Most Loved Seafood Restaurant
The first Ocean Basket seafood restaurant opened its doors in 1995 in Menlyn Park, Pretoria. Fats Lazarides had seen the opportunity to create a restaurant that served delicious seafood at affordable prices. In those days, seafood restaurants were reserved for the upper crust, and a portion of prawns was a real extravagance. Fortunately, Fats had always been one to swim against the current.
His first Ocean Basket was a measly 60 square meters, with just 6 tables. The menu offered only a handful of dishes, including fish and chips, prawns, hake, calamari and Kingklip. The seafood restaurant included a fresh fish deli. The landlord imposed restrictions on what could be sold; only one wine and a limited choice of soft drinks was served. In true Ocean Basket spirit, Fats invited customers to bring their own drinks and even their own salads.
Fats was born to serve. He knew every customer by name and would regularly test meals to ensure that they were up to Ocean Basket standards. Soon, Pretoria had fallen in love with this loud, crazy, Mediterranean deli and seafood restaurant.
Ocean Basket has always had a family inspiration behind it. Fats’ mom, Liza Lazarides, added a touch of her own special magic to the seafood restaurant. Her ethos of serving every single customer with love and passion is still reiterated in all the crew training. Today, Mama Liza continues to bake Baklava and Kataifi desserts and whips up our delicious dips too.
Today, there are over 201 of our seafood restaurants in 16 countries around the globe. From Dubai to Durban, Nelspruit to Nigeria, you’ll find people who share a love for our delicious seafood, our famous fish and chips, our irresistible creamy lemon sauce, our generosity, our commitment to everyday value for money and our love of sharing.
Ocean Basket is South Africa's favourite chain of seafood restaurants. There's one near you, where you will find friendly people, a home-from-home feeling, and great value for your hard earned bucks. Some Ocean Baskets have a fresh-fish deli too, and you can order to eat in or takeaway, whatever grabs you.
One thing's for sure. You will find only the freshest seafood at Ocean Basket. Plus, some nice wines to make a great meal even greater. Ocean Basket is for all da family, cos children love good seafood as much as you do. Come on in and have a whale of a time!
Ocean Basket has been around for years ... since brothers Fats and George Lazarides hooked up with George Nichas back in 1995, in Pretoria. Da brothers, being of Mediterranean descent and also being so far from da coast, often dreamed of seafood. And since George Nichas had boatloads of know-how selling fresh seafood, da three schemed how to start a seafood restaurant where people could afford a simple but real good meal.
We wanted to make people aware of good seafood, Fats says. We wanted to create a simple place where people could enjoy a great meal and great value. A homely place where they'd get together with friends and feel like they're part of our family.
Fats and the two Georges opened da first Ocean Basket in Menlyn Park, n they could squeeze in sixty people. The place soon got so popular; customers would queue from early morning to secure a table for lunch or dinner. Ocean Basket was da talk of da town.
Fats and da two Georges decided to make their winner of an idea available to more people, so they opened another Ocean Basket in Pretoria's Kolonnade. During da next twelve months, they launched three more Ocean Baskets, and hooked up with Pedro who eventually took Ocean Basket to da Cape. People went crazy for da food, da warmth, and da value.
Today, Ocean Basket is still growing. In a normal year, eight more Ocean Baskets open, now there are 120. And if you travel overseas, don't worry, because you needn't leave good seafood behind. These days you will find Ocean Basket in da Middle East and Europe. Latest one to open is in Paphos, on da Mediterranean island of Cyprus. Fats and da two Georges finally got back to their roots!
What's more, in every Ocean Basket there is, you will find da same formula for success - simplicity, value for money, and da best seafood in da world, served piping hot in da pan.
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