Paternoster: It’s a Mouthful!

Voorstrandt Restaurant. Photos: Denise Crawford

From poor fishing village to red-hot property. Paternoster has made astonishing progress – and the town’s eateries reflect it. Here can one can find the culinary heavyweights, the legends, the pioneers, the traditionalists, and the lingerie collectors.

Reuben’s at Abalone House (yes, that Reuben’s) operates from a seaside white building that fits in with the unspoilt landscape. Kobus van der Merwe, the chef who forages for his ingredients, operates from Wolfgat, a 130-year-old fisherman’s cottage that overlooks the bay. Wolfgat is as exclusive as it gets. According to its website it “takes only 20 diners per sitting.”

Dishes are complemented by “local seaweeds, seasonal veldkos, venison, and pickings from our garden. Some elements on the tasting menu take weeks of preparation, while other ingredients are handpicked on the day for the exact number of bookings.”

No need to despair if you are a traditional diner and not up for this challenge! One is spoilt for choice in Paternoster. There are indeed so many eateries that it’s a mouthful, just saying their names.

The Noisy Oyster seafood restaurant operates from another pristine white building; there are also the Voorstrandt Restaurant with its dramatic red and green tones, the playful de See Kat Restaurant, and another white wonder, Gaaitjie Salt Water Restaurant. And there is the Paternoster hotel’s famous pub, the Panty Bar. The pub got its name from the panties hanging from its ceiling. There’s a story, here. Johan Carosini started the collection of “Honeymoon Panties”.

Reuben’s at Abalone House.

According to the hotel’s website “The collection had to be taken down in 1983 after a clergyman reported it to the police as an ‘unholy practice’. The website continues to tell what happened after this historic lingerie raid. “…needless to say the policeman, who was responsible for the confiscation of the panties, was thereafter called “Panty’ Basson…

Giorello Carosini started ‘collecting’ again in the nineties – the collection is now more interesting than ever and still flourishing…”

The Panty Bar.

As they say, the more things change the more they stay the same. Which is true and also a lie. Progress has indeed come to Paternoster and with it a property boom. Check out the house prices. They are, at times, enough to make one lose one’s appetite.



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