The seafood-focused menu is fresh, seasonal and changes daily. Stefan, an angler himself, uses his bi-coastal seafood connections to source the best, which he enthusiastically prepares over flames in the open kitchen. Expect starters of rich creamy seafood soup, salad or mussels; and mains along the lines of Durban hake with a lightly spiced tomato and onion salsa, tuna in a signature bourbon sauce served with Stefan’s homemade mustard, and popular wild prawns in Malaysian oil, all served in a pan to share with rice and hand-cut chips. If you can squeeze in dessert, Jacqui’s crème brûlée or chocolate pot, both bruléed at your table, are worth undoing your belt buckle for.
To avoid disappointment, book in advance and call the day before to confirm. In a time of food fads and setting over substance, it’s good to see consistent unpretentious fare endure.
A small but complete local wine list, plus beers and hard tack. Cappuccinos, espressos or good filter coffee round off the meal.
Service is brusque and business-like, but don’t mistake Stefan’s gruffness or Jacqui’s reserve for rudeness. They’re seasoned hosts and passionate about what they do, and the food will prove that. You have entered chef Stefan’s dominion where your opinion is not always welcome but your compliments are. Since you will be eating “the best prawns/fish/soup of your life” – according to him – and will invariably be bullied and told what to order anyway, just sit back, enjoy the show, be generous with your praise, and earn the hosts’ warmth and affability.
Cosy, intimate and rustic. The walls covered in guest signatures and compliments bear testimony to its history, loyal following, and beloved chocolate pot.
It’s not all seafood: they’re known for their Sunday steak nights. Vegetarian and other dietary requirements can be accommodated with advance notice. If you’re staying in the area, enquire about breakfasts, served in winter, and any take-away options.
Eat Out critics dine unannounced and pay for their own meals. Read our full editorial policy here.
Chef Stephan Kruger and his wife Jacqui have turned their restaurant into an iconic place to go when visiting the Overberg. There’s no fixed menu other than what fresh produce they can find on the day. Your order is taken and the food arrives served in a big pan for all to share in the bounty. The speciality is succulent wild prawns fried in Malaysian oil and served with fish of the day and rice or French fries – all cooked, fried or grilled on an open fire for you to get you drooling before the food arrives. Lately Stephan has been experimenting with chillies and will offer a taste if you can stand the heat of it.
Although there is no fixed menu, you are sure to find prawns accompanied by at least two types of fish and Jacqui’s crème brûlée or choc pot.
On Sunday nights, steaks are served. (If you mention the words ‘well done’, you might as well leave. People drive from Cape Town for an evening of meat, beer and classical music playing softly in the background.
The drinks menu is contained to a few bottles of wine from the area. Gabriëlskloof wines are favourites of the chef, as well as some beer and hard liquor.
Hook, Line and Sinker is not for sissies. The chef has a larger-than-life personality that would give Gordon Ramsey a run for his money. You come for fresh seafood, a relaxed style of service and a great evening of chilli education, how to slice your fish or how to savour a single malt. It’s a great night out for the family with no mod cons like WiFi. Book way in advance to avoid disappointment; the chef doesn’t like last-minute calls.
It’s a cosy two-room house, where the kitchen takes centre stage and the chef holds court, showing off his culinary skills and sharing his wisdom while cooking on an open fire.
Call the restaurant and place a takeaway for a mindblowing platter filled with steaming hot, deliciously fresh prawns, fish, fries or rice and that delicious, slightly spicy Malaysian oil that you can wipe up with bread. They don’t deliver; you have to fetch it yourself, but it’s worth every cent.
Eat Out critics dine anonymously and pay for their meals in full. Read our editorial policy here.
Remember the tune from the television series Cheers? “Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name. And they're always glad you came…” Well, that’s how you feel when you walk into this restaurant, where fresh seafood, local wine, good cheer and lots of banter between the chef and his patrons make you want to come back again and again. What chef Stefan Kruger and his all-rounder wife Jacqui (she is responsible for the decadent chocolate pot and crème brûlée) have done, is to create a place where ego and good food meet. It’s a heady combination, because everything on the bill of fare is chosen on the day by him, prepared by him, served by him and his wife, and highly recommended by him. If you don’t like it, well…
There are no trimmings, what you see is what you get. Everything on the menu is fresh, and bear in mind there is no menu. It’s what Stefan tells you, based on what’s freshly available. He cooks in full view of everyone, and aromas waft from the pans sizzling on the open fires while he chats away about what he will be serving. Wild prawns deep-fried in Malaysian oil (apparently that’s the trick, and lip-smacking good they are) seem to be everyone’s favourite. It’s served with the fish of the day and layered with sumptuous, fragrant spices, rice or chips, all laid out in one big pan, with additional chilli on the side, should you want more bite. Everyone dishes from the same vessel. Be prepared to be told how to cut your fish, suck the prawns, pour your beer, etc. There are some starters, but it’s the all-in-one-pan-served-fare that is the winner. There are no walk-in’s, you’ll be told it’s not the Spur. Every meal is made for the booked patrons, so too the dessert. There’s just enough for everyone. Then the grand finale: Jacqui comes to your table, blowtorch in hand, to caramelize the sugar on your crème brûlée! The chocpot is very rich, and might send you into sugar overdose. A last cup of coffee and you’re good to go. It’s a not hard to understand why this gutsy restaurant is fully booked months in advance.
They don’t have an extensive wine list, but local wines take pride of place, for example the Gabriëlskloof wines, which are excellent choices. If you want something specific, take your own and please share with the chef. He also recommends which wine to drink with seafood.
If you are the sensitive type, this is not the establishment for you. It’s very direct and you’re called by name. You’ll have to wait your turn until they come and spend time with you, but service is swift. Be sure to call and cancel if you can’t make it, otherwise it will be held against you.
It’s totally unpretentious and certainly not for fine, finicky diners. It’s an experience. There’s an open fire on which the seafood is prepared. The atmosphere is informal, with candle light, lots of writing on the brick walls by famous and happy diners, and the booming voice of the chef telling stories about his days as a diamond diver (while his wife rolls her eyes at the umpteenth repetition of these stories).
On Wednesdays and Saturdays, they do meat and fish-and-chips (fried in beer batter and served in wax/newspaper) lunches. People drive for miles for the succulent meat prepared here – just don’t ask for it to be cooked well done. If you’re hooked on the taste, they’ve since opened a spin-off takeaways joint in Kleinmond’s main road, where you can pre-order and collect at your leisure when in the area.
Some restaurants toil for years to create presence. Off the strength of its simple yet ridiculously good seafood and the personalities of the husband and wife team behind it, Hook, Line & Sinker has established itself as a destination restaurant from the get-go.
Let’s start with what this eatery is not. It’s not fine dining, so leave the suit jacket at home. It’s not a hole-in-the-wall fish and chips place, though they do have an outlet in Kleinmond doing just that. It’s also not like the various beach-kombuis options you get up the West coast, with busloads of tourists and mass-cooked seafood over open coals.
What Stefan Kruger (the cook with the booming voice) and his wife Jacqui (who runs front-of-house) do, is serve excellent South African seafood cooked over an open flame on a wood-burning fire. Stef will make you question how lame your fish braaing skills are. Using open flames, his fare is flame-grilled but not in the over-marketed, chain burger joint kind of way. In the open kitchen (it takes up half of the restaurant dining room), he operates an incredible binne-braai the envy of any man who’s ever turned a coal, but while the majority of us make a fire and wait for coals to form, Stef cooks his seafood over a constant wood fire through various cast iron braai dishes that allow him to baste and rebaste each piece in its own cooking juices and his various sauces. The result is astonishingly tasty and succulent seafood.
Your starters come in the form of two soups, an excellent spiced tomato mussel soup and a shrimp bisque with a slightly sweet depth to it thanks to the addition of star anise. Both are a hit. The main show is all about the flame-grilled seafood. The day’s options relayed to you at the table (there is no set menu) may include wild prawns (the majority of prawns in SA are farmed), kob (farmed) and yellowtail caught locally. Going for the wild options, the pan arrives piled high with huge succulent prawns, and yellowtail in a mildly spiced, tomato-based sauce with rice and sauce to pick up the drippings. It is, in short, phenomenal, and you’d be hard-pressed to find fresher seafood cooked better anywhere in the Western Cape, or South Africa, for that matter.
A chocolate pot fired up at the table by a blowtorch-wielding Jacqui is the perfect full stop (literally, “I’m full… Stop!”) to a great meal. Your other dessert option is a crème brûlée, no doubt also flamed at the table.
In winter, wine pickings are slim as business drops, and they might only have house wine available. In summer, Hook, Line & Sinker stocks a range of different decent wines and beers, but if you are specific about what you want, bring your own, as many punters do, and pay a corkage fee of R30.
Delightfully direct. If you like fawning attention and obsequious wait staff, this is not the place for you. If you like a sharp sense of humour, Jacqui’s no-nonsense approach will suit you just fine. Seatings for lunch and dinner are 12pm/1pm and 7pm/8pm. If you get a flat tyre, had to stop to rescue a tortoise, or any other excuse for running late, phone and let them know, as tables will be given away to hungry passers-by chancing their luck. With a specific amount of food catered for the number of people expected at each meal, no shows are a no-no.
Excellent. While the wind howls in Pringle Bay, this place is cosy. The interior is super simple and unfussy: an old stove, tables and benches, and every block in the wall covered in scrawled tributes from happy customers. A sign declaring Possession Island to be the possession of South Africa takes up most of one wall. Stefan, in his previous life in the diamond industry up the West Coast, was asked by the Namibian government to remove it from the deserted guano rock when they took it over. He kept the sign as a memento. This is the kind of authentic, rustic feel that just happens and which no interior design graduate can recreate.
The eatery does cater to vegetarians if given prior warning. If four or more vegetarian diners are expected, Stef will do his special stuffed hubbard squash, cooked for four hours and presented whole before being split open at the table. For one or two veggies, you can expect deep-fried halloumi, a salad or something selected from the extensive vegetarian options at Perigator’s restaurant next door.
On special occasions and for special requests, Stefan makes ceviche and also peble, a South American salsa with garlic, coarse salt, parsley, coriander and chopped tomatoes. Fancy fiery food? Get the chef talking about chillies and you may regret or enjoy, it depending on your capability to withstand serious heat. He’s got a homemade habañero sauce steeped in molasses that will put hair on your chest, but if you want the seriously hot stuff, ask. (Try this at your own risk! ) Attempt the Ghost Chilli sauce, made from Indian chillies that glow in the dark and hit 1,3 million on the Scoville scale (versus a habañero’s mere 200 000), you will have joined a select few nutters who can handle that kind of heat.