The weather in Betty’s Bay over the last couple of weeks hasn’t been great. Winter is very much here and the rain has been bucketing down. The North-Wester has also been howling about our ears, rattling the roof and jarring the nerve-endings. On the glorious winter days that have punctuated Nature’s onslaught, it seemed mad to leave Betty’s Bay. The beach in the soft winter light was just too alluring.
As a result, I chose not to venture out and about in the Overstrand this month. I limited my entertainment to what was available in Betty’s Bay and, I confess, most of that entertainment was enjoyed right here in my snug living-room, in front of a TV screen.
But on Thursday evening of last week, I did confront the elements. My eldest daughter was here, with her newborn infant, and we decided to treat ourselves to a meal at The Tides Restaurant, next to the Centre Shop.
THE TIDES – A much celebrated gem on our very doorstep
It was quite unexpected, when we struggled into the restaurant, laden with infant paraphernalia, to be asked the question: “Have you booked?” It was after all a Thursday night and there were very few lights to be seen around and about in Betty’s Bay. Needless to say, we hadn’t booked, not having anticipated the need to do so on a week-night in the dead of winter. How wrong we were! The place was packed, a testament to the excellent reputation that The Tides has earned over the last few years.
As always, the owner was very accommodating and led us to the back section of the restaurant where we were separate from the crowds, a perfect arrangement under the circumstances. [In a previous Buzz, I related a story that has become a bit of a chestnut: pals of mine, in the middle of the Christmas season, arrived at The Tides with a folding table and chairs and plaintive expressions on their faces. Needless to say, a spot was found for them.]
As expected, the food was fabulous. My dear daughter is a chef and can be a touch critical of the cuisine served up at restaurants, but even she was blown away. We decided to go big, as our spouses weren’t around to put a dampener on our enthusiasm for a hearty meal.
For starters, she had deep-fried brie, served with a pear poached in red wine. [“Wow! This is amazing,” was Katy’s surprised response. [When it comes to eating out, she is a bit of a pessimist.] I settled for my all-time favourite – mussels in a cream sauce with parsley. With a generous squirt of lemon juice it was quite as delicious as I remembered.
For her main course, Katy, a banter of note, decided to throw caution to the winds. She chose Pasta Alfredo, pasta with a creamy ham and mushroom sauce. The portion was suitably generous and she raved about the flavour, the texture and, need I say, the quantity. I chose a hake and calamari combo with chips and it was delish, albeit a bit pedestrian. I should have been more adventurous. The menu is extensive and varied and there were a lot of more exotic options to be had.
Katy had dessert while I settled for a cup of coffee. She chose the old standard, ice cream and chocolate sauce, which, she declared, was the perfect end to a perfect meal. She did say that the choccy sauce was not quite as good as mine, which made me feel particularly good.
The Tides is open from Wednesday night through to Sunday lunch each week. The owners, who spend the first part of the week in Stellenbosch, are considering making a permanent move to Betty’s Bay from the end of the year, so the restaurant could be open for business more often in the near future.
If you want some really good food in a pleasant environment, I recommend The Tides. You will not be disappointed.
Excellent Fish & Chips Takeaway, Right Here in Betty's Bay
No more do you have to settle for dried out fish in soggy batter and undercooked chips! For a thick, flaky, perfectly-cooked fillet and perfect chips, try Kev-Vees Bistro, next to Pam Golding. They make up the orders from scratch, so call first—028 272 9066.