The Duchess of Wisbeach (I might just refer to it as just The Duchess, as seems to be the trend in conversations I’ve had) is around the corner from a new favourite of mine, La Boheme. I quite like that they are close together because I’d be happy to eat at either so am bound to get a table at one if the other is full.
I did struggle to find it, so here’s my special directions: Travel along Seapoint Main Road away from town. Just past the Adelphi Centre, slow down and turn right into Wisbeach Road directly opposite Laughton’s hardware store. It is a few metres down, on the right hand side.
The decor is a little unusual. The first thing you notice when you walk in is the huge cow’s head above the bar, I’m not sure how PC that is. The place is small and cosy, with strangely contradictory decor which seems to work. The columns are raw brick, while the ceiling is fancy, and the walls contain antique looking pictures. The dining room only has a small number of tables and the small kitchen is open and visible. We sat near the kitchen, which made it quite warm but not unbearable.
The menu is focussed with only a few options. We shared a Caesar salad (R58) to start (I don’t often find myself at dinner with a fellow anchovie lover, so it had to take advantage). The salad was good, nice and fresh with plenty of parmesan but I could have done with more of that good quality anchovie (especially at that price).
For main I had the fish stew (R98) which I would never normally order but I was glad I did because it was amazing. It was so full of flavour and packed with lots of lovely fish. My partner had the linefish (R85) which was skate. It’s an unusual fish to eat, and slightly challenging to eat too, but very rewarding as the taste is excellent. The linefish came with potatoes and a creamy caper sauce.
We also ordered the veggie sides which were R35 each, which I feel is a bit steep. But, these are no ordinary veggies. The spinach had parmesan cheese in it which made it delicious. The other bowl contained gem squash with lots of butter (yum) and tender broccoli stems which I love. My only complaint was that they poured balsamic vinegar over the gem squash and broccoli which destroyed the lovely soft flavours.
The wine list was quite disappointing. It’s very short with about 5 reds, 5 whites and a Rosé and a champagne. I found it quite difficult to choose something but ended up having the Elgin Vintners Sauvignon Blanc (R88) which wasn’t too bad.
The service was friendly and attentive but they did not all know what they were doing. We had some strange procedures take place at our table, some involving wine, another involving the salt.
We really enjoyed our experience at the Duchess of Wisbeach, I’d definitely recommend it.
Duchess of Wisbeach
1 Wisbeach Road, Seapoint
Tel: 021 434 1525