Founded in 2016 by passionate seafood connoisseur Kyle Dods, The Mussel Monger & Oyster Bar has been converting the shellfish-weary into shucking regulars ever since it set up shop at Mojo Market in 2017 – its third branch to date.
Run by a dedicated team of seafood lovers, the goal of the establishment is to give visitors an experience that shows the true value of ocean-to-table sustainability – purveying smack-of-the-sea produce straight from the ocean every day – while providing shellfish novices the opportunity to try molluscs for the first time in an unpretentious environment.
The Saldanha difference
Kyle, who resides in Saldanha Bay, knows exactly what makes a mean mussel and an out-of-this-world oyster, and his answer is simple. Saldanha itself! Each year tons of freshly farmed produce gets exported from the seaside town. Due to the unique water quality of the bay, it’s recognised as the home to some of the world’s best oysters and mussels.
So, Kyle and his team went on a mission to share all of the Saldanha deliciousness with the rest of the peninsula (they’re currently the only people doing that) – which, in our opinion, is shucking awesome! As he says: “We have the best produce in the world, it’s high time the world knows about it, and that Cape Town becomes a world-renowned capital for oysters and mussels.”
Magic of The Monger
Part of the beauty of dining at The Mussel Monger is the authentic way in which they serve their produce. Believers in the fact that the quality of seafood should speak for itself, all oysters and mussels are served with minimal fuss, adding only light additions of flavours to complement the fresh natural taste.
But the thing that sets them apart from other purveyors is the size of their molluscs. While at most places you’ll tend to find cocktail-sized oysters, The Mussel Monger serves up only large and giant oysters – so big in fact that they can comfortably fit in the palm of your hand!
Perch at the bar at their Mojo Market stall, and watch your oysters being plucked from underwater tanks, before being shucked in front of you. From there, it’s just a squeeze of lemon, a dash of tabasco (or mignonette if it tickles your fancy), and then a shlurp into your mouth. “Our oysters are full of salty sea water, and other than sitting next to a pier in Saldanha, there is no way to get a fresher product than from one of our branches,” says Kyle.
The same goes for the mussels (served in a half-kilogram portion), which are delicately drizzled with sautéed mirepoix (a diced-vegetable emulsion), a light dash of wine and cream, freshly squeezed lemon juice, Italian parsley, and a side of homemade vetkoek (a lightly fried mini bread dough ball). Not to mention that both the oysters and mussels go wonderfully with a readily available glass (or bottle!) of The Mussel Monger’s partnering wine brands: namely Villiera dry brut rosé MCC or Domaine Grier rosé. Is your mouth watering yet?
A shucking good deal
May is most certainly mussel month at The Mussel Monger, because, to celebrate their birthday, they’ve introduced a special of only R50 for half a kilogram of mussels running until the end of the month.
Planning to launch their next bar within the next 12 months, there’s no doubt The Mussel Monger & Oyster Bar are making waves across the Cape. As Kyle says: “We really encourage people to come sip, savour and shuck our incredible produce, linger at our oyster bars and become converted mussel and oyster eaters. It just takes one try – and, trust me – it will be like no other oyster you have ever eaten.”
So head on down to The Mussel Monger at Mojo Market and get shucking!
Opening times Monday – Sunday, 9:30am – 10pm