The Green Dolphin in the Waterfront as been around for ages. It’s one of the few places (Pigalle is another one) that offers live jazz every night of the week (especially now that Manenberg’s has closed down, thankfully). However, I have never held the Green Dolphin in high regard. I have been there a few times to have a drink and listen to the music, but I have never eaten there. The reason is because when I looked at the menu, it was very expensive and I have heard from several people that the food is very average. That combination put me off spending a large chunk of my hard earned money on what could turn out to be a less than stellar experience.
However, the other night I ate at the Green Dolphin as part of a group. It had been selected as the dinner venue for the conference I was attending at the Radisson (very average conferencing facilities at the price). I was a bit anxious about the dinner, not wanting 70 foreigners to leave Cape Town thinking it was a very average place.
My fears were well founded. As is to be expected, it was a set menu. But a choice of 1 starter, 2 mains and 1 dessert is a dismal selection indeed. I organised a dinner for 250 people at Krugmann’s Grill a while back and even for a party that size they could offer 3 starters, 4 mains and 3 desserts to choose from. So I don’t see how a party of 70 in a 260 seat restaurant can necessitate such a meagre selection.
The starter was a citrus salad and it was probably one of the worst salads I have been served (I have made worse myself, but I was experimenting so they don’t count). It was also very small. I tried to make it more interesting (and filling) by having one of the complimentary rolls with it, but the roll was stale and boring.
I had the fish main, Cape Salmon which wasn’t too bad but I didn’t like the look of the lamb chops which looked a bit charred on the outside but still very pink on the inside. Nobody was blown away by their food. The dessert was a very dry malva tart with a small amount of custard.
While I was there I had a look at the menu, it’s still very expensive. After my exposure to the food, I don’t think that it’s anywhere near worth it. In case you’re wondering, the jazz doesn’t come free. There is a R35 charge per head on the bill for the entertainment. I think that the Green Dolphin is mainly supported by tourists and family and friends of the band members, which is the way it will stay unless the offering improves.
The Green Dolphin
Shop 2A, Alfred Mall, V&A Waterfront
Tel: 021 421 7471