As a kid, nothing got me quite like a gimmick. Little dolls whose nappies went blue or pink when you bathed them to determine gender, lollypops with a whistle at the bottom and shoes with lights in them! Now that I am slightly more grown up its pens with torches at the top, laptops which scan your face instead of typing a password and RESTAURANTS WHICH REVOLVE! Luckily for us, the only revolving restaurant in the whole of the Western Cape is found right in the heart of Sea Point and it’s aptly named, The Top of the Ritz.
21-storees up, this magical little piece of moving real estate, takes you right back to the 1970s. A live band, subdued golden lighting, richly textured wall paper, grandiose décor and a menu which would have Liza Minelli smiling.
You enter through the hotel and go up to the 20th floor, where you find the bar which is stocked with every liquor you could imagine; the lounge, set with comfy leather couches and the smoking area. A flight of stairs takes you up to the restaurant which seats 120 people and you are immediately struck by the sensational views. Once taken to your table you will definitely spend the first ten minutes talking about the following: How fast are we going? Hey look, if I put my hand here I am being dragged! How do the waiters find their tables? How do people find their way back if they go to the toilet? Hey, which way are we facing? Etc etc.
The menu itself is expansive and caters for both meat eaters and vegetarians. To start we tried Escargot (R47.50) cooked gently in and then served with garlic and herb butter and crusty bread. The garlic didn’t overpower the snails and allowed their delicate flavours to shine. Alongside this we had Beef Tartar (R57.50) which is minced steak, seasoned with garlic, egg and spices and served with onion, capers, salad and toasted bread. The Balsamic vinegar on the salad leaves distracted slightly from the richness and flavour of the tartar, but as a whole the starter was delicious.
Other starters include Prawn Cocktail (R51.50), Ostrich Carpaccio (R59.50), Green Shell Mussels (R54.50) and a Chicken and Prawn Satay (R56.50). Alternatively you could try Oriental Butternut, French Onion or Spanish Garlic soup, all of which are under R50.
After about 30 minutes of arguing, my date and I decided that we would both have to have the same main course because neither of us was willing to give it up. Grilled Lamb Rack (R165) with a sage-tomato crust and coriander pesto served with your choice of starch and veg. The main course was just perfect. The lamb was succulent and tender, the garden vegetables were crisp and the pan fried baby potatoes were divine.
Other meals were… Actually, just go have a look at the menu for yourself, you won’t be disappointed. It really is quite something.
We toyed with the idea of having a Chocolate Fondue for two (R59) or even trying a Flambé (roughly R55) but were far to full. Although the menu is quite pricy, the portions are huge and for the entire experience, it is totally worth it.
The Top of the Ritz Revolving Restaurant is takes retro kitsch to the extreme so if you haven’t been before, go put it on your bucket list. No really, go do it now.
PS: I am going back soon to take photos, so watch this space.
PPS: The food décor is as retro as the restaurant itself and made for a quite a giggle.
PPPS: If you get up for whatever reason, make sure you know which way you turn when you go back or you may end up walking around in circles.
Directions to Top of the Ritz
Cnr Camberwell and Main Road