Food review: Eye Bar at Vïb, Green Point Cape Town, January 2021
|Restaurant: Eye Bar at Vïb, Cape Town Food: Asian, Mediterranean, Pacific Rim fusion and South African (local fish –snoek pate etc) Cocktails: Non-alcocholic during Covid, small plates, tapas, mezze, sushi (new- January 22, 2021) Where: Vïb -181 Main Road, Green Point, Cape Town, 8005 Reservations: To book for Eye Bar, call 021 180 2570or see https://vibcapetown.com/ More info: Eye Bar is the Vïb’s restaurant/bar and has an outdoor terrace. Food may also be eaten poolside, on the rooftop pool deck. For walk-ins, R300 cover applies. No charge for hotel guests Covid compliant: Strictly Covid regulations enforced. Masks must be worn- except when eating or drinking.|
Here we are January 21, 2021, Cape Town summer and this correspondent has been in lockdown mode, in the wake of the surge of the virulent Covid variant which is on the rampage. Besides from walks and an occasional cappuccino at outdoor spots (reviews of my faves will follow), I have stayed home. Isolation leads to cabin fever. I was invited to check out the food offerings at the recently opened Vïb hotel in Green Point and thought it was time to break out of the cabin- with caution (triple layered mask, scarf, the works; we do our best). On a blistering hot day (January 20, 2021), my plus-one and I masked up and off we went to explore The Eye Bar – the food and bar at the Vïb. The 8-storey Vīb (pronounced “vibe”) is a Best Western hotel and has been designed by Cape Town architect Robert Silke who is renowned for his quirky and stylish sculptural forms which often draw from Art Deco influences. There is ample outdoor seating at the Vïb’s Eye Bar on its terrace. It looks like a choice spot for a cappuccino. I did not have a cappuccino- it was too hot. Then, we were asked if we would like to lunch on the deck, by the pool. Oh my! Of course, yes! Under our current lockdown 3 amended regulations, beaches are a no-go zone. A pool is a great alternative- an excellent idea. The Vïb pool has glass sides, which heightens the views of Green Point. Yeah, one can see Cape Town Stadium. Sitting on the deck, I had this vision of one day, sipping on a cocktail, just before heading out to a concert at the stadium. One wonders how long it will be when we next can attend a concert at the stadium. When that is available, I have to say that the Vïb is going to look very appetizing as a place to chill out; have a drink and perhaps stay the night. Can you imagine?
Okay, so for now, we have what we have and we cannot buy booze under lockdown regulations. I am not a fan of non-alcoholic cocktails – or mocktails – as they are often tagged. Niall Bruyns, General Manager of Vïb suggested that I might change my mind, after sipping on a cocktail made with Seedlip – distilled non-alcoholic spirits from the UK. Seedlip is distilled from botanicals and herbs. Let us pause with a flashback to the iconic South African 1980s Campari commercial, screened at the movies, before the main feature started (before Netflix and other platforms). The question was posed in the advert: Where did YOU have your first Campari. The featured person quipped: Benoni. This was before Benoni-ite, Charlize Theron became famous and the Reef town was not a place that one might have associated with glamour. Let me add to that: TheCapeRobyn had her first Seedlip cocktail at Vïb, Cape Town. It was AMAZING! Aromatic and beautifully garnished. We had It’s about Thyme -Seedlip Garden 108, cucumber, thyme, Indian tonic.
When we visited yesterday –Jan 20- the team was doing a trial run of Seedlip cocktails, in preparation for Maaya Rooftop on Saturday at Vïb. The hotel has partnered with Maaya to host live music lunch events, during the pandemic, adhering to lockdown regulations. During our visit, we encountered two DJs from Europe, who are famous on the international circuit: Fran Osorio (Spain) and Willy Monfret (France). Conversation is difficult with masks and social/physical distancing so we couldn’t get into how they pivoted into the Mother City but it was cool to bask in glamour and celebrity of these two DJs (they are also models), albeit at a distance. To book for Maaya Rooftop, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or see its Instagram page for updates.
Seedlip will be available on the Eye Bar menu – at all times. Sushi – prepared by Maaya chefs -has been served at the rooftop gigs and the good news is that the sushi is on the menu at Vïb from today- January 21, 2021. Info follows for Seedlip and sushi prices – as supplied. Please remember that we are living in pandemic times- everything is subject to change. Check back with TheCapeRobyn for updates.
No charge to eat/drink on the Vïb pool deck for hotel guests. For walk-ins, pay R300 per person -up front. It is like a running tab. Whatever you consume is deducted. If you have a plate of Eight Assassins sushi (love that name)- tuna, avocado, strawberry, topped with seared tuna- that is R120. Add on R95 for a Seedlip cocktail; R45 for the very delicious Goat’s Cheese and Candied Ginger Poppers (see photo) and R28 for cappuccino (Blacksmith Fairtrade coffee) and that clicks in at R288. You won’t get R12 change but that goes to the view. Or order something else. If your bill is over R300, you will need to pay in the difference. Please don’t forget to tip the servers- schlepping up and down to the roof on the 7th floor.
In addition to the Seedlip cocktails and poppers, we had the goats cheese and beetroot salad (R75), Tempura line fish (it was Yellowtail) with sweet and sour dipping sauce, charred lime and with a choice of chips or panzanella salad (R130). Looking at vegan options, we ordered Charred Tandoori Cauliflower (R85). It was all tasty and good- with the poppers my top pick. Reasonable prices for this area. Look at the sandwiches: spicy sweet and sour salmon deli sandwich, fennel, orange and cream cheese (nice combo), for R85 and a vegetarian option – marinated peppers, zucchini, mozzarella and herb pesto (R65).
Niall Bruyns showed us the rooms but let’s leave an accommodation review for another time. I am swooning over the laptop safes in the rooms and the desk chairs – Herman Miller “Sayl Chairs”. There is also a stunningly appointed gallery – Jaffer Modern Art Gallery – on the 6th floor. More of that at a later stage. For now, I am salivating over the cocktails: I had my first Seedlip cocktail at Vïb pool deck in the summer of January 2021 and it was a pleasure- cooling, soothing and calming- with a herbal zing.
|Seedlip cocktails – Eye Bar, Vïb, Cape Town- January 2021 |
Pretty in Pink – Seedlip Grove 42, watermelon, lime, pink tonic, rose water
It’s about Thyme -Seedlip Garden 108, cucumber, thyme, Indian tonic
Ginger Lilly -Seedlip Spice 94, ginger, chilli, orange, ginger ale.
R95- Jan 2021
|Sushi at Eye Bar, Vïb, Cape Town- January 2021 |
The Amazon roll ~ 8 pc ~ R120 ~ salmon, tuna, avocado, cream cheese, and mayo
Trust me ~8 pc ~R120 ~ marinated salmon, avocado, mango, topped with caramelized salmon
Eight Assassins ~8 pc ~R120 ~tuna, avocado, strawberry, topped with seared tuna
Salmon and Tuna roses ~6 pc ~R120
Black and Red Prawns ~8 pc ~R150 ~red and black velvet prawns, inside and on top
Sofia ~ 8 pc ~R75 ~ pineapple, avocado, asparagus topped with Asian chili sauce
❇ TheCapeRobyn was hosted by Vïb, Cape Town