It is no secret that I like to eat out, often. A road trip long or short is not a road trip without a meal somewhere along the way, just to stop and smell the burger so to speak.
2016 offered many outings to beautiful places, some new and some return visits, but most, in the main enjoyable. South Africa is truly spoilt for choice not only for foodies but for hotel, lodge and guest house freaks as well. While many are near major suburbs, some of the best are in the countryside, just an hours drive from home.
Some that have stood out this year
Trying out the Culinary Table Restaurant near Johannesburg’s Lanseria International Airport was a treat on a Sunday morning, not only are all their herbs and veggies grown in the large patch at the front of the restaurant, but you also get to see the planes landing… a double whammy for me. The breakfast was exceptionally good with friendly staff, albeit run off their pooties with the large amount of people to serve. Time to return I think and try them out for lunch.
The Culinary Table
A newbie for us, but infamous in its own right, was the Silver Orange Bistro ,near Hartebeesport, Pretoria area. Established, you guessed it, on an orange farm, one automatically feels way out in the countryside and when confronted with fine glassware and silver cutlery you know that the food will most certainly rise to the occasion, and yes it did. Wonderful fish and meat courses, along with homemade olive bread and butter, fresh sides and fancy desserts coupled with attentive, yet discreet service, makes this restaurant a must try.
Silver Orange Bistro
As Greek As It Gets, in Cullinan, serves superb Greek food. Assorted fresh meze platters, truly delicious. Service is a tad slow and one warning: their Ouzo shooter is as powerful as the Acropolis is visual!
As Greek As It Gets
French Toast Koffie Kafee near Pretoria, comes equipped with its own Eiffel Tower and padlock filled bridge. Slightly disappointed in their French Toast designed burger, but the atmosphere is great, it’s a nice stop and munch which has a patisserie offering home-baked croissants, cakes, breads and other delectables.
French Toast Koffie Kafee
Let’s Go Back to…
Returns to such delightful and fab food places such as LBV Bistro in Cramerville, north of Johannesburg is always a pleasure as is La Mama in Ferndale, Randburg, one of Johannesburg’s oldest and renowned Italian restaurants, always good and always packed to the brim, even in winter making pizza oven heat most incompatible for those with the m’pause!
Medeo Restaurant at the Palazzo Hotel, Montecasino north of Johannesburg never ceases to be consistently good. Great menu, great service. Beautiful glassware and crockery and a divine garden setting if wanted. Never had a disappointing meal there.
Returns to Bidon Bistro in Muldersdrift, right on the cycle route in da bush calls to me often for their excellent pizza and burgers in their open-air dining space, and we even popped back to Valley Lodge, Magaliesburg for a great lunch on the terrace as Zebra munched the lawn by the pool. All very civilised.
Zebra at Valley Lodge
Speaking of Zebra’s, Linden’s Fat Zebra restaurant also gets my nod for their prego rolls and their crumpets with fruit, bacon, cream and maple syrup… yum yum.
Beast Grillhouse in the Weltevreden Park area is all meat, and then more meat and then meat with macaroni cheese on the side (sounds disgusting), however their standard cheese burger is good value and extremely good on the taste buds with the best chips in town. Service is good. You can watch the sun go down over the distant hills from their deck.
Another great feast of a place is Bellgables Country Restaurant, Muldersdrift. Our second visit with friends from Pretoria (who were dying to experience this over the top and ornate eatery) was no different to the first, excellent, fabulous food and fine dining in the true sense from table settings, to glassware, crockery, linen napkins and service.
Returning to The Palace at the Lost City Hotel, part of the Sun City complex in the North West Province, I was pleasantly surprised to see along with the complex renovations, improved guest service and still amazing food, whether it be a steak roll and salad by the pool or breakfast or the buffet dinner in the Crystal Court, which now houses a newly launched grillhouse section.
Legends Restaurant at the newly named Soho Hotel (old Sun City Hotel) also offers a dinner dance environment. Great steaks, veggies, fish and pastas. Fabulous service. Not m any places to dance at these days, what a treat!
The Palace at the Lost City
One of the most delightful finds has to be Die Ou Pastorie, Skeerport, near Magaliesburg. A spur of the moment decision to abandon the house and get outside led us to this fabulously peaceful guesthouse for lunch. Here is the clincher for me… THE BEST CHEESE BURGER of the year was found here – finely ground mince patty with fresh fresh bun topped up with cheese, salad and caramalised onion… yum yum. I might need to stay over one night, have a burger for supper and breakfast it was so good. Good crockery and cutlery, nice embracing menu for all tastes, what a treat. To eat there, is to live and breathe the bush land and to absorb their hospitality. Set in lush, bush surrounds, hills and mountains on the horizon, what more could you ask for? Pass the vino darling!
Die Ou Pastorie
So what makes the experience great for me? Ambiance, cutlery, glassware, crockery, nice linen, good food, good service… a river maybe a mountain or two scores highly with my soul🙂
If you are looking for me, I will be chasing down Die Ou Pastorie cheese burger and a glass of red wine – can’t wait!
Sue Charlton is a roaming hospitality nut. Not a chef , just believes that there is more to a successful meal than food, it’s all about the surrounds.