My favourite meal while we were in South Africa last November was a tough toss up between lunch at Fynboshoek Cheese in Tsitsikamma and lunch at Ile de Pain in Knysna, the latter town a popular midway stop if you're driving the Garden Route as part of your trip.
A vibrant and breezy breakfast-and-lunch bistro started in 2002 by chef Liezie Mulder and surfer-baker Markus Farbinger, Ile de Pain is proof that ludicrously fresh, delicious, seasonal and local produce can be sourced and served up as sensational meals without breaking the bank.
For the commitment-phobic -- and there will be more of you than you think, once you take a gander at their menu -- I recommend the tasting platter, which includes a big dollop of melty mozzerella, bright-red tomatoes in various styles and a lovely duck rillette on an array of breads freshly-baked onsite.
Those in the know about South Africa's excellent beef will likely be pleased with Ms Mulder's steak sandwich. This is, in my mind, the best steak sandwich on earth (although I will revert after we've been through Argentina). Luckily Babs and I had a share-everything deal already agreed before he tasted it.
I am not kidding about the "best" bit.
We had resolved not to have dessert, but who were we kidding? Especially when a smiley waitstaff saunters up to every table with a 3-tier tray of tempting treats. We caved in to this chocolate tart, with no regrets.
No better way to finish than to sip on a coffee and soak in the earthy vibe of the place and watch the comings and goings and air-kissings of the mostly preppy white patrons.
I could stand to be shipwrecked on this island of bread for a while.
Ile de Pain
10, The Boathouse
Thesen Island, Knysna, South Africa
+27 44 302 5707
Open Sunday 9am - 1.30pm
Open Tuesdays - Saturdays 8am - 3pm
Closed on Mondays, May and August