Nook Eatery is one of my favourite eateries, and I have always been made to feel welcome since I discovered it a year ago. Today it celebrates its first anniversary (and co-owner Luke’s birthday yesterday). From a quiet low-key opening, it has grown into a known and loved destination, and having Restaurant Christophe next door, the two restaurants have become a food lovers’ haven on Van Reyneveld Street in Stellenbosch, although they differ vastly. Nook is no longer a hidden corner!
Co-owner Jessie is the chef, and she takes special pride in preparing everything herself, and sourcing organic foods where she can. Nook has become a popular student lunch stop, and their pizza evenings on Wednesdays, the only day they open at night, are extremely popular. They have a collection of cream tables and modern silver chairs outside, and on a summery winter’s day this is the ideal spot to watch the student parade. It is enjoyed by non-students too. Luke connects with his customers, often hands-on in taking the orders and serving the food, and the regulars soon become friends.
Breakfast starts at 8h30, and scrambled eggs cost a mere R20. Lunch is served from 12h00 – 15h00, and one can order the soup of the day – sweet potato and pear soup on the day that I was there (R30); Croque Monsieur (R35); a Nook Burger, made from free-range beef and served with salad, avocado and fries (R50); toasted sandwiches, made with Boerenkaas (R26) or with gypsy ham added (R32), Thai chicken (R35), Roast Beef (R36), and mushroom brushetta (R32). Sweet treats include croissants (R12); massive pain au chocolat (R14); toasted coconut bread (R12); French toast, bacon and syrup (R30); and poached pear and Greek yoghurt (R28).
The lunch buffet opens at 12h00, and is a recent addition at Nook Eatery, for which those that know and want it come to punctually, before the food runs out. It costs R13 per 100 gram. The buffet changes daily, and on the day I visited Nook it consisted of slow roasted lamb and rice; mushroom, cinnamon and lemon; organic pear and gorgonzola salad; organic lentil and spinach salad; and avocado, tomato and herb salad. The ‘Wood-Fired Wednesdays” pizza evenings have become an institution, and eleven pizza choices are available, including Argentinian chorizo, avocado and gorgonzola (R62); organic pear, gorgonzola and fresh rocket (R52); anchovies and capers (R50); and four cheese – with mozzarella, gruyere, gorgonzola and parmesan (R50).
The wine list is short – De Waal Sauvignon Blanc (R16 by the glass, R65 bottle), Kumala (R18/R70) and Krone MCC (R20/R100). MAN Vintners Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz all cost R70.
Nook Eatery is highly recommended, for friendly service, an homely atmosphere and excellent healthy food. It was selected as the location for the soccer-inspired “League of Glory” TV series.
Nook Eatery, 42 Van Reyneveld Street, Stellenbosch. Tel (021) 887-7703. www.nookeatery.co.za. Free wireless internet. 8h00 – 16h00 Monday – Friday, 8h00 – 13h00 Saturday. Pizza evening Wednesdays 18h00 – 21h00. On the Stellenbosch Restaurant Route.
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com