Situated on a prime swathe of sea salt-swept real estate in Mouille Point, Lily’s is the latest dining iteration from The Kove Collection, whose founder, seasoned hospitality heavyweight Paul Kovensky, has an impressive string of established eateries under his belt (The Bungalow, Paranga, Umi, La Belle, Dalliance, Pépenero, and Blanko, to name a few).
Named in honour of his daughter, and styled by his wife Simone, Lily’s harnesses the endless sea views and combines lavish furnishings and fine interior textures with a menu displaying immediate evidence of careful thought and consideration.
Open kitchens are the new standard
The restaurant has an open flow, with the frenetic kitchen hustle playing out in full view of expectant patrons, which is something of a reassuring restaurant design standard these days. I visited during a weekday lunch sitting, and my feeling upon entering is that Lily’s won’t become a “power-lunching” spot crammed with suits and talks of mergers and acquisitions. Lily’s’ patron profile leans toward a casually clad leisure set, who aren’t rushing off anywhere in haste. The only deal I eavesdropped on was mention of a bulk Botox deal two best friends were offered by an aesthetic doctor practising in nearby Sea Point.
Above shop level is a gleaming new apartment block called East West, whose residents will surely file down each morning for the Defender (grapefruit, orange and lime juice), a pot of Gunpowder green tea or oats with almond butter, almond milk and banana. I was instantly struck by the breakfast and lunch menus’ emphasis on clean and healthy options, alongside decadent staples such as pancakes and maple syrup-doused French Toast.
Noteworthy mastering of a broth
My lunch visit with a friend involved a sampling of two starters and two mains. The Gun Show mussels are worthy of special mention. The garlic, thyme and white-wine broth quietly overshadows its shelled masters here, and when you find yourself asking for bread to mop up its last remnants, the evidence of the dish being nailed by the kitchen is there to see.
The biltong carpaccio was steady but drew less enthusiasm. The Just Keep Slimming – a portion of grilled hake, cauliflower couscous and shallots – was a solid effort. The subtext here is a healthy portion of protein and a no-carb couscous assembled without compromising taste, colour and texture. The toasted Hot Pastrami on rye could have done with some sharper-tasting pickles.
It is always a challenge for a growing restaurant group to carve a unique identity for each new property. The Kove Collection constantly passes this test, with menus and interior themes varying wonderfully across the portfolio. Lily’s will slowly ensconce itself in the Atlantic Seaboard dining consciousness and enjoy a long reign from its throne metres from the sea.
Opening times Monday – Sunday, 7am – 10pm
Contact 021 204 8545, firstname.lastname@example.org