The fickle Cape Town restaurant scene means that many restaurants – no matter how popular – will be around for two or three years before they close their doors. This is usually only with the help of annual winter specials, because once the weather starts getting colder, most Capetonians go into hibernation and can only be lured out to eat by 50% off specials at fantastic restaurants.
Not all restaurants have to abide by these rules, of course, but there is one restaurant that has never had a special, never had a winter deal, and never even had a half-full night. All evidence points to the fact that it is Cape Town’s favourite restaurant.
What is this magical place? The Woodlands Eatery.
If you haven’t been before, you may be one of the only residents in Cape Town to be missing out. Well, that’s not entirely true – this Vredehoek spot is mostly popular with the hipster City Bowl set, although you won’t feel out of place if your hair is symmetrically cut. Run by husband and wife team Larry Steenkamp and Sara Cronwright, Woodlands is perennially popular for a number of reasons.
As far as I can tell, here they are:
1. The food is wonderful. Generous portions, made from fresh, local ingredients and reliably superb, people come back again and again for the lamb pizza and Larry’s burger – which has just had a fantastic facelift. They also do seasonal cocktails, and the plum and black cherry mojito is worth writing home about. Every time.
2. The service is superb. Fast, friendly and efficient, you never feel rushed but always feel tended to. I’ve been for everything from table-for-two to table-for-ten and the service is reliably excellent – a rare treat.
3. The décor is fabulous. Quirky, homely but not messy, you can see that the owners spend a lot of time and attention ensuring the restaurant looks its best.
This means there is always a vibe. Always. Tuesday dinner in the middle of the month? No problem! Woodlands will be full. If you haven’t visited The Woodlands Eatery yet, you are clearly missing out on something that the whole of Cape Town knows about.
What are you waiting for?
Guest Post by Russell Jarvis of Travelstart.co.za
The Woodlands Eatery
2 Deerpark Drive West
Best for: Fresh, local fare and the plum & black cherry mojito