Words and pictures by Greg Landman and photos by Jaco Voges
Looking for the perfect seaside restaurant? Look no further, Paternoster has the perfect little spot for you.
Gaaitjie in Paternoster takes full advantage of its location. As a matter of fact, you couldn’t get any closer to the sea unless you threw yourself into it. This charming little cottage has seating on the stoep and if the wind is pumping – which happens every now and then in this neck of the woods- the cute interior will shield you from the worst of it.
Having said that, the place to be when the sun goes down is on the stoep overlooking the gently splashing waters and the seemingly endless beach where people walk their dogs, children play, and the occasional horse rider can be spotted. All in all, a view that most people will give their eye/teeth for.
Talented young chef and owner, Jaco Kruger, has had a chequered career, which included spells at The Saxon in Johannesburg and at the Cape Grace, as well as time in Vietnam, which is apparent in the Asian influences in some of the dishes.
The fat Saldanha Bay mussels steamed in white wine with cumin and lime leaves is heaven, as is the calamari with charred corn, pickled red onion and garlic aioli. Other starters include prawn tails wrapped in phyllo pastry served with sweet chili sauce, and herb crusted tuna with orange, fennel and wasabi mayo.
The food is light and interesting with delicious flavours and textures not obscured by any kind of pretentiousness. If all that fish is getting to you, try the sirloin, with smoked tomato sauce and gremolata, or the peri peri chicken served with baked potato and sour cream, a real treat so far from Portuguese territory.
The wine list is small but well-chosen with some of the local treasures lurking, service is very good, friendly in the country manner, helping to make a memorable occasion even better. Bookings are absolutely essential.
For reservations call: 022 752 2242
As the wine writer for Country Life magazine for the last 15 years, Greg has met and interviewed more than 150 of the country’s top wine makers. His articles offer unique insights into where to eat, what to drink, and where to go all over the Western Cape. With his dining companion Beryl Ormsby Browne, he has also reviewed more than 60 country restaurants for the magazine and has been a reviewer for the prestigious Eat Out Guide for 12 years. His passion for everything the winelands has to offer has led him into the world of wine tours. To find out more, visit his website Magic Grape Tours.