Lunch in Stellenbosch

I have found a very nice spot for lunch in Stellenbosch.  There are a lot of good restaurants and coffee shops in the touristy part of town but I do like the option of going to a restaurant in the botanical gardens.

The restaurant is called the Katjiepiering and is named after one South Africa’s oldest garden plants.  An example of the species, Gardenia jasminoides can be found growing in pots near the door.  As an English speaker I am more familiar with the name Gardenia for this plant and only recently learnt that the Afrikaans name is Katjiepiering.  This plant is also native to parts of Asia and the Afrikaans name was derived from the Malay name “Kachapirang” or “Catshopiri”.  The Afrikaans culture and language has many Malay influences as a result of slaves that were brought over from Indonesia by the Dutch.

A picture of a Katjiepiering or Gardenia in a pot

The restaurant has a very nice setting in the Stellenbosch University Botanical Garden.  One of these days I will make time to explore more of the garden than just the path to the restaurant.  The Botanical Garden looks very very interesting and is of course a great place to learn a bit more about some of South Africa’s local plants.

Botanical garden

When the weather is good you can sit outside in the shade which includes an old gum tree and umbrellas.  When the weather is bad there is a small seating area indoors.

The Katjiepiering

The food is good and reasonably priced for what you get.  I think the portion sizes are good for a light lunch which is what you want when the weather is good.  When I visited a few days ago it very hot.  It has been for a few days now.  It seems like Cape Town went from winter to summer in about 2 weeks.  I’m sure that within a month we went from using the gas heater to swimming outdoors.  The temperature change has been quite a shock because it is not normally so hot in October.

Anyway because of the heat I decided to have the Cajun Chicken salad which was very tasty.  The cajun spices balance nicely with lettuce and cucumber.  I found it a little too spicy but then I’m not very good with hot food so I thing most people will be happy with level of spiciness for a salad.  Having had a salad I was feeling virtuous and decided that it would be OK to finish the meal off with some chocolate cake.

So I think the Katjiepiering is a good place for lunch in Stellenbosch and if you have time you can take a bit of time to enjoy the Botanical Garden.




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