendly. My only complaint is that the nuts, biltong, vege chips and pretzels or whatever the snacks are, just aren’t enough. The Mussel Bar needs some sort of light starter, because it’s the kinda meal where you find yourself eating within 10minutes of ordering. Personally, I felt like a lazy, slow lunch and didn’t feel like diving straight into my main meal so an option of a real starter, would have been nice.
That said, the food they do have, is great and affordable. It’s R75 for 500g and R150 for 1kg of mussels and I would definitely suggest that you get 500g per person.
If you are allergic to mussels, then fine, don’t go because it just isn’t the place for you. But, if you are one of those people that aren’t sure if you like mussels, or you don’t think it’s a proper meal, or you have only ever eaten the crappy canned version that tastes like mushy cigarette butts, then seriously, you need to give this restaurant a try.
Although beware, when you’ve tried it once, you’re going to want more.
Note to Self: As much as I don’t like to venture to The Bay on a Sunday night, they do have live music, so I must give it a try.
69 Victoria Road
021 438 4612
Facebook: The Mussel Bar