Dining out at Beluga

Beluga is a fine dining restaurant that has recently opened in Waterfall Corner situated in Midrand. The franchise also has branches in Durban, Cape Town and Pretoria. The only feature that is  remotely close to fine dining are the expensive prices. Beluga did not pique my interest until I saw I could use my entertainer voucher to get a 2 for 1 main meal for the month of May only. The outside décor has very bright artificial lighting. A dimly lit and large seating area awaits you inside. The dim lighting could provide a romantic atmosphere if you are seated in the middle areas. If you are seated against the walls like we were, the cheap glow from the wall lights ruins the atmosphere and reminded me of a dingy hotel light. I also didn’t like the light fittings which resembled old kitchen tiles. The one setup I did love was the long bar area which can also be closed off for a private function. On arrival we were shown to our table  by the hostess who was dressed in a super short skirt. While I think it’s fine to have smartly dressed ladies showing you to your table, it doesn’t have to equate to skimpy.

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I was happy to see that they had a range of non alcoholic cocktails on the menu ranging from R40-R55 in price. I decided on the spicy mango and orange infusion which was made with orange juice, Appletizer and a spicy mango syrup. It tasted like a watered down version of orange juice and I couldn’t taste the spicy mango. At R50 this is more expensive than alcoholic cocktails at other restaurants. Alcoholic cocktails range from R48 to R68 in price. 

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We ordered the spice fried baby calamari with crispy pickled vegetables and spicy peanut dressing for R60 for starters. The batter was light and crunchy. I haven’t eaten anything that resembled this dish in terms of texture. While I enjoyed the taste I felt the integrity of the calamari was lost and you couldn’t taste that you were eating calamari. You could have served me fried batter and I wouldn’t know the difference. The peanut sauce went well and I didnt like the pickled vegetables which tasted bitter. I would have preferred Asian greens instead which would have also added another colour element to the dish.

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For mains I ordered an extra large langoustine for R135 which is served with chips. They didn’t have any extra large ones so I was served one small langoustine. I think the waiter told the chef it was too small so I was served another one later on. The presentation was seriously lacking and made the food look unappetizing. The food looked thrown on, the sauce was spattered which made the plate look dirty. Langoustine number 1 had no sauce and was dried out.

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Langoustine number 2 had a lemon sauce and was juicy and succulent unlike the first. The tomato salsa did not go with the dish and my chips were not cooked or seasoned properly so I didn’t eat them. I tried to order king prawns (R40 each) but they were out of stock. The langoustines are very small with little meat and I would advise against ordering them as a meal because it will get very pricey very quickly if you order a few and most likely still won’t fill you up. This wasn’t the best langoustine I have eaten. The seafood plates for 2 retail at R850 which is ridiculous compared to higher end restuarants.

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We also tried the Norwegian salmon with crushed new potato and citrus beurre blanc for R160. The salmon was a small portion and cut up into pieces. It was served on a smashed lumpy baked potato. The fish was bland and needed the sauce to be edible of which there wasn’t enough.

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If you love sushi they have great sushi plate options which is very cheap, around R135 for a variety of 20 pieces of sushi. They also offer a loyalty card where you can get back 10% of your spend. Our waitress was friendly, knew the menu well for a place that had just opened and could make recommendations. We did find her scarce after mains were served. The menu is quite Asian inspired. I won’t be returning again due to the small portions, expensive prices and average food. We left here hungry and had to order dinner somewhere else afterwards! 

Click: http://www.beluga.co.za/
Ring: (074) 159 1177
Hop: Shop 5, Waterfall Corner Mall, Corner Maxwell & Woodmead Drives, Midrand

Dim Sum & Sushi,
CG

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