Thumbs Up/ Thumbs Down: Big Thumbs Up!
Price Range: Avg. Price R100
Type: Ocean Side Tapas Cocktail Bar/ Lounge and Restaurant
Crowd: Kalk Bay Locals/ Upmarket Crowd in the know
Day Of the Week: Sunday
Address: Harbour House Complex, Kalk Bay Harbour, Kalk Bay
Okay, so the truth must be told, although The Polana is an awesome spot as a stand-alone experience, it took it to the next level with the live act who they had performing there on my visit, an artist who goes by the name “The Lone Ranger” – more of that in a second.
The Polana is a bit of a hidden gem to be honest. If it was not for some on the ground knowledge from a good friend, I am not sure I would have ever stumbled across it? This may be just my experience though because loads of people that I have spoken to since then seem to know about it.
Kalk bay seems to have always sucked me in to The Brass Bell but after having found this spot I think things will probably be changing quite substantially, although it need be said that they are two very different types of venues. The Polana I would say is a far more upmarket experience than The Brass Bell, comfortable couches, oysters and cocktails versus wooden benches, pizzas and beers on tap!
This is certainly not to discredit the infamous “Bell” but they do serve two quite different markets and thankfully so, more options for us!
As a dining experience I can unfortunately not lend too much to the conversation as my visit was limited to tapas and oysters served in the lounge area, which it must be said were both excellent and reasonable priced. There is however a formal dining area positioned alongside the cocktail lounge where you can get full on meals from crayfish to steak. My most pleasant commentary is that although a little more upmarket than my usual Kalk Bay hangouts, The Polana is also pretty reasonably priced – where you are looking to pay between R70 – R135 per main meal.
As a vibe, I give The Polana full points. The crowd, the service, the atmosphere – it all comes together to spell a good time. With the lounge seating directly alongside the crashing waves of the Indian Ocean there is always something to keep you interested and the majesty of the surroundings are if anything, epic.
So, to “The Lone Ranger”, the live act who was performing on my visit to The Polana. The guy is amazing and I certainly hope he gets to read this because he was the primary catalyst for getting everyone young and old in to a party mood like you rarely see from any musician. His performance is not marred with the usual acoustic sets of “Brown Eyed Girl” and “House of the Rising Sun” but rather he uses his voice to lay down short sound bites from bass drums to hi-hats, to snares, to kicks – and then loops them melodically to create wonderment. This, in conjunction with his guitar skills and infamous “chaos pad” create a pretty epic sound, one which cant help get you keen to party.
So what more is there to say about this experience? I would love you to try it out and if there is any way possible that you can visit The Polana on the same night as “The Lone Ranger” is performing, well then do yourself a massive favour and go!