At On the Beach you’ll be treated to great food and amazing accommodations, luxuriously caressed by the sound of the surf, but it pairs so perfectly with some of the best ranked restaurants on the Garden Route found only here in Wilderness! Many of the establishments here have been given awards and 5 star rankings from multiple review sites, and we wanted to go into more detail about what we think are a few of the best.
The Girls Restaurant
Their latest accolade of many, is the 2015 Diners Club International Wine List Award – Platinum, and the year before they won the CXPRESS Young Chef of the Year with Michael-Ashley Underwood. They also hold a top ten spot for best casual dining along the Garden Route.
Not just a restaurant, but also a place to find curiosities and odditites, curios and plenty of handmade crafts, The Girls offers a relaxed African inspired experience punctuated by stunning artwork and a creative menu. The most popular dishes are fish, which is in keeping with the coastal fishing villages that dot the Garden Route up this direction. Things like linefish and prawns remain crowd favourites, but certainly the steak and curries are also massively popular.
The wine list is extensive, and hand chosen to offer a complete selection of local South African wines, known the world over for exceptional brilliance in craft and taste that is sure to please any connoisseur.
Roxanne Blum and Cheri Sheridan began what was known initially as the Riverside Kitchen in March of 2001, but they transformed it into The Girls Restaurant after a chef left, leaving them having to figure out how to pair their intuitive good taste in combining foods, with equipment they weren’t trained to use. It took them no time at all to learn how to operate the kitchen, and in even less time it became popularly known as “the girls” place to eat, thanks to the locals knowing the two ladies in the kitchen – thus it was born.
After opening a second restaurant that gained plenty of popularity also, Flava Cafe, the ladies ceased their grill duties to better manage both, and have enjoyed getting to meet all the new faces.
To introduce you to some of their dishes, they bring you the very ocean itself, from fresh local oysters, and grilled cajun calamari to escargots made like you’ve never had them before. Prawns are a crowd favourite and paired with a choice of 7 different flavours, you’re sure to find your favourite. Linefish comes from Mossel Bay and there’s usually 3 different varieties available.
For those with more traditional palettes, there’s plenty of steak served as tender as you please, and a wine to match from their extensive list.
Here’s what others have to say courtesy of TripAdvisor:
“Delicious food and excellent service!” 5 of 5 stars
“Had a wonderful birthday dinner here – lovely, caring and fun staff, amazing food, great service. Divine curry dishes, fantastic venison. Looking forward to my next visit!” NoraMarie4
“Delicious and friendly” 5 of 5 stars
“We were very glad this place was recommended to us, it was exactly what we were looking for. The staff were very nice, the food tasty and good value and we enjoyed browsing in the craft shop as we waited for our food, which didn’t take long! Good vegetarian options.”
Going to The Girls Restaurant is a lot more than a place to eat out on holiday, it’s an entire experience. Be sure you check ahead for space as its popularity means there isn’t always a table available.
Another gem in the heart of Wilderness that exudes as much elegance as your stay at On the Beach is Zucchini Restaurant. This place is the very definition of Wilderness and wholesome living alongside extraordinary dishes that are home grown, organic, fresh, made from scratch and absolutely delicious.
Located in the Timberlake Organic Village in Wilderness, where there are a ton of little shops, Zucchini aims to blend in seamlessly with their surroundings and offer a cosy atmosphere and a great meal. Though they’re known for that special ambience everyone raves about, if you have come to On the Beach with a small group, you’re welcome to book Zucchini Restaurant for a “function” for a very nominal price per person that allows you all to have the place to yourselves!
Menu descriptions don’t do this place justice since the combinations are nothing short of extraordinary and blend together like art upon the tongue, but here’s just a few of their intriguing offerings.
Monkey Business Platter
This delcious abundance comes with a miniature loaf of fresh baked bread, calamari, battered fish, potato wedges, basil pesto chicken strips, phyllo roll, cream cheese, luxurious camembert, goats cheddar cheese, figs, olive, hummus and tartar sauce. Oh yes, lots of tastebud tickling all on one plate.
Dronk Bok Gourmet Burger
Springbox with brandy soaked pears, creme fraiche and a drizzle of roasted nut brittle. It’s as decadent and sinful as it sounds.
Chickpea Gourmet Burger
Chickpea patty, tomato, avocado, rocket, creamy tahini sauce and a pineapple relish make this a vegan delight.
Butternut, biltong, feta and peach, or you can opt for jalapeno and three cheeses in a phyllo casing. Divine and one of a kind, you’ll be back for more!
The desserts are amazing cheesecakes like lemon and chocolate, but there’s also gluten-free options for those with sensitive bellies. There’s a deluxe dessert called the Koppie Vreugde which takes 15 minutes to prepare, but is totally worth it. It’s a molten chocolate cake so moist it melts in the mouth served in an enamel cup with a berry spread.
Here’s what people are saying about this restaurant on TripAdvisor:
WE KEEP COMING BACK” 4 of 5 stars
“Recently it was my husband’s birthday and we were on holiday in Sedgefield at the time. Without any doubt we chose to have his birthday lunch at Zucchini. We always visit Zucchini when in this area as it is an excellent restaurant! My husband had the Dronk Bok Burger (Springbok with brandy soaked pears, crème fraiche and drizzled with roasted nut brittle). Excellent!! I chose a Chicken Burger (Chicken fillet coated in peanut butter sauce, topped with honey fried banana and mozzarella). Wow!! So good! We will continue to support this very worthy restaurant and encourage other people to do the same. The service has always been very good, the ambience perfect!” Pixie1505
“Don’t feed the monkeys!” 5 of 5 stars
“This is a great little restaurant situated in the middle of Timberlake and is great fun especially if you have children , because they can watch the small monkeys running around the grounds, climbing the trees ,and jumping on and off the roof ! The service is good , it’s fun and the food is very good also.” Malcolm F
“Organic and Wholesome!!” 5 of 5 stars
“Great friendly and prompt service! This place was a one of a kind find as the food are all freshly prepared. The food was beautifully presented and tasted absolutely marvellous! There was quite a selection of craft beers, and of course our favourite – freshly squeezed juices.The atmosphere is cosy and the monkeys are a treat to watch even though they are naughty! Would recommend this place for vegetarians, and all foodies who loves some interesting dishes.” MusingExplorers
So combine that trip to Wilderness and your perfect stay at On the Beach with a taste sensation from one of our local artisans, and you’ll see why more people are return visitors year after year.