I’ve always wanted to visit Tintswalo Atlantic. I’m a hopeless romantic – obviously – and there’s something about this spot, hidden away beneath the Chapman’s Peak Road, isolated from the rest of civilisation – that has my romantic always-seeking-mystery feelers very excited. So I was ECSTATIC to finally have the chance to visit them.
Tintswalo Atlantic, as you may have guessed from the above, is situated just outside of Hout Bay en route to the Chapman’s Peak toll gate. From the outside, there’s nothing more than a gate – with a very strict entrance policy, and you won’t get in without proof of reservation. For years I thought this was silly, but now that I’ve been, I completely understand.
The Tintswalo Atlantic Lodge
See, there isn’t really a lot of space. Beyond the gate, you’ll find a handful of parking bays. And that’s as far as you can travel by yourself. From there, a van will come pick you up and drive you down the long descending and very narrow road to the edge where mountain and ocean meet. Here, you’ll find the actual Tintswalo Atlantic lodge, an exclusive 5-star boutique hotel with only a handful of suites available. Each suite is different, modelled according to an island theme. For example, there’s the Robben Island suite, the Sicily Island suite (my favourite), the Ithaca Island suite, the Zanzibar Island suite … you get the idea. Each room is ocean-facing and absolutely gorgeous.
The Restaurant Setting
Sadly I did not visit Tintswalo Atlantic to stay over, but, instead, to try one of their many rotating set menus. See, Tintswalo Atlantic doesn’t offer an a la carte menu per se, but they have a set menu, which differs every day and rotates continuously. So while I can only judge on the menu I had, I have no doubt that every single one of their set menus will blow your mind. Why? Because this was beyond delicious.
Ok, I won’t lie. The setting helps. Looking out over the bay toward Hout Bay, cut off from the humdrum of the world, this restaurant setting offers the utmost in uniqueness, peacefulness, and, gosh, I’ll use the word – divinity. But of course the food is excellent too, and setting and culinary masterpieces together create one extra-amazing experience.
The Five-Course Menu
The menu I tried consisted of five courses, with various options available for each course, except for the starter soup. This was a Forest Biome, served with Shimeji mushroom, pine-needle-smoked venison broth, and ‘kudu earth’. Sounds wicked bizarre, but it was delicious – definitely rich in flavour, with delicate flavours and lots of hearty goodness.
Starter Soup & Other Options
Starter options included the kingklip, braaied springbok, or the charred broccolini. I went for the braaied springbok, served with poached leeks, eryngi mushroom, coffee, and butternut. Again, wow. Executive Chef Guy Clark loves mushrooms, and you’ll find mushrooms on (almost) every dish at Tintswalo Atlantic, which I find absolutely wonderful. It seems that in South Africa mushrooms are really underexplored, so it was beautiful to get a taste of a variety of mushrooms prepared in a variety of ways!
After starters, we could choose between a Mango & Basil palate cleanser or a Fynbos Gin & Rosemary palate cleanser. I opted for Mango & Basil, which was a great choice. This was the most beautiful palate cleanser I’ve ever had. Presentation-wise it wins hand-down (just look at the picture), and flavour-wise it was beyond delicious. Some might not be accustomed to the herby-sorbet flavour, but I’ve taken quite a liking to it.
For mains, we could choose between tiger prawns, beef fillet, or a mushroom pasta. The tiger prawn dish – served with langoustine, sea trout, and more – looked absolutely divine, but I was on a meaty train and opted for the beef fillet. This came served with chimichurri bone marrow, shitake, raspberry jus, textures of potato, lemon yoghurt, and smoked broccolini. Wow. That’s literally all I can say. Wow.
By this time of the day I was already floating in seventh heaven. Hence my earlier description of this whole experience bordering on divinity. Everything was perfect. There was only one dish left – a true test for every restaurant – dessert. There were two options for this, a chocolate dish and a goats cheese custard dish. I went for the former: Variations of Valrhona chocolate: Crispy, soft, cold, hot, light, heavy.
Cryptic indeed, right? Basically, this was a dish consisting of different forms of chocolate: Ice cream, mousse, cake, brittle, and hot chocolate sauce. Y’all know that dessert for me is a hard one. I like a good dessert, but I can’t stand things that are overly sweet. This chocolate dessert rocked my world. It was beyond divine! (That seems to be my phrase of the day; bear with me.)
Tintswalo Atlantic Wonder
In a nutshell, there’s nothing at Tintswalo Atlantic I didn’t love. Gosh, I’d love to spend a day or two out there and do nothing but eat, sleep, and relax!
Restaurant menu prices range from R580 – R820, depending on when you’re visiting, so please check with the restaurant directly to see what menu is available and what the exact costs will be. We’d recommend lunch for both the cheaper price tag and to really soak in the amazing views!
Visit Tintswalo Atlantic
For all the info on visiting Tintswalo Atlantic, please visit the links below.
Address: Chapman’s Peak Drive, Hout Bay
Call: +27 11 300 8888
Article Date: July 2018
All information correct at time of publication. We do not accept any liability caused by errors, including, but not limited to, changes in price, menu, opening times, address, or other contact details.