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If Ficks isn’t on your bucket list yet, here’s why it should be
Pinchos, flammkuchen, cocktails & whale-watching
Last updated: 19 February 2024
Carved into the cliffs of a historic tidal pool is a little slice of Croatia or Italy. Glamorous women in full bling pose for their best picture of the year; kids splash in the cool tidal pool, while parents watch them with ease. Ficks is a rare gem of a restaurant that many will only get to enjoy once in a lifetime. Here are all the must-tries at Ficks, from paella flammkuchen to whale watching.
Ficks is set above a tidal pool that is safe for kids. Image: Ficks Restaurant
RESTAURANT BY A TIDAL POOL
Ficks is a two-minute drive from the Hermanus Waterfront, its entrance only slightly visible from the road. There’s a broad stone staircase that leads down to a tidal pool with wooden decks that hug the cliff contours (there’s also a smooth ramp that runs from the carpark to the decks for those in wheelchairs).
The tidal pool was built in the 1920s, and 100 years later it’s one of the most-visited locations in the Overberg. It’s become an idyllic spot for a hot summer’s day: Sunbathing on the rocks with an Aperol Spritz in hand, sea salt still on the lips; kids swimming while parents lounge and chat over a bottle of wine and pinchos, and four-legged family members lie in the shade.
Fick’s Pool has been a popular spot among the youth of Hermanus since the twentieth century. Image: Ficks Restaurant
PINCHOS BY THE SEA
Ficks’s food is a social food, tapas-style dining designed for sharing. It takes inspiration from pinchos – small sized dishes are typically served on a skewer – which originated in the Basque region of northern Spain.
The crispy prawns, flash-fried calamari with romesco sauce and salmon ceviche are simply delightful. There’s just something special about seafood served at a restaurant open to the sky, where the air conditioning is a fresh sea breeze.
Other favourites are the still-pink beef fillet served on ciabatta with shallot jam; lamb rack cutlets with kumquat chutney; and patatas bravas with homemade tomato sauce and aioli.
Pinchos are often served on bread, but there are plenty of gluten-free options. Image: Ficks Restaurant
PAELLA FLAMMKUCHEN, ANYONE?
Another dish great for sharing is the flammkuchen. Traditionally a German dish, it’s a light crispy flatbread with toppings. The El Clasico is topped with creme fraiche, onion and bacon.
The secret gem on the menu is the La Paella. A blend of Spanish flavours with toppings like chorizo sausage, mozzarella, baby marrow, tomato and onion, which pairs perfectly with a bottle of chardonnay or rosé.
Other noteworthy dishes are the seared duck breast with bright orange slices, and cauliflower tostada with avo and cilantro salsa.
Flammkuchen is light and easy to share. Image: Ficks Restaurant
COCKTAILS & BOOZY SHAKES
The fresh and light menu extends to the drinks, too. Ficks has cheeky cocktails named by the bartenders. Try a Balls To The Walls (Six Dogs gin and blue tonic water) or MILF (gin, lime juice, apple juice and sour mix).
A must-try is the boozy milkshakes. It’s like ice cream at the beach, but for adults. The Save the Rhino has vanilla and coffee liqueur, and the Marshmallow Dream is a whimsical pink drink made with marshmallow cream liqueur.
Reminisce about summer days spent at the beach with a glass of wine. Image: Ficks Restaurant
IDEAL FOR WHALE WATCHING
Ficks is also a natural amphitheatre for the most dramatic marine performances, in the location, Hermanus, known as one of the best places for whale-watching from August to November. You could spot humpbacks or southern rights pass by the coast from the deck.
There’s also families of dassies hopping through the fynbos and trees, or relaxing on the surrounding rocks.
If Ficks still isn’t on your bucket list yet, why not?
VISIT FICKS IN HERMANUS
Ficks is open: Daily, 11am - 9pm (weather dependent)
Find it: 8 Marine Drive, Westcliff, Hermanus
Book: No bookings, first come first serve
Contact on: 028 312 4082, @ficksrestaurant
By Lara van Zyl
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