There was definitely fire at Firefish – the new Kove Collection restaurant in the V&A ;)

by Karisa

I’m going to be honest, I’ve been sitting on this post for quite some time, not sure how to position it due to some hiccups on the night.   But, I eventually decided to just put it out there, warts and all (so to speak), because it was only 3 weeks after their doors opened for business and therefore teething issues are to be expected, but overall I still thought it had potential to be great.  So with that in mind, here goes…

Firefish is the latest addition to the Kove Collection family (think Paranga, The Bungalow, Blanko, Lily’s, Zenzero, Umi, La Belle Bistro & more).  Kove Collection has, in my mind at least, has become synonymous with great food in a beautiful setting, and therefore my expectations were high.

Situated on the bottom level of the V&A Waterfront main complex, on the water side, Firefish has great views of the V&A harbour & table mountain:

Ta da!!

The decor is elegant without being too fussy, lots of warm cream tones, sexy lighting and a small touch of pink.  I think the outside tables are going to rock during summer, but the inside area will also be a lovely retreat on those famous Cape Town windy days.

Now onto the food… Their main menu features a good selection of starters & salads, sushi, various fresh shellfish & fish options, some meaty dishes and what they refer to as “Happy Endings”.  Then they also have a “To Share” menu featuring tapas style options including baos, dim sum, yakitori skewers, wraps & tempura dishes.

My dinner date (we shall call him Bob 😉 ) and I decided to try one item from the “To Share” menu, one item from their sushi selection, one main menu starter & some oysters to kick things off.  That way we got a little taste of everything.

I really enjoyed the pulled pork dim sum (R70 – To share menu), but the beef tataki tartare (R95 – main menu) missed the mark for me.  I prefer beef tartare to be much finer, like minced meat.  This was quite chunky & a bit overwhelming.  The portion can also be way smaller.

OK so oysters really aren’t my thing… But Bob seemed to enjoy them…

The sushi was their “Rolls Royce” signature roll (R165) – tempura crayfish , Japanese mayo & flying fish roe (wasabi flavour). Was very interesting & would happily have it again.

For mains, Bob and I decided to try one fish dish & one meat dish.   Bob went for the Norwegian Salmon (SQ):

Bob’s feedback was that unfortunately the fish was a bit dry…

Having read about their Josper Charcoal Grill, I opted for the charcoal grilled beef fillet (R240):

Which came with a wasabi sauce… and this is where things got interesting…

Turns out there was a glitch in the kitchen and instead of using their regular wasabi, someone accidentally used this vicious wasabi from someone’s private stash which is literally the hottest thing you’ll ever taste…  Completely unaware of the wall of pain that was about to hit me, I casually cut off a nice chunk of steak, drenched in that wasabi sauce, and put it into my mouth… what followed felt like a heart attack, mixed with a punch in the face, finished off with a 3rd degree burn. 🙂   Being a trooper (and not wanting to look like a baby), I slowly managed to swallow without passing out.  Bob, noticing the tears running down my face, asked what’s wrong.  When I explained he noted that he was pretty sure it wasn’t that bad (him fancying himself as a bit of a wasabi connoisseur – having searched for and found a pretty strong wasabi brand which he had back at home).

Well… Bob was wrong, very very wrong…  In fact, he couldn’t even swallow his piece and he had scraped some of the sauce off.  Of course once the manager & chef realised what had gone wrong, they were super apologetic about it.  They even offered Bob a tube of the really really hot stuff to take home (recommended of course in small doses and definitely not for use as a sauce).

On the left, Bob’s (what he thought was a) super strong wasabi. On the right the real deal – this stuff will put hair on your chest. Also please note the flames & triple plus signs on the packaging on the right. I’m assuming this means “warning – this WILL kill you”

We joked that even that pea-size helping on the packaging was craziness…  Like dude, you’re gonna want to scrape some of that off…

It’s a pity actually because that fillet was a beautiful cut off meat and after scraping off all of the sauce that was left, I really enjoyed the rest of my meal.

For dessert we decided to share the Burnt Matcha Cream (R60) served with a sesame wafer, strawberries & a chocolate oat crumble.  This was without a doubt the star of the show, I mean just look at how beautiful this presentation is:

And trust me, it tasted as good as it looked…  It definitely was a lovely way to wrap up the evening…

So ja, definitely some ups & downs… And definitely a meal I will never forget.  That wasabi story will go down as one of my favourite stories to tell, that’s for sure.   But that aside, there were some good dishes and some not so good, but the service was great and the setting was beautiful – so really can’t fault them on those fronts.

Overall I’m going to give Firefish a score of modest  on my Miss K Kiss-o-Meter scale, but I’m keen to pay them another visit in a month or so, especially to try some more of their tapas & sushi options (with their normal wasabi).  Of course if you think you’re man enough to try the “hot stuff”, maybe they’ll be willing to give you a little taste…

Keen to give them a bash?  Then take note of the following NB details:

  • Contact: +27 (0) 21 286 4933 or
  • Opening Hours:
    Monday – Sunday: 12h00 – 22h30
  • Restaurant Address:
    Shop 154, Victoria Wharf, V&A Waterfront



Tahlia Dec 1, 2017 - 11:36 am

We went for lunch and did not enjoy our experience. To the point where I sent the PR and restaurant feedback and didn’t post. We wanted sushi – they didn’t have tuna in stock so half the menu was suddenly out- and we were only told this after we ordered. The baos are actually mini bread rolls which was weird. And the food we did manage to order was pretty hit and miss. Especially at that price tag… Hoping they get their act together because it could be a super cool spot!

Hilarious about your wasabi steak and Mr Tough Guy! 🙂

Karisa Dec 1, 2017 - 12:30 pm

Ah no, that’s so annoying (re the tuna). They definitely should’ve given you a heads up. The Baos sounds weird, I actually ordered a bao from Downtown Ramen the other day and it was also super bready. Lucky Bao is definitely the way to go. But yeah, overall I was also a bit torn. But I don’t think our experience was as bad as yours. There were still quite a few things I enjoyed. And hey, the wasabi story was just too good not to tell. 😉


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