IF you are not at the coast this holiday season but in the city of saints, where do you go for a meal out?
One that I can recommend is Saints Bistro, just down the road from the Drostdy Arch of Rhodes University in Grahamstown.
The calamari at Saints, for example, is surprisingly delicious for an inland restaurant but it is imported from the Falklands, and the way Saints fries it – crispy little twists that crunch and then melt in the mouth – make it a good choice as a main course (R126) served with a rustic mash and a salad. You also can order it in a starter size, and with different sides.
Lighter meals start at under R50, and go up to steaks and oxtail at R132.
The pastas are also scrumptious – chicken, roast butternut and feta in a creamy parmesan sauce (R73), for example, or try the calamari, prawn and chorizo with garlic and olive oil (R109).
It’s likely to be busy on a Tuesday when Saints runs its weekly pasta special of two for the price of one, and if you are a burger fan then Thursday night is the day to visit for the “burger fiesta”.
Bear in mind that, as it is a university town, Grahamstown is full of students for much of the year.
However, if you enjoy a buzzy atmosphere, such as over the annual National Arts Festival, then those are minor quibbles. This year it was the venue for several late-night jazz gigs, and really had a great vibe.
At this time of year it is refreshingly peaceful and you may like to sit outside at the back towards the bar area to catch the breeze. The full bar also offers quite a few nice wines by the glass.
We have never got round to desserts but deepfried Lindt bonbons and chocolate spring rolls are among the luxurious offerings. Saints offers a twist on both of these, making strawberry and Bar-One springrolls, and Bar-One and Lindt bon-bons, and also offering a choice of three, four or five pieces – what a great idea for those who may not have left enough room for a big helping!
- Saints Bistro is at 131 High Street, Grahamstown. Phone: (046) 622-3007; hours: 11.30am to 10pm (Saturday and Sunday from 8am).