THERE’S a great sense of nostalgia which pervades Ons Huisie in Bloubergstrand; not only is the building a heritage site but the menu harks back to simpler days when the only foam in the vicinity was the kind on the waves outside.
This is where, when you ask about wine by the glass, the waiter says “I’ve got white, red and sweet rosé.” No further explanations are offered. The menu leans heavily towards fish and seafood – which is exactly what you expect, and want – at this beachfront location, with a lot of deep frying going on. It’s optional though – you can ask them to leave off the batter and slap the fish on the grill instead, but if you can put your dietary concerns to one side for a moment, you won’t be sorry.
My dear friend Peter ordered the hake and calamari combo, of which I had a taste. That small morsel off the thin end of the fish was crispy and golden and utterly delish, and the calamari was as tender as a caress. I had the West Coast potjie, which although it’s presented in a little three-legged pot, I suspect is not cooked in one. No matter. It’s advertised as being mussels, calamari, line fish and prawns in a curry sauce. CJ (our waiter) explained it would be mild green Thai-style.
Served with yellow rice and a poppadum, I perhaps wouldn’t agree entirely with that description but it was creamy and it was tasty, and not a bit burny, which made me very happy. The portion of mixed fruits of the ocean was generous and when I was done, nothing was left behind besides the prawn heads and spindly legs.
While you’re spoiled for choice with permutations of fish, calamari and prawns, the menu has plenty of other people-pleasers such as lamb bredie, pork ribs and bobotie, as well as salads, and starters including a mussel pot and fish cakes. Desserts sit firmly in traditional territory with the likes of malva pudding, crème caramel, and a koeksuster with cream.
There’s a lot to be said for things that have been tried and tested over the years, and which still come out smiling at the other end.
PHOTO CREDIT: CARISA SNYMAN