SOME of us "inland" residents living a torturous 5km from Kings Beach have got out of the habit of visiting the beachfront.
So it came as a real surprise when, after an absence of a few years, we found that the beachfront has changed somewhat. The Kings Beach area has been revamped. There's more hotels. And, since December last year, the landmark restaurant Angelo's has been operating from the old Dizzy Dolphin premises.
Being firm fans of the original Angelo's in Parliament Street and, more lately, of the closer-to-home second branch in Sixth Avenue (both of which are still operational), it was with delight that we popped in to try out the menu at the third in the Angelo's brand one night this week.
Certainly the beachfront version wins hands down when it comes to location. Having not been to Shark Rock Pier in years, you tend to forget how stunning the view is. And when it comes to style there's a lot of elegance at the beachfront venue which somehow mingles an up-market yet casual and relaxed feel.
Richmond Hill architect Mary Mangan was brought in to create an ambience which is extremely inviting – and wheelchair friendly with the old split levels being replaced with gently sloping floors.
But for fans of the brand Angelo's is all about simple but good food at pocket-pleasing prices: and while you could expect to pay more for dining at a venue with such a stunning view the old concept still rings true.
On the dinner menu there's salads from R29, stir fries from R36 and pastas from R42. There's also a very tempting Sunday braai of pork ribs, lamb chops and chicken kebab served with rustic chips, onion rings and salad for a very reasonable R69.50.
But we visited on a Tuesday so that was out so, over a glass of perfectly chilled rose for me and a cappuccino for my dinner partner, we mused over offerings such as a 330g T-bone for R67 and the tempting four lamb chops for R72 before settling on a salad of pan-fried beef strips, sun-dried tomato, feta and croutons (R42.50) for my dinner partner while I settled for a cheeseburger (R46.90).
Of old, the service at the Parliament Street Angelo's could be a little bit suspect, so we settled in for the wait, quite content to simply drink in the beachfront beauty.
However, service on this occasion was perfect – not too fast, not to slow and the food nicely presented.
The burger was topped with crispy onions and served with a generous serving of plump chips, while the salad was topped with an equally generous serving of beef strips. The asked-for extra dressing was promptly sourced.
The burger tasted as good as it looked, the chips were very moreish and the beef in the salad was tender and tasty.
And so on to dessert. My dinner partner was a little disappointed that the asked-for creme brulee was not available, but was delighted with her second choice: the unusual dessert menu offering of pancakes with cinnamon, sugar and lemon (R21.50). She could also have had pancakes with caramel and banana or chocolate and banana but her traditionalist taste was well looked after in her original choice.
I settled on the unusual Mozart cake with soft meringue (R29.50) and was equally happy with my choice. Both dishes were served with an ample portion of ice cream.
Replete, we asked for the bill which came to R269.80, including three glasses of wine, two cappuccinos, a lemonade and tip. Not bad. Not bad at all.
Restaurant visits are unannounced and meals are paid for in full.