THE first thing you notice when you sit down is the old red View Master on the table – you’d have to be 40 plus, to recognise it – and you are immediately whisked back to another place and time as you peer at 3D images of Michael Jackson performing Thriller.
It’s just one fun and charming detail of what is a veritable Old Curiosity Shop filled with antiques, knickknacks and more practical items from a long lost era that will both fascinate you and trigger waves of nostalgia as you gaze around.
The only thing here at the Colonial Kitchen, situated at the 1 Bridge Street centre in Baakens Valley, is that it’s not just intriguing wares on display, but also a very different eatery where you can enjoy this old-world environment while tucking into the freshest of fare.
If you have the time, it’s not difficult imagining spending an hour or so here just soaking in this fountain of memorabilia.
It’s a deli-style affair so after you have placed your drinks order, you are invited to make your way over to the counter with an array of enticing foods on display where the chef explains what is what and the particular combos he recommends.
Anything on this particular day from chicken cordon bleu or succulent lamb, to giant size sub sandwiches filled with bacon and avo, homemade pies, quiches and some very different salad selections were just part of what was on offer.
Joining me was Linda-Louise who opted for a vegetarian quiche (R35) with a butternut salad (R15), while I ordered the kudu burger (R70) which is served with either potato wedges or a side salad.
Returning to our table – which was equally in sync with the retro vibe – we encountered a delightful honky tonk-looking piano with a history.
A copy of Adam Brand’s column (which was actually a collective of writers back in the day) in a 1966 edition of the old Evening Post, explains that it had returned home to Port Elizabeth after a long journey by wagon, truck and train.
Just the right touch for a kitchen such as this.
We had both ordered home-made lemonade (R20) and this went down as a treat on a warm day. Ice-cold, crisp and utterly refreshing and zesty – it really hit the spot.
We didn’t have to wait long at all for our meals to arrive and when they did, presentation was impressive.
Linda-Louise’s quiche included mushrooms, feta and caramelised onion topped with melted mozzarella and she declared it yummy.
My venison burger was a man-size offering and tucking in, I realised it was going to be difficult ever to go back to regular beef burgers again.
Juicy and bursting with flavour, it had that meaty taste which so often eludes burger lovers.
We had both opted for the butternut salad and this was also ideally piquant.
We had checked out some of the confectionery earlier and one of the chocolate brownies (R25) had definitely had my name on it, so it was duly delivered to our table where L-L also couldn’t resist a bite. Warm, decadently chocolaty and with just the right moistness, it was served with ice-cream and was one of the best I’ve tasted – highly recommended.
An Americano coffee (R16) for L-L and some complimentary chocolate truffles rounded off a thoroughly enjoyable lunch made extra satisfactory by the good service we received.