Paternoster - the new Franschhoek?
With its gorgeous setting, wonderfully romantic white-washed cottages and fabulous seafood eateries, the West Coast village of Paternoster has always been one my favourite escapes. So you can imagine how delighted I was to hear of the opening of Reuben’s Restaurant at the top place to lay your head - the five star Abalone House.
And wow; Reuben’s has really upped the ante in what has rapidly become one of the country’s foodie havens. What a night. We sat out with a glass of bubbly watching the sun set over the picturesque bay then settled in for a five course dinner prepared by Aviv Liebenberg - a talented chef who’s worked at Reuben’s three other restaurants before taking the reins here. The food was fabulous – full, as you would expect, of fruits of the sea. The menu changes, but don’t pass up the crayfish risotto if it’s on offer, and be sure to end the evening with the thoroughly decadent chocolate pave.
The cherry on the cake was that Reuben was actually there the night that we visited. What an amazingly laid back and humble guy he is. Apparently he’s been holidaying in Paternoster since he was a kid, so was initially reluctant to open his fourth restaurant there lest he spoil the magic of the place for himself by having to work. But you can't help thinking he’s got the best of both worlds. Reuben’s at Abalone House is small and intimate – not a bad place to retreat to when he needs a break from his bustling Cape Town and Franschhoek restaurants. As they say, a change is as good as a rest.
And if you’re a gourmand, the R27 West Coast road leads to paradise.