Harbour Rock Restaurant
Hermanus is one of the premier whale watching capitals in the world. Southern Right Whales come to Walker Bay to mate, give birth and raise their calves. Offering the best whale viewing spot is the goal of many of the hotels and guest houses in Hermanus. But the truth is, that the best spot to watch the whales is actually at Harbour Rock Restaurant.
The large open plan, glass and stone building with wooden floors, nautical railings on the balconies has an ever changing landscape. Joey Young is one of the managers at Harbour Rock who has been working here for 11 years said, “I could never get bored working here. I just look up and something has changed.” I looked around and saw a small harbour, an ocean, a mountain, a cliff and Hermanus in the distance. Add a few whales, seagulls and tourists.... I can see why she loves this place.
The management team is headed up by Vaughan van Blerk. It’s quite clear that he and chef Trevor Steyn work well together. It’s a necessity in a place this size because in September and October around 500 people a day try to find a place to sit, eat, drink and watch the whales. The unique location of the Harbour Rock gives it unrivalled land based whale viewing in Hermanus. The third member of the management team,Mathew Davey, told me that if Harbour Rock had three floors they would still have a queue in the middle of whale season.
Harbour Rock has very decent sushi. It may just be the best in Hermanus. We ordered salmon sashimi, fashion sandwiches and tempura prawn rolls as a starter. All the ingredients were wonderfully fresh and it was all skilfully made. A lot of the seafood served at Harbour Rock is sourced from the local harbours.
The whale season actually starts in June when the first arrivals cautiously enter Walker Bay. We were lucky to see the first four this season. It’s less busy in Hermanus in winter. Chef Trevor changes the menu at Harbour Rock a little to include some of the slow cooked winter favourites the Cape is best known for. I had a beef casserole with mushrooms and served with mash gently flavoured with Dijon mustard and winter vegetables.
Harbour Rock is trusted by the locals, the B&B’s and the guest houses in Hermanus. And now us too.
Suite 24A, New Harbour, HermanusView Larger Map
- Moderately Priced