“ Address: Baron van Reede Street / Oudtshoorn 6625 / South Africa „
While staying just outside Oudtshoorn, in South Africa's Klein Karoo region, we decided to go into town for dinner one night. We had only spent a brief time in the town that day, enough to discover that it wasn't a particularly exciting town and there didn't seem too many restaurant that stood out. Consulting our guide books we all noted that Jemima's on Baron van Reede Street was recommended by all the different books, so decided to book there. There were nine of us eating on a Thursday night. At the time of visiting the rate of exchange was R11.50 to the UK pound sterling, and R7.50 to the US Dollar. We had garnered from the guide books that this wouldn't be the cheapest meal we had eaten.
As we arrived we spotted that they did cocktails so asked for a menu. They brought one, but that isn't particularly helpful for nine people. It was an extensive menu but not easy to find what you wanted. I believe a typical price is R40 for a cocktail, but they did vary.
I didn't have any starters but they had a good selection starting at R45 for the the veggie starters (soup, salad, potato skins) going up to R75 for the beef or ostrich carpaccio, with other options including mussels and duck liver parfait.
As a main course I opted for the only veggie option which was Roast Butternut and Capsicum Cheesecake (R95) which was beautifully presented, served on a ratatouille base with vegetable and sauces placed attractively round the plate. This option was popular with everyone, not just the vegetarians and in fact they run out and came back to us with an alternative, which was pasta based. Fortunately others volunteered to have that and I was glad to have the cheesecake as it was delicious. Other popular choices were the Catch of the Day (Kingklip I think) at R130 and the Meat Sampler (R160-180) where you could choose from ostrich, venison and/or beef grilled with sauces of your choice. They also offer grilled meats of various sizes, and a number of lamb dishes. Everyone was happy with their selection, and those that had grilled meats were particularly impressed.
I wasn't going to have a dessert but I was intrigued by the Chocolate Salami (R65). It was again extremely well presented and rather unusual. It was mottled like a slice of salami but actually contained 70% dark chocolate with nuts and fruits and was served with ice cream and fruits. It was extremely rich and sadly in this instance my eyes were bigger than my stomach. Other desserts eaten in our party included a lovely apple tart (R60) and crème brulee (R65). You could also have a trio of ice creams for R45.
As well as cocktails, they had a good selection of local wines, as well as beers and spirits.
We were seated at the back of the building and the room held two large tables. It was styled like someone's home. There were family photos on the mantelpiece, a roaring fire (it was winter) and lots of well thumbed books on the shelves which diners are free to browse, which I think is a nice touch. The front of the restaurant seemed to be more of a traditional dining area, and there are also tables outside for when the weather was warmer.
The ladies lavatories are brightly decorated, situated off a large space where the sinks are along with a sofa should you fancy a sit down for whatever reason.
We had no complaints about the service. Our waiter was very friendly and courteous.
Overall I spent R225 on my two courses, with a drink and service. This may not be over-priced for a nice restaurant in the UK, but it was one of the more expensive meals I had in South Africa. Saying that the food is first class - an original menu, that is well cooked and presented makes this meal worth the money.