On a previous visit to Paternoster in January, we discovered Oep ve Eet, an informal lunch eatery as you come into the fishing village, inside the farm stall Oep ve Koep. Returning to Paternoster for a winter holiday, it was a pleasure to be spoilt at the eatery again, with interesting home-made lunches prepared with West Coast passion at the most surprisingly low prices.
Kobus van der Merwe is the owner of Oep ve Eet, and until about six months ago he was the webmaster for the Eat Out website in Cape Town. He loves his new lifestyle, being his own boss. More importantly, he is the West Coast restaurant reviewer for Eat Out, excluding Paternoster, so he is knowledgeable about food. Kobus tells me that in their household in Paternoster, his dad did a lot of the cooking, as his mom was a music teacher, and spent a lot of time away from home. Kobus is following in his dad’s footsteps, and loves baking the bread for Oep ve Koep, and making his specialities, mixed with some of the preserves and jams sold in the shop. His mom Sanita is the owner of Oep ve Koep, making this a family business.
The eatery is in an outside courtyard, surrounded by blooming bougainvilleas, and with traditional garden tables and chairs, covered with tablecloths. There are only five tables. Old ads for Pegasus and Bokomo adorn the doors one steps through into the courtyard A resident tortoise comes to greet guests on occasion. Old fishing boats make useful containers in which Kobus grows herbs for the restaurant. On rainy days, one sits upstairs, in an antique shop section of the shop.
The menu is written up on a blackboard every day, and only contains a handful of items. The menu items differ almost daily, some added, some retained. Some dishes have a strong West Coast feel to them. In the four days of lunching there, the following items were offered: Chicken pie served with a sprig of rosemary and the ‘soet’ quince jelly with Madagascar green peppercorns, and the ‘suur’ pickled cucumber, both of which are sold in the shop and adding the most wonderful contrast to the pie (R25), Cape Malay chicken curry (R 60), Vegetable lasagne (R 36), a tomato salad made especially for me, with the tomatoes marinaded in a delicious home-made dressing (R 18), Butterbean and rosemary soup (R 25), Lentil bobotie (R48), Tagliatelle with bokkoms (R30 ), Beetroot soup a la Luluraai (R25), Springbok ravioli with pan-fried quince (what a wonderful taste) and rocket pesto (R54), and Pasta-fresca with ‘duine-spinasie’ and beurre noisette (R45). It is simple uncomplicated food, yet with a ‘twist’, and one can taste Kobus’ passion for and creativity in cooking.
There is no winelist, and the eatery does not have a licence. However, Oep ve Koep has a grocer’s licence, and it sells wine.
Oep ve Eet, inside Oep ve Koep, Corner Vredenburg Road (R45) and St Augustine Roads, at entrance to Paternoster, Tel (022) 572-2105. http://blogs.food24.com/sardinesontoast Twitter @SardineToast. Open Mondays – Sundays for lunch.
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com