Heading down to the South Coast for a break – or lucky enough to live there already? We’ve got a selection of the best restaurants in spots like Ramsgate, Port Shepstone and Uvongo for you to check out. These six* restaurants made the cut for the Eat Out 500, the top-rated restaurants in South Africa, and are featured in the 2015 Eat Out magazine.
Where possible, organic and local ingredients are used to create home-style, rustic dishes at The Burlesque Café. The prawn and potato burger with sweet chilli, baby potatoes and salad is the perfect summer lunch. Save space for the decadent baklava and wash it all down with some homemade lemonade or ginger beer. In keeping with its name, the décor is colourful and vibrant, exploding with lace and sparkles. Choose a seat inside the vintage building or in the dainty garden for a social lunch or romantic dinner.
This old farmhouse with views of the ocean in the distance boasts authentic Italian flavours and quality ingredients. Order the mussels (if they’re on special), salted calamari with homemade pesto, and the seafood tagliatelle. The signature dish of tortellini with lamb and butter sauce is also a highlight. Casa Toscana’s homemade desserts are amazing: try their cream-filled pastries or the panna cotta.
Look forward to the best ingredients, locally sourced and organic where possible, along with herbs from their own garden, at The Cellar Boutique Restaurant. Top dishes include the fillet with roasted butternut, crispy potato ribbons, fresh rocket and chermoula cream; the grilled duck breast with red wine reduction; spiced salmon with mussel risotto; and white chocolate crème brûlée with passion fruit syrup. The restaurant has seating at the poolside and small bar area. For a romantic dinner, their Le Petite Cave is recommended. Booking is essential.
Expect a host of South African favourites with some Thai-, Moroccan- and African-inspired dishes at the appropriately named Flavours Restaurant. Farm-style meals like the slow-braised lamb shank remain popular and the fish offering is exceptional. The restaurant is very proud of its wine list, which features a range of regular favourites and lesser-known but worthy names. The patio is perfect for summer dinners and while you can’t quite see the ocean, you sure can hear it. Try something from their ever-changing specials menu, like the oxtail pasties or key lime pie.
The estate is a romantic hideaway surrounded by exotic plants and enchanted alcoves. The oxtail and the West Coast sole meuniére, dusted with herbs and flour, pan-fried and served with lemon, are not to be missed. Much of the herb and salad ingredients come from the estate grounds. Portion sizes are healthy, so bring an appetite. Ask to dine at the social bar area or fairy-light-lit poolside tea garden, and be sure to walk through the exotic plant nursery before your meal.
Offering slow food on the South Coast, Casa Mia is a place to go and relax. Lunch on the deck overlooking the Umtentweni River is a treat in summer. Their thin-based pizzas are extraordinary in flavour and there’s a really lovely selection of toppings. (Choose from the chef’s list on chalkboards on the restaurant walls.) The starter antipasti for two deserves special mention, featuring coppa ham, parma ham, provolone, salad greens, artichokes and calamata olives with delicious olive oil dressing.
*We originally included two restaurants located in Umdloti, which is on the north coast of KZN. (They wanted to be in on the fun, too.) Sorry about that!