Die Strandloper – 10 courses of fantastic food

5 min read
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I very rarely choose to eat fish at restaurants, opting instead for a steak or some form of land-roaming animal. I think that is because I have this notion that most fish is frozen and then thawed before serving on a particular day, and I am sure I am correct about this a lot of the time. There are exceptions, though, and Die Strandloper is my favourite.

Located some 140kms outside of Cape Town it isn’t a casual ‘pop in for a quick bite’ kind of place for most and really requires a full day. Indeed it is not a typical place in many regards and that’s what makes it so damn brilliant. Die Strandloper is located on the beach, about 20 meters from the freezing, Atlantic Ocean, in a setting that looks very much like a fishing village. Instead of the plastic crap you would find in some recreation at a theme park, this is legit, down to the sand in your food if the wind is playing nasty (which isn’t too often, thankfully).

Opening at midday and closing at 6pm you have plenty of time to not only enjoy the very well prepared food but also relax (many sleep for a bit), enjoy the onsite guitarist (takes requests), brave a dip (you mad bro?) or you can walk with the family along the pristine beach.

I think the best way to describe this place is to breakdown what I did there recently – on the 24th of December, 2016 to be precise. First things first, BOOK BOOK BOOK. No jokes, this place is usually fully booked at least a week ahead. If you want to risk it, though, call them before and they may have good news for you (there were four tables empty when I was there, peak season). Die Strandloper has its own bar, but, and here is the kicker, you can bring your own booze, FOR FREE. No corkage, nada. Which is why we arrived with a cooler full of champagne (you can buy from their beach bar if you do not bring). When you arrive, they lead you to your table, which is cast concrete, and planks serve as benches.

It is a rather relaxed and beautiful setting, and you get to sip on whatever you have brought for about an hour before it’s food time. Here you need to actually work a plan. There are around 10 courses. I am sure that many of you are throwing your fists to the sky decrying ‘I can do that with ease!’ No, you really cannot. Unless you nibble on each course, of… course? So, what is on the menu? Offering this list really does little to convey the actual quality and quantity of food, but I’ll offer it just so you get an idea:

Bokkoms
Mussels in wine and onions
Mussels with garlic butter
Weskus Haarders
Fish Curry
Braaied Snoek with potatoes and patats
Lamb Bredie
Smoked Angelfish
Linefish
Half Kreef (West Coast Lobster, this may come off soon due to natural supplies)
Moerkoffie & Rooibos Tea
Koeksisters
Roosterkoek, fresh bread, farm butter and home made jams

WARNING. The bread is a TRAP. It tastes like it was made in whatever version of heaven you believe. It is hot, dense, and will fill you up like a fat kid in a cement that-tastes-like-candy warehouse. I suggest just one slice, and then the next, and possibly that last one you know will only be the last, because self-control… It’s so good!

With the bread comes the mussels. There are two options, wine, or garlic (or be like me, and mix both). At this point if you are able to rub two IQ points together in your head without assistance you will realize you will not make it to the fifth course, let alone the tenth unless you pace yourself. So pace yourself soldiers!

The fish is excellent. There are quite a few courses of them so if you are not a HUGE fish person rather wait for the curry that comes later. Also, bones. If you are used to eating frozen fish fingers or cakes at home, you might not be familiar with just how many bones fish can have. While every attempt is made to remove all the offending hazards, some can still slip through and you’ll need to be aware while eating. Also another thing to note is that there are no sauces that you might expect, like tomato, mayonnaise, or tartar. But then again I didn’t ask.

After you have worked out a clever plan to taste everything and not rupture from the main meals the ‘desserts’ arrive. In the form of Moerkoffie (damn, so good) Rooibos Tea and Koeksisters. By the way, the coffee, I mean Moerkoffie, is stirred with a burning log. Like it should be.

By the end of the day, most people are unable to move, and many actually take a little nap before they head home. I can’t blame them. You can bring your own booze and have about 5kgs of food to plow through. What more could you ask for? Oh, yes, the view. Don’t forget that.

Die Strandloper is really a unique eating experience that is best shared with friends because it truly is a social place. They also offer a venue for weddings, which is actually really popular, what with the sunset that is spectacular and the openness.

I’ll be there again soon, this time not as designated driver.

Atmosphere: Rustic. Don’t go expecting silverware and chandeliers. If you are not an outdoors kind of person you should probably head to the Wimpy, and you can bring back some sauce.

Service: Other than having the lobster served (to stop people from stealing too man, you know who you are) it’s buffet style. So if you complain you can literally get in the sea.

Food: Excellent.

Notes: The experience costs R 295.00 p/p NO CREDIT CARD FACILITIES – CASH ONLY. Kids 12 years and over are full price, under 5 are free.

Operating Hours: Mon – Thurs: 12:00-15:00 Fri-Sat: 18:30-21:30

Contact details:
083 22 77 195 or
+27 (0)22 77 22 490

Last Updated: February 1, 2017

Nick Reay

I have been an avid fan of movies ever since I discovered Santa Clause wasn’t real, a day marked in my memory by my first viewing of It’s a Wonderful Life, which wasn’t so wonderful that day. Since then I’ve watched thousands of movies and even fooled my parents into putting me through uni to get a degree in the subject. I first started writing as a journalist for The South African Newspaper before moving onto communications for an NGO trying to save the planet. Unfortunately my recommendations to the CEO that we should all don rings imbued with the powers of earth, fire, wind, water and HEART went unheard. Now I pretend the end isn’t nigh by hiding in movies.

  • Nou is ek honger

    • Admiral Chief

      Some moemfie for you?

      • MonsterCheddar

        XD. Only if it barks.

        • eish

          • MonsterCheddar

            XD. I will make a man out of you yet, me lad.

    • Hammersteyn

      Vir pynappel?

      • MonsterCheddar

        Oh you.

  • I go to Langebaan with a group every February for a week of drinking and getting away from the city and every time we drive past the Strandloper I get a lot of jokes thrown at me cause they all know how much I loathe that place. It’s overpriced and dirty with mediocrity food. So if you are not into the whole caveman style of eating then skip this place.

    (I am not really the one to even care about restaurant reviews but there are two places in WC that I will always complain about and Strandloper is one of them)

    • PurplePariah

      tbh it’s fish. I wouldn’t go anyway. 🙂

      • Even shellfish, none of them cleaned. Just moered into a pot of boiling seawater.

        • MonsterCheddar

          Yep.

    • Admiral Chief

      *loathe

    • Admiral Chief

      And the other?

      • Wang Thai

        Funnily enough the first word describes it just fine.

        • Banana Jim’s Final Form!

          Wang Thai in Milnerton? Dude I live just up the road!

          • No, the one in Somerset West 😛

          • Craig “Crios” Boonzaier

            The one in Somerset West is shyte. Much better options in the area if you want some Asian food in your face.

    • MonsterCheddar

      I agree with ^^^^^^^^^^^^^
      Didn’t do it for me either.

      • It’s a tourist trap

        • MonsterCheddar

          Agreed.

    • That’s a pity. It was fantastic when we were there. Also, you can’t go here expecting it to not be an experience for cavemen…

  • Admiral Chief

    Sounds a lot like De Vette Mossel (haha) in Harties

    • Hammersteyn

      It does and I’m pretty sure it’s cheaper as well

    • Skyblue

      Went there last year for the first time. Sounds pretty much the same with a much better view. Thought the food was pretty bland but their bread was amazeballs.

  • Hammersteyn

    I always fill up on bread. Cardinal sin. But it’s so good!

  • MonsterCheddar

    Will not waste my dosh at this place again.

  • Original Heretic

    Been to this place twice. Both times were awesome, But from what I recall, not really for little kids.

    • miaau

      Yeah, real bummer.

      If you live near the PTA region, we have found one or two restaurants where the food quality is good AND the kids enjoy the play. I would also be eager to hear what others think.

      NO SPUR. Kids love it, but………

      • Original Heretic

        The idea for The Spur came from Satan’s bowels.
        Horrible, overpriced food, in most cases you also have inept waiters.
        But there’s a play area for kids, so they always want to go there. ugh…

        • miaau

          Yes…. The best play area for the kids of any nationwide franchise, really. by far.

          And when your 3 year old is hyperactive…….

          HVR told me about Blasters in Mosselbay when we went on holiday in June, for which we were grateful, we would not otherwise have gone. Daughter loved it!

          . Play Area = 10/10. Food? 3 /10? Maybe cause in off season, restaurant not busy, but really? Just pile cheddar chess on a pizza? Make it oily and rich with no flavour break? Come on. Spaghetti was bland, truly bland.

          • Original Heretic

            Bad pizza? Jeez, it’s one of the easiest foods in the world to make. To get it wrong means that you’re not putting any effort into it whatsoever.

            Sad….

          • HvR

            That is sad, sounds like that one took the same route as the one here in Brackenfell

          • miaau

            Yeah, skimp on making the food properly and hope the kids draw card is enough.

            AND it is amazing, I walked round the empty place. Stuff for teenagers to play, I can see dad and teenagers playing games, mini golf, rides. 3 meter long slides for toddlers, ship mounted guns that shoot balls at other kids, the list of endless. A lot of effort went into the various play areas.

            Thanks again, was worth it to see my girl go down a 3 metre slide by herself. The manager said I can go with if she is scared, which, at 2.5 years, she was. But wow, the fun she had……

      • Magoo

        +1 F*ck you Spur

      • Matthew Holliday

        Really used to enjoy spur, mostly for the 2 for 1 mondays, but the last few times Ive been, Ive just felt ill for the next day or two.

        Spur sauces are still the best though.

        • miaau

          I am not allowed sugar…. So all sauces are out. perhaps that is part of the problem as well.

          but paying R100 for a double burger that left me feeling hungry soon afterwards…. not cool.

          • Matthew Holliday

            Paying R69.90 for 2 burgers and chips however, was tolerable.

  • HvR

    3 waaaaaaay better (and cheaper) options for the same experience:
    Muisbosskerm at Lamberts
    Seekombuis at Tieties (for the seafood not the other food)
    Camp at Tieties in a tent on the rocks catch and braai your own kreef

    • miaau

      De Vette Mossel (ok, not cheaper)……

      But man………

      • HvR

        okay should have specified on the west coast

        • miaau

          Ah, fair enough.

          Ate at this place on the West Cost last, last year December, about 50 minutes north of Langebaan (where we rented a house), close-ish to Veldrif i think. Near the sea, not on it. Was packed, the food was great, price was AMAZING. In a little village, some houses, no tar roads. And the GPS got us lost, told us to drive “that way” but there was no road .We could see the restuarant, just not how to get there.

          • HvR

            If you drove through Vredenburg then it has to be Paternoster (if you drive through Paternoster you get to Tietiesbaai)

            If through Velddrif, then probably Elandsbaai (there is also a restaurant called mossel something) or more north at the start of Lamberts where you get Muisbosskerm

          • miaau

            I think, although I may be taken with De Vette Mossel, that it was a place called mossel something.

            Yeah, passed Vredenburg. Stayed there a few years back, rented another house. Very cheap…… Although normally holiday are done with timeshare, went there both times for family reasons.

          • HvR

            Could also be Stompneusbaai or St helenabaai. On my to go list especially since Tietiesbaai is getting overrun by tourists these and getting buggered up as a result.

            Both those villages are between Paternoster and Velddrif closer to Velddrif

          • miaau

            looked at Google maps and nothing is reminding me.

            How we found it: we mother in law googled restaurant on the Sunday morning. We saw, it she told her phone to go there and we left. That was it. She drove.

  • DragonSpirit009

    Many many moons ago I went to Strandloper. I enjoyed it because I didn’t have to pay one cent. The food was great back then.

    • Original Heretic

      Free food is always a winner.

      • miaau

        true. It feels like I always end up paying though…..

        Asked my parents in law to split the cheque on Sunday past. Yay.

        We sometimes feel bad asking and it seems my family, wife and my side, are ok with letting my or my wifes hand dip into the wallet after a meal without reacting.

  • Magoo

    Damn that looks great! Honestly never found anything of the sort in JHB.

    • miaau

      In Pretoria, they have a similar type restaurant, look it up.

      De Vette Mossel (not near Great Brak, this time), seems to be the same sort of beachy vibe, just away from the beach. Some people I spoke to loved it, never heard bad about it.

      • Magoo

        Thanks man, will look it up next time I’m in the area!

  • Matthew Holliday

    Went there years and years ago, so if its anything like how it used to be, then the bread really is at least as good as you say.
    Wasnt big on seafood back then, but the people around me seemed to enjoy it.

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