On our recent visit to Paternoster, we arrived with a predominant intention: to discover the foodie hot spots that this sleepy fishing village is famous for. Apart from beautiful sunset beach walks, crayfish on the braai and an – interesting – draught of beer at the famous Panty Bar, we ate well and drank well and went to sleep full and happy.
The first on our list was Paternoster Voorstrand, a popular eatery that sits on the sand’s edge. Offering the freshest of fresh fish, a limited but local wine list (only of farm’s in the Darling and West Coast area) and the friendliest service, we ambled in at sundown ready for some seafood.
The space has a boathouse feel, with eclectic charm and a truly seaside feel. It’s an old fishermans house build out of wood and corrugated roofing. With views of the Paternoster beach, white houses popping up in the distance, children playing in the sand and families breaking bread together, there’s no fuss or fancy, just down-to-earth charm.
What’s a seafood meal without mussels? Poached in white wine – West Coast style – ladled with garlic and butter and lapped up with bread, it’s a simple start but oh so yummy. The food is unpretentious and basic, there’s no fanciness here, just easy-going and relaxed. Just as Paternoster is.
Hake and calamari followed, fried with tar tar sauce and drenched in vinegar (our own doing). It’s a meal you may have at Ocean Basket, or anywhere really, but the setting and style of Paternoster Voorstrand is truly unique.
If you do find yourself in Paternoster, we recommend you book at any establishment you wish to frequent. The Voorstrand is busy year round, and booking essential if you want a spot on the veranda in summer or the cosy interior in winter. The food is fresh you can both taste and smell the sea, and the views of the ocean and shoreline so breathtaking, it really makes you think, ‘I love South Africa’.
Photography Bernard Myburgh Words Lisa Wallace