Okay I am officially convinced – Plett is actually not just about: the beaches, the babes and the bods, it’s about: the beaches, the babes, the bods and the RESTAURANTS.
I hadn’t explored Plett for a few years and was more than pleasantly surprised by not only the quality, but by the quantity of great restaurants in the area. It’s a beautiful seaside town with amazing hidden gems, lots of personality and something on offer for every palate:
The best romantic spot
Emily’s at Emily Moon
A mix of wonderfully eclectic ‘Africo-chic’ décor, spoilingly-good river and mountain views, simple food and good service make this a ‘must visit’ whilst in Plett. Try a platter from Katy’s sushi bar with a glass of something chilled, or one of their great cocktails as you soak up the sunset on the deck, or perhaps a candlelit dinner for two surrounded by fairy-lit trees.
The best bakery
Le Fournil de Plett
It’s favourite amongst both the tourists and the locals and once you’ve tasted what they have to offer, you’ll know why. Their breads and croissants are outstanding, the 30% rye sourdough is a must. If you’re eating in: sit in the lovely courtyard for brunch and try the ‘Pain perdu’ (French toast indulgence), gluten free granola or simple croissant with bacon and eggs.
For lunch give into the ‘Vol-au-vaunt’ (free-range chicken and mushrooms in béchamel served on home-made puff pastry) or the Nordik open sandwich (smoked salmon trout, grapefruit, avo and curried mayonnaise). Is your mouth watering yet?
The best trendy spot
The Grand Plettenberg Bay
It’s a trend-setters heaven! Gorgeously sumptuous décor leads onto an open veranda with a stunning view of the ocean. Everyone who is anyone frequents so you better book a table – especially since there are only 4 outside.
Ladies love to lunch here and the ‘slice of Caesar’ is a firm favourite – I tried it and it was fabulous. Tempura prawns, fishcakes and the Bouillabaisse all fly off the menu and people drive for miles for their Bar-one cheese cake!
Lovely cocktails at R45 and Pongraz by the glass at R40 add to the appeal.
The best tea and cake spot
‘Simple, good food - beautifully presented’, that’s what Clare’s is all about. The interior is a burst of floral decor, cake stands and jars displaying enchanting cupcakes and indulgent treats, exquisite family photos and charm! It’s just so much of ‘lovely’. Go for great Lavazza coffee, delicious chocolate-caramel and lemon meringue cupcakes, decadent cheesecake, carrot cake and freshly made paninis.
FYI: she’s just opened Clare’s Deli next door and it’s wonderful. Stocking gourmet cheeses and charcuterie as well as a range of pates, jams, olives, dips and frozen delights, ALL of which will tickle your fancy. Enter hungry at your own peril.
The best fish
The Fat Fish
044 533 4740
It’s a great venue; just off Central beach with a view from every table, unfussy yet elegant decor and a focus on the food and service make this one of the best in Plett. The amazing staff offer impeccable service. The menu focuses on fish and tapas and it’s all fantastic: the risotto balls, Asian calamari, wild oysters and crumbed prawns are glorious and the parmesan crumbed kingklip in smoked chilli butter will have you running back for more.
FYI: They have live music on Thursdays which is a treat! And, if you’re not in the mood for fish, try the sticky pear and blue cheese salad.
The best ‘chilled’ & child-friendly restaurant
Go for great pizzas, superb salads (you must try the carrot & beetroot and the spicy Thai) and a fantastically warm and vibrant atmosphere. They have a brilliant kiddies’ play area and on Tuesday’s your kids can make their own pizzas. On Wednesdays and Fridays you can also indulge in R12 glasses of wine – and NOT from a box, Chris, the owner, offers half price wine and cocktails between 4 & 6. It’s a family-run, family-welcoming place that I’d be happy to take even my mad family to.
The best view
Seafood at The Plettenberg
You just can’t beat it: a restaurant interior of elegant turquoise and white to emulate the beach leads onto an open veranda, lawn and infinity pool that meets the ocean view and a never-ending horizon. Add to this immaculate service, outstanding food and a magnificent wine list and you’ve pretty much got a slice of heaven. Considering that it’s part of a 5 star establishment, the prices are very, very good (mains between R100-R145) and, they have a range of signature cocktails and wines by the glass if you just want to stop by for a drink.
The best outdoor spot
Bramon’s wine estate and restaurant
Set in the vineyards overlooking the Elephant Sanctuary and Tsitsikamma Mountains, Bramon’s restaurant offers you a taste of countrified glamour. Relax at tables between the vines and lavish in their mezze tapas menu offering: meats, pates, organic salads and oysters not to mention an array of homemade breads and decadent desserts.
Wrap your lips around one of their four award winning wines (you must try their fantastic MCC with some fresh oysters) while you spot an elephant or two in the sanctuary below.
The best coffee
A well kept secret from most tourists but a staple for the locals, Doubleshot is a coffee shop-come-deli serving the best coffee in town (supplied by Espresso Lab Microroastes). A modern and light space with fantastic art on the walls, it’s simple and uncluttered to allow the ‘Pièce de résistance’, a Kees Van Der Westin Mirage Triplette coffee machine, space to stand out in style (it’s like the Porsche of coffee machines).
The best 'African cuisine’
Showcasing iconically South African ingredients, Nguni is a celebration of South African flavours served with flair. The menu includes the likes of smoked springbok carpaccio, biltong and feta salad, Karoo lamb chops and their famous ‘Nguni’ steak with coriander and caper salsa. Named after the famous ‘Nguni’ cow, the décor reflects its distinct black and white colouring: black and white upholstered chairs and walls, touches of black splashed across each table and a large Nguni skin and painting that steal the show. The building itself is an ode to the South African heritage, it’s over 150 years old with low ceilings and the original wood-fired stove that add to the cosy atmosphere. Opt for lunch on the veranda or a romantic dinner inside.
The best market
Head to the Harkerville market on Saturday mornings to indulge in a delicious and nutritious escapade. All the best local produce is on display including artisanal breads, preserves, fresh fruit and The Cheeseman’s famous selection of locally-made cheeses.
Stuff your face with Bundu breakfasts: rolls brimming with eggs and bacon and delicious corn fritters and Mama Africa Coffee served in pretty pottery cups and saucers. You’re encouraged to bring your own tablecloth and dine under the vast oak and umbrellas.
The best curry
I know it sounds strange to be talking about curry in a seaside town but the Cape Malay Lamb Curry at Lemongrass is just fabulous. They also do a great chicken curry, Eastcoast sole and blue marlin Carpaccio. Inside the restaurant it’s fresh and light with glass doors giving panoramic views of the lagoon and flora, but I’d opt for sitting on the deck as it’s beautiful outside.
The best for something stylish
An elaborately and intricately decorated space, Zinzi is a menagerie of tribal carvings and metalwork, textured walls, handmade mud chandeliers, hand-printed fabrics adorning custom-made oversized chairs, antique tables and even uniquely designed cutlery and glassware. It’s a stylish place. The menu is a’ la Carte, showcasing a mixture of African and European flavours. The service is neat and so is the wine list.