In advance of Friday’s comprehensive review of East Head Café, a few notes about some of the other great spots. Pezula Hotel has always had the area’s best fine diner in the form of Zachary’s, it now also has a more casual option in Café Z, open seven days a week for breakfast, lunch and dinner (044 302 3333). A former lounge/dining area off a foyer has been transformed into “Z” and it therefore has a free-flowing feel but, once seated, the rich fabrics and intimacy of the tables helps you feel comfortable. The menu showcases fresh and seasonal flavours, much of it from the gardens of the hotel. From a small menu “Oom Hennie’s Garden Greens and Herbs” (R55) set the tone, as do Knysna oyster fritters. On this visit, the bucatini pasta carbonara (R85) was the real deal, eggy instead of creamy; while a “chocolate brownie” peanut butter parfait (R50) was a decadent delight. The Island Café at The Turbine Hotel again served a delightful dinner – nothing whizz-bang, but well-prepared fish and meats cooked right with complementary flavours. The prices are very fair, and the hotel’s interior (a remodelled power station) is a must see. (Thesen Island, 044 302 5745). Finally, the famed Ilê de Païn recently turned ten and remains South Africa’s best bakery, with excellent casual menu to boot. Many of the same faces still greet you a decade later and a cheerfulness abounds. (Thesen Island, 044 302 5707).
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Knysna roundup February 2013