Ile de Pain

George Herald - - ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT KUNS & VERMAAK -

Sin­ce Ile de Pain re­o­pe­ned their doors in No­vem­ber last y­e­ar, I had not been t­he­re to eat, and de­ci­ded that a vi­sit was long o­ver­due. I had on­ly e­a­ten t­he­re on­ce be­fo­re it bur­ned do­wn just o­ver 2 y­e­ars ago, and had pop­ped in to buy bre­ad a cou­ple of ti­mes.

I lo­ve the ai­ry lig­ht­ness a­chie­ved inside by the com­bi­na­ti­on of high cei­lings and rough brick walls. W­hen we en­te­red the re­stau­rant, t­he­re we­re no emp­ty ta­bles. As we wal­ked a­round look­ing at the pla­ce, a ta­ble be­ca­me free, so we sat do­wn quick­ly be­fo­re a­nyo­ne el­se could lay claim to it. A wai­tress ca­me and chi­ded us for sit­ting do­wn be­fo­re they had cle­a­red a­way the dir­ty dis­hes. Flou­ting the wai­tress, we sett­led do­wn and look­ed a­round us. The wai­ting staff we­re all dres­sed in sleeve­less gi­lets, but wo­re dif­fe­rent co­lou­red tops un­der­ne­ath. It’s a pi­ty that the o­w­ners don’t en­s­u­re that the staff all we­ar the sa­me u­ni­form.

I wan­de­red a­round the di­ning a­rea, ha­ving a look at the ple­a­sing dis­play of pas­tries and bre­ads, and wal­ked through to the ot­her si­de of the re­stau­rant, w­he­re t­he­re are ex­tra ta­bles and chairs. I was sur­pri­sed to see kit­chen and wai­ting staff sit­ting at a coun­ter e­a­ting and drin­king in full view of the di­ners, ta­king up spa­ce w­hi­le paying gue­sts had to wait at the door for a ta­ble to be­co­me va­cant.

I or­de­red the But­ter­nut and C­hick­pea Cro­quet­tes, and K­wi­si­ne King or­de­red the Dra­gon Bur­ger ser­ved with po­ta­to skins. The skins we­re crisp and de­li­ci­ous, and we could ha­ve e­a­ten a pla­te of just the cris­py skins all by them­sel­ves!

The cro­quet­tes we­re excellent, ser­ved with an o­ran­ge jel­ly, to­ma­to sal­sa and gor­ge­ous Par­me­san cris­ps. Af­ter the me­al, I cer­tain­ly didn’t ha­ve any in­ten­ti­on of ha­ving ca­ke or a­ny­thing sweet, but I saw a wai­ter ta­ke a small ca­ke stand to a ta­ble next to us and he­ard him ex­plai­ning to the cu­s­to­mers w­hat the ca­kes we­re. Well, I was now hook­ed, and wai­ted for him to bring the ca­ke stand to us too. We wai­ted o­ver half an hour for so­meo­ne to co­me and ask if we wan­ted a­ny­thing el­se to eat. In the end we ga­ve up and cal­led the wai­ter o­ver to ask him for the ca­ke stand. For­going a glass of wi­ne, I or­de­red so­me Cey­lon tea to wash do­wn the pa­stry, but they broug­ht a tiny glass with the te­a­pot, and no milk. I had t o as k fo­ra te ac u pan­da jug of cold milk.

We we­re very temp­ted to buy ot­her pas­tries and bre­ads to ta­ke ho­me but, sho­wing re­mar­ka­ble and un­cha­rac­te­ris­tic re­straint, I didn’t stop at the coun­ter on my way out.

Ile de Pain is al­ways very bu­sy with di­ners w­hi­le ot­her re­stau­rants are half emp­ty, which is tes­ta­ment to its po­pu­la­ri­ty and a­ma­zing food, and I will cer­tain­ly go back to try ot­her dis­hes and pas­tries.

The Bo­ats­hed, T­he­sen Har­bour Town, Knys­na 044 302 5705

ar­ti­sans@i­le­de­pain.co.za

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