Apart from having long, unspoilt beaches, glorious sunsets, friendly locals, bountiful fishermen and a relatively stress free lifestyle, Paternoster also has a selection of very good restaurants. So good in fact that if memory serves me correctly one of them has been reviewed in the New York Times!
I have had the pleasure of dining at four restaurants in Paternoster and without a doubt; my absolute, absolute favourite is the The Noisy Oyster. Here is a short report on restaurants in Paternoster …
The Noisy Oyster
As mentioned above, the Noisy Oyster is my favourite. Every time I visit Paternoster I make sure I phone ahead and book a table. The menu changes daily and because I’m not a huge fish eater I normally opt for something a bit more ‘carnivorous’! Dishes are always accompanied with delicious seasonal vegetables. Make sure you leave room for a pudding – they are sublime.
I love the ambience and décor of the Noisy Oyster. I’ve visited twice in the summer and on both occasions have sat outside in the garden. Tables and benches are placed strategically under trees or shade cloth (it can get pretty warm during the summer days) and for a summer evening it’s wonderful to sit outside among the twinkling fairy lights. On the one occasion that I’ve frequented the restaurant during the winter we sat indoors but the garden seating looked inviting with small stoves placed at the head of the tables to keep patrons toasty!
The Paternoster Hotel
The hotel itself is steeped in history; the original building dates back to 1863 when it was built by the locals using limestone from the area. It served many purposes from a clothing store, jail cell, dance hall and a corn storage area for the farmers! From then the hotel had various up until 1973 when it was bought by Johan Carosini who, with his son Giorello, still own the hotel today.
The restaurant is open seven days a week and serves hotel residents and visitors alike. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served in the dining room (formerly the dance hall!) and out on the veranda that faces the main road of Paternoster. The hotel is renowned for its seafood, especially crayfish. Seafood braais can be organised on request but booking is essential.
The hotel also has a unique pub known as The Panty Bar. In 1974 current co-owner Johan started the collection of ‘honeymoon panties’ which adorned the ceiling of the pub. In 1983 however the collection was reported to the police by a visiting dominee and removed. Johan’s son started the collection up again in the 1990’s and it’s still flourishing to this day!
The prawns I had at the hotel were delicious and plentiful; definitely more than enough for one person. The service was prompt and the drinks at the pub a good tonic for a chilly winters evening.
Paternoster Lodge was definitely planning ahead when they sourced this location. The restaurant is large with beautiful views of the beach and sea below. As would be expected of a fishing village, the restaurant serves delicious fresh seafood and has a good selection of wines to accompany your meal.
Although I dined at Paternoster Lodge during the summer the evening was cool so the restaurant staff had a fire blazing. We enjoyed our meal tremendously.
Saffron Restaurant at Abalone House
Located at the five star luxury guest house Abalone House, Saffron Restaurant uses the best of fresh local food, serving up what Irish fine food and dining chef Nickie Lawson calls ‘exquisite world cuisine, with an African twist.’ Seafood is prominent but meat and chicken dishes vie for space on the menu too!
The restaurant is decadently decorated with crystal chandeliers, artwork, antiques, orchids and candlelight. Main meals are served in Saffron Restaurant while breakfasts and afternoon teas are served in the Orchid Room. The Africa Bar is the ideal spot to sip on a French champagne or a fine brandy. A mix of old and new Africa, the enormous fireplace keeps the bar warm in winter.
Last but by no means least is the Voorstrandt Restaurant. This is perhaps the best known of all the Paternoster restaurants – even if someone doesn’t remember the name they can always say ‘that little red tin building right on the beach’ and they wouldn’t be wrong! The Voorstrandt is exactly that; a 114 year old fisherman’s house built of wood and corrugated iron, its painted red and green and sits right on the beach!
If you choose to dine here make sure you book ahead – the restaurant is extremely popular and although meals are served from 10am to 10pm it will be difficult to get a table, especially during the summer months.
The menu speaks of all kind of seafood: prawns, mussels, calamari, crayfish, hake and then also fillet and chicken dishes. With fishing boats literally pulled up to the steps of Voorstrandt, you can be guaranteed that the catch of the day is the catch of that day!
I enjoyed being able to walk straight off the beach to indulge in a cheeky vodka and tonic and a fresh plate of fish and chips – West Coast living personified!
- Paternoster Popular Attractions
- See more Things to Do in Paternoster
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