Fruits of the Sea

Urchin Restaurant
Words: Saahirah Ismail
Located in the Hyatt Regency on buzzing Buitengracht Street, Urchin Restaurant by Chef Gerard van Staden is bringing Capetonians a fine dining experience with a coastal twist.
You’ll be inspired from the second you enter Urchin Restaurant. From the décor to the service, the amazing ambience, enthusiastic staff, and of course the delicious food – it all adds up to a world-class night out!

For those looking for a beautiful setting to enjoy some cocktails with friends after a long day, Urchin’s cocktail menu has exactly what you need, including a mouth-watering Watermelon Cosmo that bursts with fruity, summer flavours and classic crowd pleasers like a Margarita or Whisky Sour.

Urchin’s Head Chef Gerard van Staden has put together an elegant menu, chiefly inspired by coastal cuisine, where sustainably and locally sourced ingredients are the stars of the show and championed by classic techniques and bags of flavour. Menu highlights include the Shrimp and Tomato soup, the delectable Lobster Capellini, Karoo lamb with a cardamon gravy that is cooked to perfection, as well as sushi and vegetarian and vegan options.

Why coastal cuisine?

I love working and living near the coast – the white noise of the waves allows me to feel calm and centred. Preparing seafood is all about showing off the product, and I believe that if you want to achieve a great experience it’s best to keep it simple and let your ingredients do the talking. You never need to garnish a well-prepared meal if your visual flavours have been showcased tastefully.

Tell us about your cooking style?

I like to cook like a mixologist! My flavours are layered and every spoon or forkful must be a new experience with a touch of magic. My bottled shrimp and tomato soup expresses this very well, with a depth of flavour in each mouthful.

As someone who has worked all over the world, what do you love about working as a chef in Cape Town?

Cape Town is the place I come to heal my soul – this city is the only place in the world where I don’t feel like a visitor.

Do you have a favourite ingredient to work with?

Limes, Combava, Buddha’s Hand Citron and all the sour citrus fruits. They’re challenging to work with because they’re expressive and intense – pretty similar to myself, in fact!

What was a highlight for you in the build up to Urchin’s opening?

Forming relationships with a passionate and opinionated team of people. We argued, we brainstormed, we celebrated the great moments and created a restaurant that we hope the rest of Cape town will enjoy visiting.

Gerard’s favourite local eateries

Comfort food? Fat Cactus, Mowbray

Best coffee? Haas Coffee in Buitenkant Street

Food shop? Wild Peacock – the products always blow my mind and allow my imagination to run wild.

Breakfast? Giovanni’s, Green Point

Sundowners? Tjing Tjing House

Related Posts

Related Articles