Hale & hearty

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The low-key location in the bucolic town of Aurora and rustic entrance off Skool Street to Die Rooi Granaat belie the top-drawer dining experience to be had here. Definitely worth the 90-minute trip from Melkbosstrand.

Hands-on owners Evert Smit and Marais Ziervogel welcome diners with open arms and hospitality with a capital H lasts throughout the meal.

Setting the scene inside is a charming wood-rich, old-world interior. The carefully planned menu puts firm emphasis on West Coast food with a fine dining twist. And the dishes served are damn attractive – food that lubricates conversation, rather than trying to be the focus of it.

Expect dishes such as slow-cooked oxtail, a very competent roast lamb shoulder, a buxom steak Madagascar, spankingly fresh steamed kabeljou with lime and capers and a colourful watermelon salad with feta and strawberries. Guests just love the hearty portions and rave about the sweet treats: from soft, dense chocolate orange pudding and Pavlova so pretty it seems a shame to put a spoon through it, to light, summery berry deserts.

Marais and Evert’s brand which started in Yzerfontein 12 years ago, certainly has continued to thrive here in the enchanting Aurora for the last four years. Mood. Food. Buzz. Atmosphere. Call it what you wish. All these factors will most likely make you return to Die Rooi Granaat time and again.

Bookings for breakfast, lunch or dinner are essential on 072 9019133.