What 8 people say about RIVA
Absolutely fantastic experience! Blown away by the exceptional service and tasty authentic Italian prepared meals. I can't wait to visit RIVA again!
First time at Riva and we'll definitely be back. As regular Cape Town restaurant goers we don't know how we've missed this place before . Lovely ambience, good service and we enjoyed the restaurant week menu. Loved the fish carpaccio, fresh pasta and tiramisu.
The restaurant week special is delicious! Super friendly chefs, too.
Excellent food, great service.
Childhood friends Nicoló Rovarini and Federico Rocca grew up on the shores of Lake Maggiore in Italy. Their resulting love of seafood is now being translated for a South African audience in De Waterkant.
If you’re expecting Italian classics, think again. Kick off with a carpaccio (the fish changes daily), sliced and served with coconut flakes, olive oil and kiwi fruit. It’s an unusual pairing, and the flavours don’t quite meld. Saldanha Bay mussels – marinated in olive oil until wonderfully tender – served on a crispy fried piece of polenta, are a safer bet. Pasta is made in-house, and the bronze drawn spaghetti, served with cherry tomatoes and clams is perfectly al dente. Squid ink gnocchi with prawns comes laced with vibrant threads of saffron, which lend a unique flavour to the dish. If you’ve space for secondi, there’s the option of a vast platter, a smaller platter of fried hake, calamari and bait fish, or the Abalobi catch of the day. For dessert, there’s a wonderfully chewy, almost creamy lemon sorbet, and a very good tiramisu.
The restaurant takes its name from the legendary boat building company, Riva, who make the kind of wood-clad speedboat that James Bond would pilot. The white walls are cleverly decorated with broad blue stripes, a clutch of black-and-white photos and a little boat-themed brick-a-brack. Above, the light bulbs dangle from thick rope. All-in-all, the feeling is of a relaxed seafood trattoria, with lights just dim enough for it to feel romantic.