Shimmy Beach Club : 2014 / 2015 Season

I was recently invited (along with a throng of beautiful, trendy, influential media-types) to spend an evening at Shimmy Beach Club in Cape Town - to be introduced to the updates that have taken place ahead of the 2014 / 2015 summer season.

If you haven't visited, Shimmy Beach Club is on the outskirts of the Waterfront, and, effectively, a "taste of Ibiza’s beach scene". I'm taking the word of people who have actually been to Ibiza, on this one.

I'd visited once before - for lunch - and while the food was delicious, I felt horrendously out of place. I'm not a pretty, trendy, short-skirt wearing Capetonian - and that seems to be the assumed entry-card for Shimmy. My personal awkwardness aside, the venue is absolutely spectacular, and they really did pull out all the stops for the evening.

Comprising eight different venues, Shimmy includes a 300-seater restaurant, a 13-metre bar, a Heineken deck, conference and VIP meeting rooms, a pool deck, a restaurant deck, a private man-made beach, and a family area (although, as one at our table wryly remarked, "Shimmy is the type of place you go to make families, not to look after them.")

It is a beautiful, sprawling, venue - the location and views are reason enough to visit. A large portion of the focus was placed on the new menu for the upcoming summer season. 

From Shimmy:

Introduced by Executive Chef Adrian Cook - formerly from The Cradle Restaurant at the Cradle of Humankind - the menu is colourful with vibrant Mediterranean influences including healthy options and great choices for kids and vegetarians. The focus is on flavour and good value for money. 
Shimmy sources the best, local produce such as free-range chicken; grass-fed hormone-free beef and SASSI approved fresh fish. They buy locally and keep it as natural as possible to reduce its carbon footprint.   Trying the Spanish-influenced whole salt-baked line fish is a must, as is the cinnamon chocolate fondant.

Now, when I visited for lunch - which, was now almost two years ago - the food was properly fantastic. This time around - it was a little hit and miss. From the beginning, I completely understand that there were a lot of people to feed - three courses, and each course had four mini-dishes - so the kitchen would have been under pressure. But, if you are committing to feeding people - at a place that can accommodate up to 2000 people - take note.

Starters were average - there was no standout item. That's all I can say about it, really.

Mains were better - with three out of the four mini-dishes exceptional - namely the line fish, hand cut potato chips, roasted tomato, herb aioli and micro herbs, beef fillet, asparagus spears, truffled hollandaise, crushed new potato, ruby port jus and open salmon tartare burger, lime aioli, pickled cucumber, chilli relish, on thyme and duck fat potato rosti. 

So, yes, mains delivered - except for one piece of horribly overcooked tuna. Three out of four still counts as a victory for me. We left before dessert (too much temptation) but that could have well swung the vote from average to exceptional.

When I mentioned Shimmy 'pulled out all the stops', I wasn't exaggerating - from transport to and from the function (thanks, Uber), to Jeannie D as MC, and a performance from Sterling EQ, we were well looked after. Special mention must be made of the drinks side of things - apart from free flowing Moët all night, we were also thrilled to discover a new wine - Waterlily Malbec from Bloemendal. Will definitely be keeping an eye out for this one in future.

Going forward, ‘Summer Calling’ starts on November 30 2014. These ten weekends will be filled with great party nights on Friday, Saturdays and Sundays, as well as a few mid-week parties thrown in. Featuring international DJs and pool parties from 3pm to the early hours of the morning. On Fridays, “Shimmy Anthems” parties start to the sound of deep house DJs. Saturdays see “Shimmy Pool Party”, when it cools down with Ibiza-style parties, dinners overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and cool DJs playing on a poolside stage. Sundays continue to deliver the best party in Cape Town, with the return of the legendary “Goldfish Submerged Sundays”. 

With thanks to Shimmy to inviting us to spend the evening with them. All images taken with a Canon EOS 600D from


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