It was somewhat of a surprise for many when news broke that the well-known Polana restaurant and bar in Kalk Bay would be closing their doors. Loved for the excellent menu, boasting fresh seafood bought in daily from the local harbour, as well as having long held the title of Kalk Bay’s premier weekend party spot – it signals the end of an era for many ardent devotees of this Cape Town haunt.
Fear not, however, as Polana has instead re-emerged in the form of Tiger’s Milk. Situated on the picturesque Muizenberg beachfront and housed in a first floor setting, the panoramic views alone are enough of a reason to visit this new dining establishment. Having first caused a stir among Cape Town’s dining public with the original Harbour House in Kalk Bay, Mike Townsend’s Harbour House group has grown considerably in the last few years to now include other notable eateries such as La Parada, Lucky Fish, Live Bait and Sirocco and the latest addition to the group does not disappoint.
A Look Inside Tiger’s Milk
Comfortably encompassing the current trend for all things artisanal and the embrace of a more informal and relaxed dining style, Tiger’s Milk exhibits an aesthetic that makes use of strong design elements to emphasise this. Exposed brick walls run throughout the space, ceiling beams are left exposed and seating is communal. Similarly the menu is kept simple with a focus on hearty pub grub. Dishes include a range of gourmet burgers, pizzas, pork and beef ribs, a fresh selection of seafood as well as Farmer Angus free-range steaks. The well-stocked bar serves a mean cocktail while an assortment of local craft beers are available on tap along with an extensive wine list.
This a venue that retains the relaxed, yet lively ambience which has come to be expected from one of Townsend’s restaurants, but is also a venture which signals a shift for the group. Having previously worked with the architect, Thomas Leach, and interior designer, Magda Vitti, who helped to craft the beautiful and nuanced interiors of Harbour House at the V&A Waterfront as well as Sirocco in Kalk Bay, Tiger’s Milk offers an experience which stands apart. With surf-board stands on the premises a casual, ‘come as you are’ attitude pervades. This is visible through the use of a more pared-down approach that is enlivened through dashes of idiosyncratic flair. These touches abound, but be sure to look out for the classic motorbike affixed to one of the back walls whilst a cluster of glass decanters used as a central light feature draws attention immediately upon entering.
The Muizenberg area is fast becoming a new cultural hub in Cape Town with a fantastic variety of coffee shops and eclectic stores and galleries having opened in the last couple of years. Although still retaining the charm of a seaside village, the welcome addition of Tiger’s Milk to the beachfront dining strip can only serve to further boost the increasing popularity of this unique location.