Venues

Imibala

Imibala
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Cost
R120 avg main meal
Ambience
Classic elegance
Food
Modern, South African
Payment
Amex, Mastercard, Visa

Critic's review

Greg Landman

Food
Country cooking at its very best with no pretence, no blobs of this and that on the plate to distract one, no sign of haute anywhere. Generous portions obviously please the locals to no end. Try the twice-baked cheese soufflé with a chive cream, salt-dried cherry tomatoes and roasted pine nuts, or the seared beef carpaccio with roast baby beets and creamed horse radish for flavourful starts. Go onto slow roast pork belly with fresh ginger, chilli and caramel sauce served with broccoli and creamed potatoes or the superb prawn and fish cakes with marinated marrows and homemade tartar sauce, and finish up with fabulous rhubarb crumble with vanilla ice cream and custard, just like Gran used to make.

Wine
The Rupert connection ensures a superior list with some fabulous surprises. Nevertheless, there are affordable options.

Service
Friendly, knowledgeable, and efficient.

Ambience
The place is light and airy without being so elegant you could feel intimidated. The stoep is just the place to watch the hurly burly of Somerset West at its best.

And...
Take home some of the excellent products available at their deli – all profits go to the Imibala Trust.

(September 2016)

Eat Out reviewers dine anonymously and pay for their meals in full. Click here to read our editorial policy.

  • Ambience
  • Service
  • Food
  • Greg Landman

    Food
    The cooking is performed under the sure hand of experienced chef Nicole Dupper, who worked at Bartholomeusklip and Casa Labia. Expect the very best Cape comfort food, without any quirky little flourishes to distract from the pleasure of eating there. The freshest ingredients are used in things like twice baked cheese soufflé with chive cream, salt-dried cherry tomatoes and roasted pine nuts. The daily special could be deliciously nourishing pea and ham soup with their irresistible homemade bread, or a generous sesame bun filled with pulled pork; real country fare. The salmon and prawn Thai curry, fragrantly spicy with rice noodles, onion sprouts, chilli and lime is delicious, not too spicy and not too sweet. Perfect, as a matter of fact. The duck and cherry pie is filled to the brim with the richest filling this side of the mountain and will give certain other establishments famed for this dish a run for their money. A dessert of buttermilk panna cotta with strawberries, chopped Turkish delight and brandy snaps is rich but refreshing, while the rhubarb crumble with vanilla ice cream and Crème Anglaise takes one back to childhoods spent at Grandma’s house.

    Drinks
    As is to be expected at a place with Rupert connections, the wine list has some spectacular offerings from around here, as well as from the four corners of the globe. Nevertheless, those of us with limited pockets can still get excellent local wines by the glass at very reasonable prices.

    Service
    Everything is made from scratch, so be prepared for a leisurely afternoon.

    Ambience
    Elegantly furnished both inside and out, the al fresco areas are a delight in summer with large umbrellas shielding one from the sun, while the interior is warm and cosy when things get blustery.

    And …
    All the money raised in the restaurant and the craft shop goes to the Imibala Trust, the primary aim of which is to provide education for needy children in the area.

  • Food
    The aromas of the oven-roasted chicken in yoghurt curry sauce reach the table before the plate arrives. Light in spice and constitution, the sumptuous dish is served with a tomato, avocado and coriander salsa. The salads are mainstays of the menu, and are justifiably popular. Try the one with fresh pear, walnuts and Parma ham – a true delight.

    Wine
    The list is simple, geared for lunchtime trade.

    Service
    A small and evergreen team makes it hard to visit without building long lasting relationships.

    Ambience
    Expect an upmarket experience in this architect-designed building with its intimate, naturally-lit nooks and a fireplace for chilly days.

    And...
    All money raised in the restaurant and adjoining craft shop helps the Imibala charity put children through school. (C&MR, September 2010)

User reviews

  • Gluten free cakes - rich chocolate cake or almond tart, they sell yummy halva to take away and beetroot & carrot juices. Lovely setting. Enjoyable for tea too!
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  • Every time we dined here the food was excellent, the wines good, the service (by Pieter) outstanding. The price/quality is excellent. We highly recommend this restaurant.
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  • We were very impressed that 100 % of the profits goes to helping local schoolchildren with education and uniforms and we saw a few coming in to the back. The food was great and felt healthy. A good selection of dishes which made it difficult to choose but all salads and sandwiches were well presented and tasty. The chocolate brownie is heaven. Well done.
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Facilities

  • Alfresco
  • Booking required
  • Breakfast
  • Child friendly
  • Eat Out reviewed
  • Food
  • Functions
  • Licensed
  • Lunch
  • Parking
  • Serves food
  • Smoking
  • Takeaways
  • Vegetarian
  • Wheelchair

Stores and Markets

An all-sorts store comprising restaurant, gift shop and charity fundraising activities also incorporates a deli, which sells fresh and frozen meals along with cookies, rusks, olive oils, olives and honey infused nuts. If you like what they do, engage the kitchen to take over the catering for your event.
Smart shopper’s tip: Contribute to a good cause. Walk across the road and consider supporting Imibala’s art centre, which helps underprivileged children get through school.

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