RESTAURANT REVIEW: The Burgundy
IT’S so difficult to find good food at the right price at restaurants that have the best settings, so it’s with a feeling akin to relief that I have eaten at the Burgundy, in Hermanus, on a number of recent occasions.
An old fisherman’s cottage just off the famous cliff path with its whale sightings in spring (and sometimes beyond) makes for a quaint and characterful venue — and the patio seats under plentiful trees and umbrellas are perfectly located.
There are dozens of tables, making it easy to find a seat even on a busy weekend, when it can feel like tourist central.
After a period of falling into the usual trap of "great location means no effort" the new owners have spruced the interior up as well as giving the menu a welcome lift — not to forget their personal touch when it comes to service that also lifts the quality of the rest of the floor.
The cosy interior has been modernised — just enough — and is now a neat, modern café with dark wood tables to match the renovated wooden floors and ceilings. There are private rooms, but my favourite is the enclosed veranda with its historic feel.
The new menu is varied to suit most tastes, but is happily built on café favourites and, importantly, is long on quality. Varied breakfasts at about R60 (from "health" to eggs Benedict to sardines on toast), oversized "anytime" cakes (including scones, a very good baked cheesecake and tarte tatin) cater to the morning visit, while lunch options are plentiful.
Seafood dishes abound, as one would expect here (with mussels and calamari at full and half portions, R90 and R45), with a superb battered hake and chips (R60). There are sandwiches, wraps, pastas and meze (a perfect al fresco option).
Salads are of great freshness, and the hand-made burger is also worth a special mention: it’s fantastic quality with the joy of extra touches such as a house-made tomato salsa (R55).
Other mains include a whole roast baby chicken with trimmings for R85 and a soup of the day for R40. A dish that could be seen to cater for foreigners, bobotie, is given a very convincing turn, and even comes with pumpkin fritters (R80).
An abbreviated evening menu simply selects from the daytime one and keeps the same fair pricing intact, while the wine list that features local wines also offers carafe options.
FOR: Friendly atmosphere, a fine casual option that sets a standard ahead of many on this touristy strip.
AGAINST: If you are allergic to tourists you may not like it.
RATING: Three-and-a-half stars out of five.
Market Square, Marine Drive, Hermanus, open daily for breakfast, lunch and tea, and for dinners in season (028) 312-2800, www.burgundyrestaurant.co.za
• JP Rossouw is editor of Rossouw’s Restaurants, the independent guide to dining in South Africa. All visits are made unannounced and are paid for.
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