As previously mentioned, I’ve been sick for a long time now. Like 4 straight months of barely getting out of bed. So imagine my joy at finally venturing out to see my dear (and also pregnant) friend, Sivan, for a long, leisurely ladies’ lunch at the newly opened Lily’s.
Like much of the Kove Collection‘s previous jaunts, Lily’s boasts beautifully curated interiors, intricately considered details and a to-die-for menu, only this one is a bit more casual and the pricing is far more moderate. It’s not inexpensive, don’t get me wrong, but you surely get what you pay for, and it’s a welcome relief for some of the ‘SQ’ pricing all over the place. This one’s pricing is doable, and the perfect place to wind down for a lazy breakfast, or a fab lunch with friends, or even a silky sundowner followed by a swish dinner. It’s special, really.
Named after the owner’s daughter, Lily’s feels like one part romantic Parisian cafe, one part future-now Italian, set against the Mouille Point ‘Millionaire’s Mile’. Giant murals of monochrome peonies against the wall stole my attention – *love*. Plush seating and brushed gold tables gives the sense of a small exclusive spot, while the minimal decor settings turns the eye towards the view. The service was swift but not obnoxious and our waitress Thembi was just divine! Her recommendations were on point and the food arrived quickly. Sivan, whose daughter is also named Lily, and I felt like a royal pair of preggie queens scoffing all manner of deliciousness and being thoroughly entertained by Thembi’s wit and natural charisma. What a wonderful day out when all I’ve been witness to is my four walls and maybe some grated apple if I’m lucky. This, quite frankly, was heaven.
I’m not even ashamed one little bit to say that we ate ourselves into a stupour of ridiculous proportion. No judging! Moms-to-be get to eat without judgment, thank you very much! My first worry when eating out is food envy and it’s an affliction from which I accept I will never recover. Thankfully, we shared mouthfuls of each other’s orders and got a little taste of everything – my perfect version of democracy.
So, to start, we ordered two freshly squeezed green juices (très healthy!), aptly named The Lift (R45) consisting of cucumber, green apple, pear, ginger and lime. Yum. Sivan ordered the Lily’s Salmon Fish Cakes (R95) served with a refreshing apple and wasabi aioli and she just loved it! Three plump cakes stuffed to the brim with zesty salmon and the finest crumb. Delish. I had a taste and although I’m not the biggest fan of fish cakes, these were something else.
I ordered the starter Grilled Calamari (R85) served with potato puree, tomato and feta concasse (which is basically a divine mash up of ingredients, quite like a fresh salsa but with more crunch) and basil cream. Let me just tell you straight up – I am extremely fussy about my calamari. Like, extremely. And I can say without hesitation that I, if offered the possibility, could easily eat this generous portion for a main meal every damned day of my life. It is that good. The mash is unctuous, just oozingly smooth and creamy, which is a brilliantly considered offset to the bite of the basil, fresh tomato and feta. And the calamari itself is just perfect – none of this chewy, rubbery, overcooked nonsense. Sheer heaven. We also shared a scrummy plate of Broccoli, Every Which Way (R85) with charred, tempura and pickled broccoli, toasted pine nuts and whipped goat’s milk cheese. I was most certainly full after all of this, but being the greedy little git that I am, I happily ordered mains.
And here is where my ravenous food envy kicked into high gear… Sivan ordered the Serious Mac & Cheese (R95), served in a copper skillet with lashings of Gruyere, basil, garlic and a moreish Parmesan crust. Oh my. I had a tiny bite and I deeply regret not having more. It’s quite probably the most delicious mac & cheese I’ve ever had. I will be going back to Lily’s again and again if only for this one dish (and the calamari) (ok, and for all of it). We also ordered a House Salad (R70) to share which was fresh and lovely. I was by then too full, and I needed to prepare myself to tackle the mountain before me.
I had ordered the Epic Fish & Chips (R120) not really knowing how epic they would be. This portion is not for the feint of heart. I have duly warned you. Do not order a starter before this dish. Do not collect 200. Seriously – go in hungry and be ready to share. There were roughly 5 large pieces of perfectly crumbed and dusted fish in a fine tower, served with rootstock veggie chips (genius) and a surprisingly bright yellow lemon aioli. It’s divine, and I’m sad I wasn’t hungry enough to fully immerse myself in it. I did take the leftovers home though… duh.
Just because we were literally the roundest people in the restaurant did not put an end to our lunch. We of course ordered dessert to share, and justified this grossly indecent display of greed by a) our pregnancies and b) needing to get the photo. Sounded good enough for us. We ordered the Death by Chocolate (R85). Are you ready for this? It’s a chocolate tart with white chocolate mousse, salted caramel, chocolate sauce, caramel popcorn, cocoa crumble and the most insanely yummy vanilla pod ice cream. Oh my goodness. This thing should be illegal. And we ate (almost) every bite.
Leaving more than satisfied, and ever so slightly rounder-er, this place has secured itself as a must try. I’ve already unashamedly
informed instructed the hubs and my mom that we need to go here for the Mac & Cheese and the Grilled Calamari. Couldn’t even be bothered to look at the rest of the menu (…yeah, that’s a lie). Seriously, give this new spot a try. I know there’s always something new in Mouille Point, but I have a feeling this one’s going to be sticking around for a while yet.
For more info, visit Lily’s official website here.
Images: Supplied and my own