Tuck into a Cape Malay lamb curry at the Olive Terrace Bistro in Tulbagh.
OLIVE TERRACE BISTRO, TULBAGH
The Boland town of Tulbagh is full of Cape Dutch-style buildings, with telltale gables, thatched roofs and dark green doors. This is no accident – many of the historical buildings were meticulously restored after a devastating earthquake that ravaged the town in 1969. Olive Terrace Bistro is at The Tulbagh Boutique Heritage Hotel. Parts of the hotel building date from the mid-1800s and there are some even older buildings opposite: Winterhoek Manor (1813) and the Toll House (1809). (Besides the bistro, the hotel also has the Karee Tapas and Wine Bar, which serves tapas and pizza and craft beer and gin.) I find my way to my table at Olive Terrace as the light fades and the peaks of the Winterhoek Mountains glow pink. Solar lanterns switch on as the sky grows darker and fairy lights magically transform the courtyard. The à la carte dinner menu is filled with mouth-watering dishes like roasted pork belly with creamy mash (R120), Cape Malay lamb curry (R135) and traditional paella (R115), but it changes weekly. I eventually settle on the 300 g rump steak (R145) and my colleague chooses the Mexican chicken (R95). The wine list features local wines from the Tulbagh Valley and you can order many by the glass (about R30). Breakfast is served until 11 am, with stalwarts like a three-egg omelette on the menu (R65) and more indulgent dishes like Eggs Royale – poached eggs on pumpkin fritters with rocket, smoked trout and hollandaise sauce (R95). The “light meals” menu features open sandwiches with fillings like smashed avo and pea, or pulled pork (both R85). Opening times: Daily from 8 am to 9 pm. The restaurant is popular so make sure you book a table, especially for dinner. Where? 22 Van der Stel Street, Tulbagh, about 120 km from Cape Town via the N1 and the R44. More info: 023 230 0071; tulbaghhotel.co.za