Sleeping and Dining in Graskop, Blyde Canyon, South Africa

August 20-23, 2016Sleeping and Dining in Graskop-4

Westlodge

We stayed three nights in the honeymoon suite recuperating from jetlag after the long flights from the States. This low key yet attentive establishment fit the bill perfectly. The room was spacious and quiet. There was noise from a water pump during the day, but they hope to move the pump soon. It was supposed to have happen this week. In any case the noise didn’t bother us and didn’t disturb us during the night.

Sleeping and Dining in Graskop

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The room is decorated in a myriad of pinks, including pink rafters. Not necessary my style but tasteful nonetheless. The downside would be that the spacious room, loaded with amenities – tea and coffee service, small fridge, free standing tub, sherry and chocolate , does feel a bit cluttered and dark. Wifi was spotty and slow, but good enough to get email done.

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Breakfast starts with a lovely serving of fresh fruit. A buffet of cold items including yogurt and cereal, breads and scones is available in addition to a hot breakfast that includes eggs prepared to order with a selection of sides – sautéed mushroom, grilled tomato, beans, bacon, etc. Coffee is prepared to order and good. A great way to start the day, especially if you are hiking. Service is friendly and attentive.

Westlodge Restaurant – Divine Dining Number 12

The first night of our stay we dined at the B&B’s restaurant where were asked to order our meal in advance. They have a limited selection of starters, mains and desserts. All the mains come with the same side dishes.

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Starters – the smoked salmon salad served with cream cheese and a fig preserve over greens was rather ordinary.

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The “Foo Fah” soup, a curry with minced beef and vegetables, however, was much more inventive with a nice curry heat.

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Mains – Local deboned trout stuffed with feta and spinach. The trout was on the small side but well executed with a light stuffing mixture that didn’t overpower the fish.

The slow roasted leg of lamb – tender sliced morsels served over a potato mash – was also well prepared and was a nice portion size if you are not looking for a big chunk of meat.

Both mains were served with a potato and green bean mash and a medley of squash based roasted vegetables. Both sides were nicely done and well-seasoned.

Overall the food was the best we tasted in Graskop. Service is friendly and the candle lit dining room is perfect for a romantic evening. If you are looking for a livelier ambiance this may not be the place for you. During our stay the dining room was often very quiet and empty.

Abe’ at the Glass House

The Glass House is the most popular place in town. We arrived just after 7Pm on our second night in town and were turned away. We promptly made reservations for the following evening.

The dining room is decorated in a casually elegant yet decidedly African motif. The oil burning lambs gracing each table give a soft warm ambiance. The charming host loves to joke with his patrons and they seem to love him for it because, unfortunately, the food does not live up to the restaurants number two status on Tripadvisor.

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We started with the oxtail soup – well seasoned but cornstarchy and lacking the depth of flavor found in really good oxtail soups.

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The trout in the trout salad was just weird, and was served alongside an ordinary selection of salad vegies.

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For mains, the lamb cutlet was a tender slab of lamby lamb. I love the more robust lamb flavor of the meat in this country. Although not the lollypop cut we often call lamb cutlet, it was a generous, tender and nicely cooked portion. Sides included a small section of corn on the cob and ordinary but nicely done deep fried potato slices.

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Don’s king klipper was a generous portion of a thick eel filet, pan fried and served with a lemon butter sauce. Sides included corn on the cob and very boring rice.

Dessert was the absolute worst lemon meringue pie I have ever tasted. I don’t even know how you get a lemon filling to come out so chalky, like it was made with some sort of powder.

On the plus side the owner has a nice selection of interesting and well-priced wines. Come for the atmosphere and dining experience and maybe try a curry which he is quite proud of.

Canimambo

This Portuguese /Mozambique restaurant is quaintly decorated with worn yellow walls, shelves of olive oil and a display of faded artwork in wide white frames. Our darling server took our order with a bright wide smile. While the service was sweet, soft spoken and efficient, the food was hit or miss.

The fresh bread to start is soft and divine. For starters we each got a soup, the soup of the day, potato and chorizo, and the kale soup with onion and chorizo. Both tasted homemade and had a nice chorizo flavor.

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For mains we ordered the Chicken Shacuti, which turns out to be a dish from Goa, India and adopted by the Portuguese.  The spicy curry tomato sauce with coconut milk had the best flavors of the night. Unfortunately, the chicken, while fall-off-the-bone tender, was an odd piece of meat with more back than anything else and just a small portion of breast. Don’s grilled chicken piri piri was well sauced in a Mozambique hot sauce but the chicken was chewy and in need of a good brining.

 

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