KapstadtMagazin.de

Dune spinach and samphire

Jeden Tag tolle Tipps aus der
schönsten Stadt der Welt.
 
www.kapstadtmagazin.de
info@kapstadtmagazin.de
Kapstadtmag
KapstadtMagazin.de
kapstadtmag

Dune spinach and samphire

Oep ve Koep has ensured that West Coast cuisine will never be the same again

Kobus van der Merwe is a maverick chef. While his Weskus contemporaries bang out rollmops and seafood platters, he instead creates fantastical dishes with samphire and dune spinach. Coming out of the kitchen to greet us, all blond curls and a big smile, he quickly shows us around. Kobus ‘quit his day job’ and left Cape Town a year and a half ago to set up a restaurant in what was then a tea garden in his mother’s shop: Die Winkel op Paternoster, or as it’s better known, Oep ve Koep.

The store itself is a labyrinth of West Coast treasures; there’s naturally harvested sea salt, rows of homemade jams, preserved lemons in big glass jars with bay leaf and clove, cupcakes with edible glitter, and more. I could easily get lost in here.

Oep ve Eet

The restaurant area is in the back garden of the property. A few tables are scattered about covered with bright Afropop plastic tablecloths and there’s a jungle of herbs growing out of an old boat with faded blue sides.

We settle on a spot under molting purple bougainvillea, and Kobus brings us a chalkboard with today’s lunch written on it. “It changes daily,” he says referring to the menu. “I always try to keep some staples, like a bobotie, or our signature, which is pan-fried breaded bokkoms served with a poached egg and beurre blanc.”

My partner and I split a butterbean soup to start; Kobus obliges and serves it in Tietiesbaai enamel mugs. It’s creamy, with the residual sweet, earthiness of the bean, and an added richness from the lamb stock base.

Next up is the calamari bobotie, an unusual take on this classic dish. The execution is faultless, and the plating inspired. I remark to Kobus that it reminds me of a trend called landscaping. “Yes,” he says, “it's not new at all, but I would say my take is more food inspired by nature. The West Coast is a very unique place, and I try to visually reference it. Things naturally found together in the wild; it’s a very similar concept to terroir with wine.”

After eating halfway, I swap plates with my lunch companion, and tuck into Sandveld potato dumplings, with dune spinach, almonds and mushrooms. Whereas the bobotie had a sharp, sweet, spicy flavour profile, this dish is more subtle; soft earthy flavours paired with the never-before-eaten texture of dune spinach. Of course, we have to have dessert; two spoons and a green fig bread and butter pudding served with cream and crushed meringue.  

Kobus comes to sit with us after we finish lunch. We chat about how the locals have taken to his avant-garde style. “It took a while for people to get used to it,” he says. “In the beginning it was quite touch-and-go. Customers were after fish and chips, not dune spinach and samphire. I’ve had to convert and convince the regulars.”

Soon we’re on the topic of foraging: just where does Kobus find his unusual plants? Does he scour dunes and river marshes? “You need to be a bit more conscious than that,” he says. “You either grow your own, or find what you need in other people’s gardens or empty plots. I mean, Cape Columbine Nature Reserve is amazing for dune spinach; but it’s protected.”

Sustainability is entrenched with his philosophy on food. Kobus is a big SASSI advocate, and this causes problems for him and his signature ingredient, bokkoms. Normally made with haarders (a type of mullet), the fish is now on the orange list. “I’m making my own; I use maasbankers (Cape Horse Mackerel) instead. It’s quite a fatty fish, so it’s a different take.”

Kobus leaves us with a parting gift of homemade ciabatta. And I know, without a doubt, I’ll be back when samphire is on the menu.

By Malu Lambert

Oep ve Koep
St Augustine Road | Paternoster | Western Cape | +27 (0)22 752 2105 

Opening times: Monday to Saturday: 9am - 5pm and Sundays from 9am - 3:30pm 

Rather in the mood for a burger? Try Hudson’s on Somerset.

For your monthly update on what’s happening in and around Cape Town, be sure to subscribe to our popular newsletter and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

 

Cape Town Events Calendar
September 2019
SUN MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30

Sure_Thing_2Don’t Miss This Young Artist’s ...

Mitchell Gilbert Messina's mock-ups and sketches in Woodstock are all about aspiration

rodan_kane_hartRodan Kane Hart: Making the Most of ...

An expansive gallery and pristine outdoor landscape showcase a free exhibition by a young ...

dales_6Sunday Roast and Carvery at Dale’s ...

How good does apricot-glazed gammon sound?

William_Kentridge_2A Monumental Exhibition To Open At The ...

The iconic South African artist’s largest exhibition in Africa in over a decade

blowfish_new_4Half-Price Sushi Every Wednesday and ...

And drink in the sunset and view (and a cocktail)

goudini_buffetA Sunday Buffet That’s Worth Taking A ...

Take your swimming gear along and enjoy the hot pools while you’re there

Kinky BootsSmash-Hit Kinky Boots Extended To 2020 ...

With music by Cyndi Lauper, several Tonys and a Laurence Olivier Award

chicha2Sundays at Chicha!: Wine Tasting and ...

Beat the Sunday blues with wine, tapas and live music

Comedyclub_new12Half-Price Sunday Special at Cape Town ...

Experience Cape Town’s funniest comedians (for less on Sundays) at the Waterfront’s ...

Om Revolution vinyasa poseHave an Outdoor Yoga Experience with ...

Embrace your inner yogi outdoors

Bugz Playpark in Cape TownMake Sunday Funday For The Whole Family ...

End the weekend on a high note with fun rides, educational play and something for ...

Vergenoegd_duckrun1Cheer On The Ducks At Vergenoegd Löw

Bring the kids along to experience the Duck Parade

WeatherGiveawaysTravel Tips