Roosterkoek and melktert

South African favourites at the Old Gaol in Swellendam

Roosterkoek, a braai staple, are literally ‘grill cakes’. To make them a ball of bread dough is cooked over hot coals to create a charred, smoky outside and a hot fluffy centre that begs for butter.

Fillings can be savoury or sweet, and here at the Old Gaol in Swellendam they’ve upped the game with gourmet toppings to make for a uniquely South African sandwich.

The restaurant is located in a historical house on Church Square. Directly opposite is the town’s Dutch Reformed church, and the stark, white building cuts an imposing silhouette against the purple backdrop of the Langeberg Mountains. We’re overlooking the restaurant’s garden; here there’s a collection of antique horse and ox-carts, a children’s playground, a traditional wood-fired oven, and even an antique store.

Rose hips curl on a vine above us, and it’s all very pastoral, and relaxing. Lunch comes quickly; we’ve both ordered the house specialty, of course. Our roosterkoeks come piled high with toppings: mine; salmon, capers, and rocket, while my partner has springbok carpaccio with glossy roasted vegetables.

The Old Gaol began as a private empowerment venture at the Drostdy Museum complex. The initiative employed four local women, who went on to own shares in the business. These days two of them, Charlene Mfundisi and Michelle Dyantyi, are the sole owners.

For dessert, we have the other house speciality, melktert or milk tart. It’s traditionally baked in a beaten copper pan, also over coals; the shortcrust pastry falls apart to my fork and makes delicious scaffolding for the delectably dreamy filling inside.

Huwelijk! And that’s Afrikaans for ‘it’s so delicious it’s heavenly.’

Words and photographs Malu

Idyllic Swellendam farm-style getaway, boutique wedding or big group stay with some unique experiences? Have a look at Rotterdam Guest Farm in Swellendam.

Plan on visiting soon? Check out our Swellendam overview for all you need to know.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to keep up-to-date with what's happening whats happening city. Plus, subscribe to our weekly newsletter for a seven day weather forecast. 

Fri
H:17°
L:10°
Sat
H:16°
L:
Sun
H:18°
L:11°
Mon
H:21°
L:
Tue
H:18°
L:12°
Wed
H:16°
L:
Thu
H:15°
L:
koesister_not_koeksisterThe "Kwaiest Koesister" Search Is On

The first World Koesister Day is coming, here's how your one can win big

Southfield_eyesPutting the “fun” in ...

Abandon your worries and forget about time at a Bollywood themed event at ...

good_night_fridayGood Vibes At Good Night Fridays

Head to the V&A Waterfront for free music, entertainment, creative hubs, food ...

Clanwilliam-FlowerShow-4Your 2019 Guide to Spring Flowers in ...

PLUS The answer to your FAQs such as best places to see the wild flowers

Phoenix_WomenWomen Handling Trauma: Expert Advice on ...

Good Enuf Enterprises are providing a safe space for women to discuss trauma ...

fermentedDinner With A difference: Try A ...

From fig beer to salt-cured hake, indulge in the wild flavours of old-world ...

Genuine PorraFor One Night Only: One Man, Four ...

Catch comedian Nelson de Gouveia’s first one man show about his dad's ...

afcon_hockey_tournamentWatch Africa’s Hockey Stars Pave ...

Can our local teams earn their place in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics? And will South ...

TRIVIA

image description

WeatherGiveawaysTravel Tips

Curious to make exciting discoveries in Cape Town every day? "LIKE" us for a daily hidden gem.