One of the joys about being here in South Africa is that in two weeks we have yet to have a bad meal and some of them have been truly superlative. Even Frank Dwyer of Slackpackers South Africa (www.slackpackersa.co.za), who catered for our three-day hike of the Hoerikwaggo Trail, had amazing freshly cooked dishes ready for us each night we arrived in camp.
Whatsmore, the pound to rand rate and the fact wine is locally produced mean it’s also dirt cheap for Brits; the most we’ve paid for three courses and a bottle of plonk has been £70 but, more often than not, it’s been about £45 a meal.
Three restaurants stand out though…
My personal favourite was Codfather (www.thecodfather.co.za) in Cape Town’s Camps Bay suburb. Forget the cheesy name, views are over the Atlantic and the food is incredible. There are no menus, just freshly caught fish and shellfish you choose from a cold counter and they simply grill it and serve it. Always ask for the price before ordering though, as it’s by weight, the shellfish can sting you, but the simple fish is amazingly cheap – I paid little over £3 for three grilled sardines as a starter.
Another restaurant with no menu – Headquarters (www.hqrestaurant.co.za) in Heritage Square in Cape Town – was also excellent. Here there’s one thing on the menu, sirloin steak that has been wet-aged for a month. All you have to do is choose your wine and how you like the steak cooked. A salad starter followed by a huge plate of steak and chips was £14 a head, add a nice bottle of wine and we paid £38 for a meal for two.
Our most expensive meal, but also one of the best, came in the wine-making region of Stellenbosch, less that 40 minutes drive from Cape Town. Here the countryside is all rolling hills covered in vines and at Terroir, on the Kleine Zalse (www.kleinezalze.com) estate, we had G&TS, an amazing three-course meal and a bottle of their wine for less than £90. We sat on the terrace overlooking the manicured gardens as the sun dropped on the horizon. And for the life of me, I couldn’t work out why so many South Africans end up leaving the country.