The very remoteness of Simonstown is probably the most appealing thing about it. Motoring there, one takes the little road that hugs the seashore or even better –try the train.
Park your car at Muizenberg and take the train down past Kalk Bay to Simonstown, very Corwallish, if there is such a word. One walks into the village proper past some of the most historic places in the Cape. The history of Simonstown is rich and varied but it has always been a naval installation, sometimes under various European colonial powers, especially Britain, but now it’s all ours.
Among the many places to eat there, the one I really like is called The Salty Sea Dog. It is in the tiny yacht harbour and you couldn’t get closer to the sea without throwing yourself into it. The menu is limited but the fish is about the best you will find this side of town and very reasonably priced. Nothing fancy about it, just good old grub, even mushy peas.
The fishcakes are superb and the chips are perfect. Salads of beetroot and potato, coleslaw or pasta, and one with anchovies and olives in the Portuguese manner are deliciously fresh and tangy. Fish could be snoek, hake, or kingklip, all with chips. Excellent calamari deep fried in strips or tentacles can also be used to make a calamari burger –unusual, but a fun idea.
If you must have meat, try the Russians and chips, unspeakably unhealthy and delicious, and finish up with great apple pie with cream. The wines are very reasonably priced and you will find something you like unless you are very fussy. Service is swift and friendly. Occasional buskers are great entertainment while you eat.
The Salty Sea Dog
Wharf Street Simonstown
Words and Pictures: Greg Landman