Cafe Talk

Season has started early and Die Gieter has opened at Madiba’s Tide operating as a deli and bistro. Ffiago has opened an in-house coffee shop and I was happy to see a croissant with green figs and camenbert on the menu. Mug and Bean have down sized and moved to the Mall with the Savannah Cafe taking over in Woodmill Lane. The Knysna Lounge taken over the Swing Cafe and there are new owners at Coffee Connection.

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Old Gaol Coffee Shop

The Old Goal Coffee Shop is the kind of establishment that made Knysna the place that everyone wants to visit.  The warm, friendly, inviting, caring service, that tells you that it is not simply about the money. Joan remembers my name, and the fact that I split my cup of coffee, and that I like lots of hot milk, and she is aware, and appreciative, of the gratuity I leave with the “William.”(Bill).

I can eagerly recommend that anyone who enjoys a good cup of coffee, a home baked biscuit, and excellent, way above the norm, service, should make a point of regularly taking a turn at the Old Gaol.

Contributed by Peter Dijkstra who runs a business offering good wholesome home grown advice to investors looking for properties for sale in Knysna

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Cafe Talk

Mugg and Bean is apparantly moving to the new Mall which should be interesting. Thet are keeping the Woodmill Lane location going but are changing the name to Savannha Cafe. The Watermill has changed hands as has Mother Holly’s out at Millwood. The Niqua Choo Choo are packing it in after notice of a 525% increase in rent and Wordswoth Coffee has also closed.  Becca’s has opened where Lunar Cafe used to be and Trio have moved into Hettie’s old shop offering Halaal takeaways and a good curry. We are supposed to be getting a Scooters Pizzeria, Ronnie & Julians Fish and Chips is opening next to Spar and Wild Plum Cakes & Pasteries is opening up in Woodmill Lane near the Lifts. Finally new owners have started renovating Upstairs on Main, the Swing Cafe and a Big Dog Bikes pub above their showroom where Del Gustos use to be.

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Wine tasting

The Garden Route, South Africa’s sought after lifestyle and playground of the rich and famous now has its own wine district. You can enjoy cellar tours, local wines, cheese and wine tasting festivals and super feasting. From picking your own grapes at Jakkalsvlei in Herbertsdale to enjoying delectable tapas at Bramon. Living the good life just get better with our own wine route in the Garden Route.

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Tapas & Meze

Chaplins in Woodmill Lane have a new menu and have brought back some of their more colourful dishes. I don’t often do full meals, mostly I am looking for something to snack on whilst I read the paper or kick back in between doing stuff I don’t want to do. And different is definity good. Most of our local menu’s are not different. They are mostly very very predictable. So it is interesting to see that Chaplins are going back to the sort of menu they started with.

I enjoy the bruschetta

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Cafe Talk

Limoncello’s at the Waterfront have closed their doors whilst Ocean Basket are supposedly opening upstairs next to Panarotti’s. None of which makes much sense. Maybe they hope to make it third time lucky but I doubt it’s good news for Fisherman’s Cabin. Nerina’s is also opening where Cafe Rossini’s used to be and once again one has got to question why? What is going to be different? That passage leads to empty shops. So it cant be location, it can’t be feet. Luigi’s the ice cream shop next to Spar also looks ominously quiet. I suspect this is going to be one of the hashest and most bruising winters yet.

The Urban Vineyard has opened a cheese and wine deli at the bottom of Gray St in the same building as the Rex Hotel. It looks exciting. it’s different and hopefully will get the support it deserves. Chaplins on Gray, across the road has changed names and is now to the Tin House Cafe, Deenies has reopened as Cafe 9 on Gray and the Anchorage is now doing lunch as well as dinner.

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The Pudding Shop

[edit] 6/11/2011 thesoupkitchen.com . Thought I would make a note of the url

It’s on days like these, cold and wet and wintery, that one starts thinking about a log wood fire and steaming hot soup. What I wouldn’t give for a genuine chicken broth soup, a small country style loaf of bread and fresh salty farm butter. But its not to be. It’s just the same old tried and tested menu year in and year out.

The best the local restaurants can come up with is that ambiguous soup of the day which is either a carelessly concocted minestrone or the faceless butternut standby with a swirl of cream. How difficult can it be to make a good pot of soup? Ideally it should simmer away quietly on the stove. Or it can be portioned and frozen and whipped out when needed? Have the restaurateurs forgotten what sort of business it is, they are in? Food is supposed to be exciting and emotional even. But that is something that somehow gets lost in the translation.

The best I can do, is firstly the Thai Kitchen. Joy does a chicken soup with coconut milk, galangal and lemon grass. She also offers Tom Yum Kung a hot and sour prawn soup as well as Tom Yum Het which is the same sort of thing, but with mushrooms. Next is The Tin House Cafe who also offer a soup menu which includes the ubiquitous Butternut soup along with a selection of Ham and Pea, a Minestrone and a Chicken & Corn. There is also Cafe 9 on Gray (previously Deenies) which has just opened. Finally there is the House of Flavour in George which I have been going to for years. I tried their lamb and lentil but still favour the chunky beef and vegetable which they, not surprisingly, do all year. They also do a Tortilla (tomato) based soup and one other.

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Winter menus – Cruise Cafe

[edit 09/06/11] Grilled Sole and skimny chips R48, Thai Seafood Curry and Basmati Rice R58.00, Moroccan Lamb Tagine mash and veg R60.00

[edit 26/05/11] The menu has changed and offers Sole at R48.95, Waffle at R21.95 and Patagonica Calamari R39.50

Cruise Cafe has introduced a lite lunch menu for winter which offers not only good food, but food that is well prepared and not to forget good value. That is very important for locals. There is also the complementary bread roll which is always appreciated. This is one of the few restaurants I eat at regularly and whilst the pork fillet and poached apple at R45 was as tasty I will stick to their braised pork neck, which I enjoy. They are also offering hake and chips at R38 and prawns, peppers and chinese noodles for R48. I understand that the menu is going to change periodically but I have no doubt it will be worth watching.

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Ham & Eggs

I arranged to meet the watercycler at Bosun’s for a pub lunch. They do a snack basket which is a tad more imaginative than most. But it was their ham, eggs and chips that caught my eye. Fearing the worst I tried it. But it was, as it was supposed to be. Fried eggs on slices of cold Greef’s gammon ham, served with chips and English mustard that I didn’t have to ask for. My only complaint was that the eggs yolks were firm rather than soft, which I would have preferred.

Submitted by footloose in eden – Restaurants in Knysna

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Cafe Talk

Chatanooga’s is supposed to be moving from Sedgefield to the old Aida premises opposite Coffee Connection on Main. It looks as if their Sedgefield venue is all closed up but that was a quick look on the run. The Shebeen has changed it’s name to Kings. We also have G Cafe at the new Greefs Butchery on Waterfront Drive and the Happy Pumpkin tucked away just off Pledge Square. St Elmo’s has changed hands again, as has Deenie’s which is getting a new coat of paint and Jamie Blue which has been relaunched by new owners. Gloria Jeans is now Wordsworth Coffee but think that was simply changing to in-house management from whatever it was before. Paddy’s Pub spluttered to a halt and has now reopened. And finally Leeuenbosch has opened a Farm Stall selling their diary produce, offering good coffee, cakes, milk tarts, light meals and a farmers breakfast. Just a farmers breakfast for breakfast. No this, no that.

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