Summer has arrived in the Southern Hemisphere, which means it's sushi time again! Sushi is such a warm weather food - light, chill and fresh.
Last Saturday afternoon, I popped in at Willoughby & Co for an unplanned pit stop.
Willoughby & Co @ the V&A Waterfront
A famished friend took me along to Willoughby & Co for a rest during our shop until you drop marathon at the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront. Immediately a sprightly waitress seated us, right near the buzzing open-plan sushi preparation area in the bustling restaurant.
Initially I thought that I wouldn't eat because I wasn't hungry, but that plan soon went out the window. Being surrounded by people engrossed in their exotic and colourful plates of sushi and delightfully fresh-looking seafood got me salivating and sitting right beside the serving station didn't help either.
How can anyone go to Willoughby and not eat?
Just being there made me instantly hungry! They are as their slogan decrees "Purveyors of fine seafood" indeed!
My friend ordered green tea and two portions of salmon roses, one of my personal favourites! The green tea was actually green (not yellow or some murky shade of poor quality) and the sushi...heavenly.
Those perfect little salmon roses looked so irresistible that I succumbed and ordered a salmon grenade. The salmon grenade is a sensational mini taste explosion that turned me into an instant fan!
The menu describes the salmon grenades as:
"salmon roses filled with chopped spicy salmon, dressed with chilli mayo and sweet soya sauce, topped with spring onions and crunchy tempura."
That sounds pretty spicy with the chilli, but it was simply zingy, definitely not too hot.
Watching the focussed and energetic sushi chefs was in itself an impressive experience. I decided that pointing, oohing and aahing were acceptable forms of behaviour at Willoughby & Co. I felt like an excited kid seeing all that delicious food being rolled out in front of my eyes and when asked, the waiters enthusiastically stopped to explain what the eye-catching numbers were.
My seat was the best one in the place, because I got to see everything that was coming out of that well-oiled machine of a Japanese kitchen in Cape Town. While we were there endless streams of unique looking creations just kept flowing seamlessly from behind the kitchen counters.
There's even a fresh fish counter tucked away in the back and apparently they stock a great selection of excellent South African wines that can also be taken home. There's a well-stocked deli to the one side and a more extensive kitchen in the back for all their other menu items - from pastas and salads to paella and curries, along with a variety of seafood dishes.
In conclusion it was the best Sushi I've had in Cape Town in a while, if not ever.
I will definitely be going back for more, soon! I might even revisit the air-conditioned Waterfront on the pretext of shopping, when in fact I will really be there as an excuse to eat at Willoughby & Co.