Reeled in by the new Winter Menu at Ocean Basket

Ocean Basket is one of those franchises that are quite good about consistency at all their branches. I have yet to encounter a branch where the experience or quality of food has been vastly different. So I was quite happy to take them up on their offer to experience the new Winter menu early this April.

Trade Route Mall branch in Lenasia was a bit of a drive from Benoni, but because they are one of the revamped halaal stores we opted to head that way.

The revamped Ocean Basket must surely be the jewel of the mall. We encountered a large and spacious venue with space between tables that made social distancing relatively easy and all Covid protocols were observed while we were there. The big bay windows let in an abundance of light, which meant there wasn’t a dark spot anywhere in the restaurant. The revamped look is fresh while still retaining the Ocean Basket signature we are used to. I loved the new lighting elements and the modern lights set in wicker fittings lent a contemporary flair.

With days turning cooler now we naturally lean to more comforting foods that nourish and warm the body. Ocean Basket’s new Winter menu offers the perfect solution with a focus on SA’s firm favourite: Kingklip. The name Kingklip, translates from old Dutch as “king of the rock fishes”. It is low in fat, high in protein and prized for its delicate meaty flavour and firm white flesh.

The new menu offers both a Kingklip and a Mussel Soup, but as the day was quite warm we opted for the Kingklip Bites – Kingklip cut into bite sizes, battered and spicy-crumb dipped, crispy fried, served with a tangy roasted-tomato mayo. This had a nice bite which we really enjoyed. Another new starter option, the Smoked Mussel Bowl which offers plump mussels mixed with fresh med salsa as a meze to share or enjoy on its own, looked very tempting but we decided one starter would be enough so we could properly enjoy our mains along with mocktails which included a Cosmopolitan for me, Mojito for him and Appletini for the munchkin.

Mains was a Royal Kingklip with smoked mussels for him – grilled Kinglip covered with a creamy sauce and herb bomb and topped with smoked mussels. I nearly swapped our dishes after tasting this. The smokiness of the mussels gives this dish such a depth of flavour. Mine was Royal Kingklip with prawns – grilled kingklip smothered in a creamy roasted tomato sauce and topped with grilled prawns. This was also good but needed a touch of the table Pepe sauce to make it come alive. Taufeeq had the kiddies platter which was generous and had plenty left over to take home. Our mains also were large portions and we also ended up taking a doggy bag home. Both these mains were priced at R169 and the Bites at R59.

Dessert was a new sharing platter on their menu for R125 which included 2 pastéis de nata, 2 pieces of baklava and 2 churros with chocolate sauce (also comes in dulce de leche), mallow whip & ice cream. The churros on this platter were really good. Perfectly done crisp outside without being oily or overdone and soft inside. I like the touch of the mallow whip instead of cream. The pastéis de nata were not great though. I found the casing pasty and underdone. I find greek desserts like baklava too sweet for me but it got the thumbs up from hubby.

I have to add a special mention for the table bread. The rolls were served still warm and were the perfect balance of crisp outside and soft inside. Pro Tip: book your meal soon after opening time because the first batch of rolls are coming out of the oven that time. We were there at 12pm and they open at 11am.

If you’re in the mood for seafood this winter, try something from the new Winter Menu alongside the fresh new revamped Ocean Basket look and feel.

Visit our Ocean Basket Lenasia listing for their full details.


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