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De Kelder is decades old, serving South African cuisine from the Protea Hotel Marine along Port Elizabeth’s main beachfront. A starter of four carpaccios – warthog, springbok, crocodile and ostrich – may appeal, but the main temptation is the magnificent but over-priced kataifi prawns – two queen prawns stuffed into camembert, wrapped in shredded phyllo pastry, then deep-fried and topped with preserved fig. A complimentary mini loaf with herbed butter on arrival is a nice touch.
Steaks, seafood and venison come recommended, but are expensive by Port Elizabeth standards. If you enjoy a dinner spectacle, the chateaubriand DK is carved and flambéed at your table.
The menu for vegetarians is small, but dishes are well conceptualised.
Desserts are traditional – cheesecake, malva pudding, chocolate brownie and the obligatory dom pedro. A more adventurous choice may be the rum-and-raisin ice cream with a double shot of espresso that’s delicious and large enough to share.
The wine list is excellent and varied, with noteworthy, mostly South African wines and a few unusual cultivars. By-the-glass options, however, are limited and dull. Cocktails and craft beers are also available.
Formally dressed, polite and mostly attentive, but on busy days they may avoid you in the gap between serving and clearing or present an incorrect bill.
Traditional, warm and intimate old-school dining with hand-crafted Cape Dutch furniture, vaulted arches and stained glass.
Celebrations and entertaining out-of-town visitors.
Eat Out critics dine unannounced and pay for their meals in full. Read our full editorial policy here.
The level of unintrusive attentiveness we experienced here on the evening of 6 January was quite extraordinary. We had scallops for starters and steaks for mains. Sadly, desserts we could not manage dessert. Throughout the entire evening the only thing that could be faulted, was the bearnaise I had with my fillet. With no sign of an emulsion, it really was just whipped butter with some chopped herbs. I cannot say that I tasted tarragon amongst them either. This really was a great pity as otherwise the experience left us completely elated.
A lovely beachfront restaurant that's perfect for celebrations and special occasions. The menu is mostly seafood – and the prawns divine – but the chateaubriand is also delicious. I'll definitely go back