Tuesday, January 15, 2019

A Beach braai at Muisbosskerm, Lambert's Bay

On our holiday at Lambert's Bay before Christmas we booked to go to the most iconic place in the area. Muisbosskerm. They say 'The First and Original Open Air Restaurant' https://www.muisbosskerm.co.za/. We had not been there for many years, but the reports are still good. It is an informal beach restaurant, famous for its food - served in vast quantities and very plentiful in choice. We booked on line before the holiday. It costs R350 per person, not including crayfish, for a veritable feast. Crayfish is not always available, as it has a restricted season. We were lucky; it was in season
You take a tin plate and start to help yourself from the various tables. There are stations cooking different foods all around the venue
We were told that it started at 7pm, but missed the first courses which usually include traditional farm bread and jam, mussels and oysters
So, if you are going, get there early. But be careful not to eat too much bread, it will fill you up and there is LOTS of food to come
Checking in with this very friendly manager, we discovered we could indeed order crayfish which cost R70 for a half
He gave us pensioners rates! You get a coupon and it is served later to those who have them
Where to start?! We began with the fish table and had some braaied angel fish, yellowtail, snoek, & roll mops
There were also bokkoms - the dried fish so popular on the West Coast – and so not for us!
We found a table near the sea shore and admired the views. We bought a bottle of Cederberg Sauvignon Blanc for R180
to enjoy with our dinner. The prices of the wines are quite high, but you have no choice, so you indulge
It is very rustic and very busy
This lady was cooking battered hake, probably the best dish of the day for Lynne (after the crayfish),
so crisp and flavourful, tender and flaky fresh inside
There was a seafood "paella" with calamari, mussels and "crab" sticks
The bokkoms
There are no utensils; you eat with a large mussel shell. We knew this, so we brought our own knives and forks from our picnic case
Cutting any kind of flesh with a mussel shell doesn’t work too well. And there is salad, roast potatoes, sticky sweet potatoes and mixed veg
And some fried calamari appeared
A beautiful sunset on a balmy West Coast evening with little wind
There is lots of seating under cover. And no smoking is allowed
Lynne at our table
Later there are potjies - big pots that cook long and slow over the fire for hours. And you can see the fried fish cooking on the fire
Wonderful little Hartlaub’s gulls run up and down the surf margins
And lots of selfies. At this point we took a little rest from eating
"Do you like that one?"
The afterglow of the sunset lasts for a long time
Time to get a new plate for the potjies. There was a tripe dish, a chicken curry and a lamb waterblommetjie bredie that night
Up close. The tripe had lots of flavour, Lynne tried it and John went for the other two
The Cederberg Sauvignon Blanc was superb with the food. We wanted to drink local wine and this is one of the best
Kettles on for a brew or coffee
The crayfish. Just legal in size, well cooked, not overdone and very sweet
Half each, dressed with garlic butter
And some steak from the braai with a pepper cream sauce. Sadly, it was horribly tough
Evening draws on!
Stir fired veggies, but now there is not much of anything left
You can see what Homer meant when he said "wine dark sea"
Almost the end of the evening and satiated people began to depart
Time for dessert which is sticky, crisp koeksisters. And there was coffee
It is a great experience; we thoroughly recommend a visit for lunch or dinner if you are up there
But just remember to book. They are not always open
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© John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus 2019

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