Where is the caviar at Caviar?

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Caviar is the third outlet to be opened by the industrious team owning Beluga and Sevruga restaurants, in De Waterkant and the V & A Waterfront respectively.

Having just opened as a retail outlet in the V & A Waterfront, next to Vida e’ Caffe and in the place of a chocolate shop, Caviar does not live up to its name in terms of the image its brand name represents, nor in terms of its stock sold.   The unimaginatively designed mini-deli has a number of fridges with a higgeldy-piggeldy selection of vacuum-packed steak and other meat cuts; of delicious pates; cheeses; flavoured butters, a selection of desserts; a selection of salads, all with the base ingredient of pasta and a few bits of duck or chicken; colddrinks; oh, and of course, a few containers of caviar! The prices appear reasonable, at around R 20 a dessert portion, and R 30 for the salads.

It is hard to see a focus in the outlet.  Two staff members seem uncertain about how to deal with customers.   There is so little space, that two staff seem one too many.  As a customer one is not sure if one may look at and open the fridges oneself.   No pricelist is available – the staff say it may be finalised in mid-August.

It will be interesting to see how Caviar and Melissa’s, diagonally opposite each other, compete against each other, in that some products they sell are similar.

The packaging for Caviar has its website printed as www.caviar.co.za, but the website is still under construction.   It would appear that the ‘Caviar Group of restaurants’ will be the company’s collective name, a branding problem when one of the outlets carries the same name, and is not a restaurant at all, even though a few tables and chairs allow one to eat the products there and then, probably out of the plastic containers.   Nothing encourages one to sit down.

Whale Cottage Portfolio www.whalecottage.com

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