Tantalize your tastebuds in the Klein Karoo
The whole idea of a holiday is to experience something new and different. When on holiday, you want to see new places and meet interesting people, and you would, without a doubt, want to taste something different. There wouldn’t be much sense in going on holiday simply to buy the same food you are used to at home.
Oudtshoorn and De Rust offer a variety of the finest taste experiences well worth trying.
There are many restaurants to choose from, but why not, instead of ordering the familiar meal, try an ostrich steak. And rather than simply ordering mutton, ask for Karoo lamb. These dishes are unique to the Klein Karoo.
Your search for a meal and a drink with a difference is not limited to restaurants in town. There are venues in and around Oudtshoorn and De Rust that offer unique culinary experiences.
Karusa Wines and Craft Brewery
Situated only 12km from Oudtshoorn, on the way to the Cango Caves in the Schoemanshoek area, you will find Karusa, surrounded by vineyards and fruit trees. This is the ideal spot to enjoy a light lunch and taste local wines and fine craft beers. The restaurant at Karusa offers a variety of cheese and meat platters, light meals and pizzas.
Enjoy these with any of their seven craft beers. This is the ideal opportunity to taste some of the estate’s 20 different wine products. They also source locally distilled gin to serve a variety of gin cocktails.
Surval Boutique Olive Estate
With 18 000 olive trees on the estate this is the ideal place for an olive tasting experience. Three types of olives are produced at Surval. Make yourself comfortable for a tasting and experience their olive oil and a variety of olive products. Surval Boutique Olive Estate is situated only 4,8km from Oudtshoorn, on the way to the Cango Caves.
They are open seven days a week, from 07:00 to 22:00, which means you can also enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner at the estate. For olive experience reservations visit www.surval.co.za
Thorny Creek Brewery and Red Bus Café
To experience genuine home-crafted beer on tap and see how a self-sufficient countryside business is run, take a drive to Thorny Creek. Here Rob and Olga grow their own organic fruit and vegetables, using them in a variety of dishes on offer. Their interesting menu changes from week to week and includes breakfast, cheese platters, pasta, salads and meat dishes.
Thorny Creek is a popular eatery and brewery where one does not see any other buildings or signs of civilization. If you are fortunate, you might even arrive while a musician is setting up for a busking session. Take the road past the old Oudtshoorn station, turn right at the sign to the research farm. The tar road turns to gravel and after about 4km you will see the red school bus on a hill to your left and the entrance to Thorny Creek.
They are usually open on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays, from 09:00 to 16:00, but during the festive season, from 16 December, they will be open daily. For reservations contact Rob at 072 273 1926.
De Rustica Olive Estate
If you think that “olive oil” is olive oil is olive oil, you are mistaken. Visit De Rustica, between Oudtshoorn and De Rust, to learn the secrets of this incredible product. Book a short tour and olive oil tasting session and you will soon discover that there is much more to virgin olive oil than you would have thought.
This informative tour of about an hour takes you from the trees to the different production sites and is rounded off with a platter of De Rustica’s award-winning oils offering you the opportunity to discover its sought-after qualities. Various olive products, olive oil and balsamic vinegar are for sale.
De Rustica is open between 08:00 and 16:00, from Monday to Friday, but it is necessary to let them know beforehand if you would like to join the tour and the tasting. For online orders visit www.derustica.co.za
Domein Doornkraal Farm Stall
There is no English word for “roosterkoek”, and to state that it resembles bread baked on an open fire, would be an insult to the tradition. The only way to find out what this delicacy is all about, would be to order one at Doornkraal.
They are served with a variety of fillings, including a hearty breakfast roosterkoek – but make sure you arrive hungry! While waiting for your roosterkoek to be freshly baked over coals, you can sample some of the select Domein Doornkraal wines. All of them are produced on the farm and available for tasting. Other wines from the region are also for sale in the wineshop.
Doornkraal is 15km from Oudtshoorn, on the N12 to De Rust. For online orders visit www.doornkraal.co.za
Did you know that the Klein Karoo is also well known for drinks other than port and wine? Visit Grundheim Wines on the R62 towards Calitzdorp and you will be amazed to find out what is being distilled and bottled here. Grundheim is currently run by sixth-generation owners and is famous for its witblits produced in a traditional brandy still.
The label shows a bull terrier to echo the bite and grip of this potent drink which is not for the thirsty or faint-hearted. Grundheim produces unique products such as muscadel, port, homemade liqueurs, rum, gin and potstill brandy. The many awards salute their popular products. No visit to the Klein Karoo would be complete without tasting Grundheim’s products and purchasing a few bottles.
The estate is open from Monday to Friday, between 09:00 and 16:30. Visits on Saturdays by appointment only. For online orders visit www.grundheim.co.za