Since we are living on the West Coast and surrounded by the ocean, there is ample fresh seafood around. Therefore, I asked colleagues, where would they suggest makes the best fish and chips. I was informed that Kalky’s located at Kalk Bay was the place to visit. Being equipped with that knowledge, my husband and I headed to Kalky’s. Kalk Bay is situated about thirty kilometres away from the Cape Town City Centre. The drive itself is filled with spectacular views of the ocean and seaside towns.
Kalky’s is situated at the harbour of Kalk Bay which is an ideal location for a restaurant known for their seafood. At the harbour, there are walkways to enable you to take in the magnificent views of the ocean. There are also local individuals selling fresh seafood including fish and prawns, should you wish to purchase these. Another common sight are seals who stray out of the ocean to lounge on the steps at the harbour. Or wander up onto the walkway laying down to bask in the sun.
Upon our arrival at Kalky’s, it was exceptionally busy as a result of it being the prime of lunch. Please note that they only accept payment in cash at the venue. However, there is an ATM located in the venue for those who don’t have cash on them when visiting.
The Menu and Service
The Kalky’s menu is hung at the side of the wall. This gives you the opportunity to make your selections during your wait in the long queues before reaching the cashier to place your order. The venue itself is quite authentic and old-school run, in that you place your order, receive a ticket number. Thereafter you find yourself a seat on the ample wooden tables and benches. Once your order is ready, one of the many wait staff, calls out your order number. You raise your hand acknowledging that it is, in fact, your order, and your meal is brought to you.
Apart from the wait staff bringing your food to your table, the entire “dining experience” is completely “self-service.” The paper plates and cutlery are located at the end of the till. You should pick these up prior to making your way to your table. There are also additional sauces and pickled vegetables which are available for purchase.
Being our first time at Kalky’s, we wanted to try most of the seafood items on the menu. Therefore, we ordered, to share, the Kalky’s Platter. The platter consisted of grilled prawns, hake, calamari, rice, salad and chips which cost R235.00. The platter was an extremely large portion containing an ample serving for two people.
I found that the prawns were grilled well, accompanied by a tartare sauce and were large in size. The calamari portion we received in the platter contained just the tubes which were fried. These fried calamari tubes, however, were far too oily. In general, I am not a fan of calamari tubes as I find them to be quite rubbery. And, in this case, they definitely were as they were over fried and lacked any crunch from the batter. Finally, we come to the fish and chips on the platter which was fried, and particularly unenjoyable. I felt that it tasted of oil and lacked any real flavour or taste. It was my least favourite item on the platter.
I was left rather disappointed as I was informed that this place sells the best fish and chips. To give Kalky’s the benefit of the doubt, perhaps it was because we ordered the hake. And perhaps they are famous for their snoek. However, I was told “the best fish” and it was not explicitly stated that the fish was the snoek. So, I am unsure whether the different species of fish is, in fact, the reason for this rather large disappointment. The chips and salad that accompanied the seafood were nothing to rave about either.
The place was very busy and the queues to order the food were long. So I’m unsure if this was another reason that the fish did not meet the “best fish and chips” standard. But given that during the occasion that I visited this place, I did not enjoy the food. And that I find myself looking for excuses on their behalf for my lack of enjoyment of my meal. I will not recommend it to you. Perhaps I will try them again. And maybe it will be different at which point I can advise you otherwise. But right now I simply cannot tell you to go out and do that. For me, this was definitely a miss and my search for the “best fish and chips” must sadly continue.
If you do want to try them out, I have left their contact details below. Please let me know how your experiences were at Kalky’s in the comments below. And hopefully, for you, who give them a try, it will be different.
If you like this post, why not check out my post on Mexican Street Food Desserts at Plan B Dessertery in Durban.
Kalky’s Contact Details:
Tel: 021 788 1726
Address: Kalk Bay, Peninsula, South Africa, Kalk Bay