LUNCH AL FRESCO: Delicious lunch on a sun-dappled veranda

BY GRAEME LUND - JULY 30, 2014

Located just off the N2 (Exit 707), about midway between Port Elizabeth and Jeffery’s Bay, Crossways Country Kitchen serves delicious, fresh country-style food in a pleasant and friendly atmosphere and should be a stop-over for every ‘foodie’.

The restaurant has a large, open (or enclosed on those not so pleasant days) veranda and a huge lawn interspersed with benches and shaded by a scattering of Blue Gum trees. Peaceful and relaxing views of the Lady’s Slipper Mountains and the lush farmland complete the setting.

I had an opportunity to talk to the co-owner and chef, Trevor Steyn, who was lyrical about organic salads, stone ground flour, herb infused lamb and hot, healthy breads. Trevor spent many years training and learning under some of the greatest European chefs and his abundance of knowledge bursts forth on every plate at their delightful restaurant.

His passion for Crossways Country Kitchen stands out in every aspect - the smells that emanate from the kitchen, the organic vegetable and herb garden (run by co-owner and partner, Mika Venter), the smartly dressed staff, the al fresco atmosphere and of course the mouth-watering food. 

On a recent Sunday afternoon the family and I paid a visit to Crossways Country Kitchen.  As the kids explored the veggie garden, my wife and I explored the menu while sipping on a perfectly chilled glass of Sauvignon Blanc. Two items on the menu grabbed my attention: the pork belly and the deboned lamb rib. As I couldn’t decide, I asked Trevor for his recommendation.

He explained that the lamb had taken twenty-four hours to prepare and that the finishing touches were made just before it was served. “I would recommend the lamb rib as you won’t find something like it anywhere else,” he added.

My wife chose the Angelfish and we ordered a variety of dishes to share including vegetable pasta with goat’s cheese, two garden salads (fresh from the garden before us) and bowls of ‘hand-crafted’ chips and grilled vegetables to be shared amongst all of us.

I knew the food was going to be good and, despite my high expectations, I was still impressed. I am a connoisseur of chips and those served at the Country Kitchen were my best ever. The lamb was truly amazing and my wife let out little exclamations of pleasure with each mouthful of fish.

Not only was the meal delicious, but, in many respects, unique to any other restaurant in the area. Despite eating everything before me, including all the left-overs on my kids’ plates, I did not feel bloated or have the typical ‘maagie vol, ogies toe’ feeling simply because this was a meal with no low-grade carbohydrates or cheap, artificially-flavoured sauces. This was a meal full of goodness!

Before we departed, we had the best vanilla ice-cream that I have ever tasted. If you think I am using the word ‘best’ a little too liberally then you need to visit Crossways Country Kitchen to understand why.

Crossways Country Kitchen is open from Tuesday to Sunday for breakfast, which is served from 8.30 – 11:00, and for lunch from 12:00 – 15:00.

Sunday lunch is very busy and it is essential to book a table. Only take-always are available on a Monday and they also have a “padstal” which is open every day.

To make a reservation call 042 286 0678