We visited the Gallery Café not because we had heard about it in Cape Town or online, but because the Prince Albert locals said we had to. It’s a local favourite and for good reason. The food is adventurous without being fussy, the ingredients interesting and largely local, and the feel comfortably smart without being overly chic.
Starters include a roasted red pepper and tomato soup and a duck liver pâté. A third option of springbok and ostrich carpaccio was good, but to be honest telling the difference between one form of smoked game and another is very tricky. It’s still tasty, but I struggled to tell big bird from bokkie.
A further starter of 'Adam’s figs with gorgonzola' was delicious, consisting of dried fig which had been partially rehydrated, which gave them the sugar kick of dried fruit but a pliable nature to create a tasty mouthful with the cheese.
For mains, the pork fillet wrapped around a stuffing of ginger, apple and sage was well executed, even if it was overshadowed by the wonderful wildebeest with a merlot, thyme and venison sauce. Further mains include the ubiquitous Karoo lamb shank; a duck, port and black cherry pie; roast tarragon chicken and arugula; walnut and pesto spaghetti; and a chickpea, sweet potato and dhal curry.
They clearly take great pride in their desserts, with an overwhelming, top-notch selection that includes honey ice cream and an Amarula crème brûlée. All the cream and ice creams are sourced from the famed Gay’s Guernsey Dairy at the entrance to the town.
A comprehensive list of local wines.
Henriette, a former SABC radio journalist who packed her belongings in a Volksie bus years ago to travel the country, eventually stopped in Prince Albert and made it her home. She runs the front of house of Gallery Café with a calm, sassy ease.
The space has a quiet and relaxed, gallery-like feel, with each table getting on with the restful enjoyment of their meal.
This is a gallery also, so the artworks on the walls are for sale.