Fish on the Rocks, Hout Bay
09.00 - 20.30 all week
Price Range (p/p)
Cheap | Under R100
Medium | R100 - R300
A long drive to Hout Bay usually culminates in a casual seafood lunch. It used to be at the takeaway section at Mariners Wharf, but a few years ago Fish on the Rocks made it’s presence known. According to the website it had been started 26 years ago, but it seems it has become very well known and has reached a sort of iconic status in the last 10 years or so. It’s situated right on the waters edge and from the back of the store you have a beautiful view over the bay of Chapman’s Peak. The short road that takes you to there is flanked by the Bay Harbour Market. A popular weekend arts and craft market that sees people coming from all over. It’s a bit “arty farty” and the wares are usually quite expensive but it’s gets busy so you’ll likely be competing for parking because of it.
Utterly casual and laid back, Fish on the Rocks has no pretenses. You wait in line for your food, pay for foam plates, collect and eat at the wooden tables outside or take it away and enjoy as you please. This place is always busy. More often than not, you will need to share a table with strangers but the vibe is friendly and everyone’s enjoying their food too much to give a fig about the stranger that’s just plonked herself, her husband and 2 year old at their table.
The food in general is typical seafood takeout fare. Calamari, fish, prawns and slap chips. The standard is generally quite good. Better than Mariner’s Wharf at least who’s food has become progressively more oily and the alcohol may put you off at Mariners making Fish on the Rocks the obvious choice.
The staff tell me they don’t have a certificate but are fully halaal as they are Muslim owned by Aziz and Najma Broderick. Yes, the name on the website also threw me off.
There are toilet facilities available. In general quite clean. A big relief if you’re doing the Peninsula drive and need to empty out before taking on the rest of your journey.
Recently we took a Sunday drive out there and ordered hake and chips, calamari and chips and a calamari burger. I was expecting my calamari to look like this:
But it actually looked more like this minus the prawns:
The portion was big though. But my expectation was unrealistic. I was hoping for crispy coated calamari but it was half battered at best and frankly a bit bland. We had to pep things up with Tartare sauce which you buy extra in little sachets. Only tomato sauce was free which you help yourself to at a counter along with plastic cutlery, serviettes, salt, pepper and vinegar. The calamari burger was ok. But came with nothing but calamari, a lot of it. No salads or anything else. The hake was excellent. Crispy and tasty.
To finish off your seafood lunch you can head over to a little kiosk they have set up for a soft serve ice cream topped with delicious Monin Sauces. We tried the dark chocolate and it was delish. You could also go for an icy slush. I had a strawberry flavour and it was a perfect choice as the day was cooking and the slush was the perfect way to cool off in the car as we headed back home with the scent of the sea air drifting away behind us.