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.
The Rupert connection ensures a superior list with some fabulous surprises. Nevertheless, there are affordable options.
Friendly, knowledgeable, and efficient.
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.
Take home some of the excellent products available at their deli – all profits go to the Imibala Trust.
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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.
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.
Everything is made from scratch, so be prepared for a leisurely afternoon.
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.
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.
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.