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Burgundy Restaurant: excellent seafood and sea views
Taste the speciality abalone dish, vegetarian options + spot whales
Burgundy Restaurant has one of the best locations an eatery can have: at the edge of Hermanus’ bay, overlooking the historic old harbour and the sea beyond, which in season is full of whales. That’s not the only attraction, though. It’s known in town for excellent seafood, particularly the fish and chips, an original seafood pasta and, most of all, its unique abalone dish.
GET QUALITY FOOD WITH A SASSY INTERIOR
Walk into the restaurant, and you’ll be greeted by warm smiles and enticing smells, such as artisan bread baking in the oven. It’s known in town for its high culinary standards, and it's this entire package that locals and patrons from all over the world return for.
The interior of Burgundy is classic and cozy. On one side is a school of wooden fish on the wall, and upfront is a welcoming bar.
FIND A SEAT ON THE VERANDA
There’s a lot of natural light spilling in from the open windows and doors, but as with most sea-facing restaurants, you'll want to find a seat on its veranda, where you'll get endless views over Walker Bay.
In addition, the old bistro adjacent to Burgundy has been transformed into a contemporary new space for a younger crowd, with an outdoor smoking area, and an outside covered patio that offers protection from the wind. In peak season, says owner and chef Rudolph van der Berg, “it's an incredible vibe ... we would easily put through a thousand, two thousand people a day”.
TRY THE SPECIALITY ABALONE DISH
The all-new Burgundy menu is a combination of the restaurant’s classics and new dishes, with a selection of tapas and an extensive cocktail menu for beautiful, long summer evenings on the veranda.
An old classic, and renowned, dish is the abalone, or perlemoen as it’s known in Afrikaans (it’s a kind of mollusc or sea snail). It’s green on the SASSI list as it’s farmed by Abagold, a farm in the new harbour. "It's an acquired taste," says Van der Berg. "It's not a very seafoodie or fishy tasting dish, so people who don't enjoy strong seafood flavours would definitely enjoy abalone."
"You don’t need to be adventurous to try it," says the chef. "It’s a simple abalone dish made with a combination of onion, garlic, fresh sage, dashi, minced abalone, little whole pearl abalone and cream, served with coconut-infused jasmine rice."
MUST-TRYS FOR VEGANS + VEGETARIANS
Burgundy is a good choice for groups with a variety of dietary requirements. There are a few vegetarian and vegan options, such as the fresh and tasty lentil and chickpea salad, with pickled tomato, fresh basil, coriander and thinly sliced marinated red onion.
HAVE A VEGAN BURGER 'WITH SUBSTANCE'
The vegan mung burger is also popular. “It feels like you're eating something with substance," Van der Berg says. The burger is topped with a tomato smoor, which is made with garlic, chutney, a bit of Worcester sauce and onions. There are also vegetarian wraps, curried lentils with steamed vegetables, along with other options.
In the late afternoons, the tapas are popular, with selections such as Kleinrivier Gruberg cheese croquettes, chilli poppers, cob fishcakes, as well as the tasting platters with cured cold meats, deep-fried halloumi, artichokes and a selection of pestos and fresh artisan breads.
BURGUNDY IS KNOWN FOR ITS SEAFOOD
Give the seafood pasta a try. Van der Berg created it nine years ago for a television programme and it has become one of the big sellers, he says. It’s made with red pepper and cashew-nut pesto. The beer-battered hake is made with only the best quality hake and the batter, made with the award-winning Old Harbour lager.
THIS IS WHAT THE CHEF RECOMMENDS
However, in Van der Berg's opinion, the best dish is the crispy and spicy chicken wings. "It's absolutely divine, and it's something new on the menu that people enjoy," he adds. The chicken wings are first baked in a special selection of spices, virgin olive oil and Indonesian soy sauce until golden and crispy. The wings are then left to cool. Before it’s served, it’s tossed in the spice mix again, some lemon juice and olive oil, then baked again until hot and crisp.
THERE’S A LOT TO SEE CLOSE BY
Burgundy is in the centre of Hermanus, and the Curio and Craft Daily Market is next door. There’s plenty more to see, the old harbour, the whale museum and many excellent galleries all within walking distance.
TRY SOME MORE LOCAL HERMANUS FARE
Get the full guide to eating Burgundy's speciality abalone dish.
Arrive straight from the beach for lunch at Dutchies.
Have you ever swam in the famous tidal pool at Ficks?
When are you heading out to Hermanus for the weekend?
Hermanus is great for a day trip escape.
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