One of the best things about staying in Somerset West is that you’re right in the heart of the Cape Winelands. And people who love wine always love good food. So you can be sure that there’s choice aplenty when it comes to dining. Or even just taking it easy with an excellent cup of coffee.
Here’s our guide to five fantastic places to eat while you’re here at Easy Five, spread across the spectrum of cuisines available in Somerset West.
South African cuisine: 96 Winery Road
We love the quote from British food writer Nigel Slater that greets you when you open 96’s home page:
“By ‘Real Food’ I mean big flavoured, unpretentious cooking. Good ingredients made into something worth eating. Nothing fancy, nothing extravagant, nothing careless or slapdash, just nice uncomplicated food. Simple food cooked with care and generosity.”
Perfect description. 96 Winery Road’s menu is heavily influenced by South African traditions, and they change it four times a year, with seasonal dishes changing almost every day. If you really want to spoil yourself, try the tasting-and-pairing menu, which, on the day we checked the site, included five (Of course!) courses coupled with premium wines from the Ken Forrester and Martin Meinert ranges.
As you can imagine, the wine list is extensive — about 250 different labels — and the atmosphere is quintessentially Cape Winelands: a whitewashed building and a comfortable dining room filled with warm wooden furniture under traditional reed ceilings
- 10 min (8 km) from Easy Five via the R44 and Irene Ave
Italian cuisine: Cucina di Giovanni
Cucina di Giovanni serves pizzas and pastas, carni (meat dishes like veal, oxtail and eisbein), and — let’s not forget we’re very much in South Africa here — good, hearty fillet and sirloin steaks. The group has three restaurants in the Winelands, and our guests love them — on the day we checked our closest branch, it ranked third on TripAdvisor’s list of 142 Restaurants in Somerset West, with a total of 1,162 reviews, of which 781 were ‘Excellent,’ and 291 were ‘Very Good.’
- Somerset West: la Cucina di Giovanni Waterstone Village. 9 minutes (4km) from Easy Five via the M9
- Stellenbosch: la Cucina di Giovanni Eiekendal – on the picturesque Eikendal Farm, which is a destination of its own, with wine tastings, vineyard walks, and a happy children’s playground – 9 minutes (8.8 km) from Easy Five via the R44 and Irene Ave.
Baked treats: Pajamas and Jam Eatery
If you want to meet the locals, go to their eateries, although sometimes they’re a bit hidden. This one, for example, is situated in an industrial area in the Strand. But don’t let that put you off; once inside, you’ll find it’s filled with gifts and goodies antique and new, and with the most mouth-watering mountains of cakes and fudges and such. Which is the real reason you want to be here, now, isn’t it?
If you really have to, though, Pajamas and Jam serves light meals, too – quesadillas, salads, toasts, fish, chicken, pork and beef. Please note, thought, that it’s only open daytimes.
- 11 minutes (3.9 km) from Easy Five via Victoria Street
We’ll admit it: we’re very biased towards The Coffee Roasting Company – we get all our own coffee from them, and all the coffee we serve here at Easy Five, too.
The Coffee Roasting Company creates its own blends from top quality Arabica beans from all over the world, which you can buy to brew at home, or which you can enjoy on site together with a slice of cake or other treats from the Red Riding Hood Deli (which also carries a selection of food-and-coffee-themed gifts).
The Coffee Roasting Company also offers coffee talks by prior arrangement: a basic introduction to coffee (40-60 minutes); an introduction to brewing techniques (also 40-60 minutes); and a hands-on, full-morning Basic Barista Workshop during which you’ll learn about grinding and tampering, espresso extraction, milk frothing, and latte art – with “ample time to get your hands dirty.”
- 7 minutes (4 km) from Easy Five via Lourensford Road
Best of the Best: The Restaurant at Waterkloof
OK, this is it: the fabbest of the fab. The Restaurant at Waterkloof was named Number One in South Africa (up from number three last year) in the 2018 Eat Out Mercedes-Benz Restaurant Awards, which were announced in November, 2018.
Forgive us for quoting directly:
‘Gregory Czarnecki’s masterful culinary mind and inspired plating have skyrocketed him to the coveted number-one spot.
‘Judge’s comment: “Simple combinations of flavours, perfectly cooked and exquisitely plated”.’
The Restaurant offers a choice of two set menus, with or without wine pairing, in its dining room that extends from the wine tasting lounge and gravitational cellar in a modern, glass-encased pavilion on a hill overlooking the Waterkloof Wine Estate.
Open Monday to Saturday for lunch and dinner, this one’s there for special occasions!
- 15 minutes (7.5 km) from Easy Five via the M9.