New Restaurant Opens in Cape St Francis

You will barely recognise the Place

Those who visited Rock Lily during its heyday of great music shows will barely recognise the transformation this landmark Cape St Francis venue has undergone recently. Almost totally gutted to create a bright, airy space that was not obvious in either the rather cramped confines of the old Stix or Rock Lily.

Named after the popular Full Stop pub that operated in Cape St Francis a few years back, this new venue is surely going to become a very popular dining venue for locals, holiday makers and international tourists visiting Cape St Francis. Best you try it before the Christmas crowds arrive for Full Stop is going to become First and Last Stop for many a beach goer this coming season.

A totally new kitchen, complete with a wood fired Pizza oven opens out onto the dining area which has been cleverly designed in such as was as to create four, even five different areas. Whereas the old venue’s only view was onto da Gama Drive, Full Stop opens onto the nature reserve at the back of the venue and onto a garden complete with water feature to the north where the old nursery used to be.

A lounge / dining area bordering onto the nature reserve is name Car Park John after what has become one of Cape St Francis locals favourite craft draft beers, Car Park John. Car Par John is an almost legendary Port Elizabeth surfer somewhat similar to Durban’s legendary Baron Stander famed for his daily surf reports. Protected with pull-downs should a westerly wind be blowing this area can be opened up in good weather and is sure to be the most sought after area around sunset on those warm, still summer evenings.

I popped in for a beer on the first night they were open just to have a look but didn’t eat so returned yesterday at lunchtime to savour their fare.  Ordering from a limited but more than adequate menu of burgers, pizzas, salads, wraps, toasties and more, I ordered  what seemed a ‘have-it-all’ Seals Burger. Under strict instruction from my Doc that allows no bread in my diet, the menu allows you to ‘DROP’ the bun and choose two side dishes. What a great idea. I selected sweet potato chips as a side, my Doc will be so proud of me as she has banned potatoes from my diet as well.

The burger was perfectly presented, perfectly cooked and served with a topping of bacon, cheese, coleslaw, avocado and jalapeno’s with a side serving of mushrooms which at R95 is really good value and great tasting. I will definitely be back to savour more of the menu.

Be sure to peek at the daily chalk board where the day’s specials are advertised. Yesterday it was Oxtail, and Dijon Yellowtail with either Kiwi Cheesecake or a Chocolate / Almond truffle for the sweet of tooth.

When writing a column for a Sunday national years ago my then editor once instructed me that no matter how good a venue is always find something not so good and if the place is not very good always find at least find one nice thing to say. Well Full Stop really is worth a visit, a menu that will please most, not as a fine dining restaurant but what it is intended as, a family restaurant. Lovely ambience in a peaceful setting.

Oh the bad …. Have to get back to you on that one as I couldn’t find that one thing this time around.

Some pointers off the menu.

All the burgers under R100 other than to Lamb Burger at R119 but the Veggie burger is just R70. Salads and wraps also in the R90 region with pizza from R75 to Norwegian or Morroccan topping the list at R120 but then Norwegian is topped with smoked salmon and the Morrocan with ground lamb curry (me next choice). For the kiddies, burgers, pizzas and toasties all around the R50 mark.

Full Stop is managed by husband / wife team René and Lee Posthumous with Lee being the chef and René looking after the front of house.

Oh …. the bad! – Well maybe next time we visit for it was all pretty good this time around.

Monday Dining at Dunes

Monday night is usually a quiet, stay at home night for many but  for some, especially for those who work over weekends a chance to get out and about. From a personal situation where waking early to compile St Francis Today means early to bed Sunday to Thursday nights make Monday a no-no but an old pal I worked with back in 70’s suggested we should go and try the R95 offering at Dune Ridge. An invitation to visit Dune Ridge is not something one turns down for not only is it one of the most beautiful havens in St Francis, but it also means good food, be it a platter of sandwiches, a selection of cakes or indeed a meal.

Each Monday Sarah-Jane puts together a menu with a choice of two starters, two entrees and two desserts. Last night the starters were a pumpkin and cumin soup or a sourdough bread with creamy peri-peri chicken livers. Entrees were both to die for; Lamb Shank or a Spinach & Feta stuffed Chicken topped with a Garlic Neoplitana Sauce and dessert, either Chocolate Brownies or Malva pudding with a Amarula Custard

Having arrived earlier than rest of the party I sat on the patio taking in the night air and best of all, the wonderful aromas drifting through the house from the kitchen. Seeing the menu and recalling those wonderful aromas of earlier, my decision was simple – Lamb Shank. Not being a big eater I gave the starters a miss.  My decision to forego a starter was well rewarded for the lamb served on a bed of creamy mashed potatoes, cauliflower, broccoli and sprouts was  not only generous but absolutely scrumptious ‘fall-off-the-bone’ delicious.

Then the ‘piece de la resistance’! Malva pudding. Having been desperately trying to lose weight I have steered away from sugar over the past eight weeks but simply could not deny myself. Certainly the highlight of the meal and I would return just to have another. And judging by how the other guests who chose the Malva almost licked their plates clean they were unlike Mallett and Williams, but rather in total agreement. More than delicious!

Dune Ridge is offering these Monday dinners at just R95 although the starter is at additional cost should you choose one and St Francis Today will endeavour to get Sarah to send us the menu in advance so you can put together  bunch of pals and spend an evening at Dune Ridge. Sarah has also introduced a ‘Burger & Crazy Shakes’ night  on Wednesday 23rd (tomorrow) night. If their burgers are anywhere as good as that Lamb Shank it is a night not to be missed.

Chef Jeanpierre ‘Pedro’- goes Mexican

Joe Fish Restaurant is serving up some great Mexican fare for those who love spicy Mexican food

Way back in the late eighties, early nineties, Mexican restaurants sprung up around the country. Possibly because of relaxed travel opportunities for South African passport holders more South Africans were able to visit Mexico legally rather than risk a spell in a dreaded Mexican prison. Almost as fast as they appeared many disappeared and although some do still specialise in this tasty, spicy fare.

Well, good news for Mexican food lovers in St Francis! Jeanpierre ’Pedro’, the head chef at “El-Jose Joe Fish” at Cape St Francis Resort has decided to add a few Mexican dishes to his menu on a Wednesday evening. Last Wednesday JP Pedro served up his first Mex-Menu with a selection of Taco’s – Veg, Fish & Beef. I tried all three and although not too crazy about veg,  decided to abide by my cardiologist instruction to eat less meat and more veg.

Although I will never become a committed vegetarian the Veg Taco was good, as was the Fish Taco but the Beef, well I could have been back in Tijuana. One word – outstanding. The thinly sliced beef melted in one’s mouth and the spicing was as good as any Mexican spice I have had. Maybe it was not have savoured one of my favourite cuisines in so many tears that created the ecstasy but whatever, it was better than delish.

And the Jalapeno popper was cream on the cake to excuse the pun. Filled with cream cheese and mozzarella, I could certainly order one as a starter.

Not sure what will be on the menu this coming Wednesday but if you are into Mexican maybe give JP Pedro or Jason a call at El-Jose Fish but if it is anywhere near a good as the Beef Tacos, I will be waiting with a Car Park John (most delicious draft beer) in hand.

Joe (El-Jose) Fish 042 298 0054

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Kirsten goes Rambling

Our roving Foodie goes Rambling (Rose)

Kirsten Doyle

Kirsten Doyle

Rambling Rose Coffee Shop – 165 St Francis Drive, St Francis Bay

I’m not sure why it has taken me so many months to try out Rambling Rose, but I wish I had done so sooner.

The venue is lovely – cosy and quaint inside, with splashes of colour and bright, comfy cushions, as well as a spacious outside seating section, with a play area for the kiddies.

They have a wide range of light meals, including burgers, wraps, salads and toasted sandwiches, as well as a truly delicious selection of breakfasts.  From salmon with scrambled egg and avocado, and a variety of delicious omelettes, to healthier options such as fruit salad and carbless choices, there is something here to suit every palate and diet.

Those with a sweet tooth will be pleased with the selection of delicious looking cakes, as well as several choices of pancakes (think Bar One, or banana).

There is also a kiddies’ menu, with the expected chicken nuggets, smaller breakfasts, calamari and chips, and suchlike.

They have an excellent range of hot beverages, from teas and coffees, to hot chocolate and lattes, either chai or red. Even better, each drink comes with a mouthwatering homemade shortbread cookie. Yum. There is also the full range of cold beverages – sodas, juices and milkshakes, as well as a selection of alcoholic beverages.

In my opinion, one way in which Rambling Rose really sets itself apart, is the service. From front of house, to the kitchen, the place seems to run like a well-oiled machine. The wait staff are in perfect synch, taking care of their tables, and helping others when needed. They seem to magically appear whenever you need something, without ever getting feeling they are hovering around or rushing you.

Now to my meal. I absolutely love eggs Benedict, but they are often a bit hit and miss for me. But I decided to chance it, and as I was battling to decide between the bacon and the creamed spinach, I decided to go for both. I also opted for ciabatta instead of the muffin. I ordered my eggs ‘runny yolks but no snotty whites’ and they were spot on. The yolk ran over the toast, and the whites were firm. The bacon was crispy and generous, and the spinach simply sublime.  A sprinkling of spring onions added flavour and crunch, and a few roast cherry tomatoes on the plate lent colour and sweetness. It was perfect, and so delicious, I went back for the identical breakfast the next day.

It’s not often I cannot find any fault with a place, but with Rambling I simply can’t. Both the food and the service were on point, the experience for me, was flawless.

RATING: 5 / 5
ATMOSPHERE: Cosy, comfortable and fun.
SOUND LEVEL: Conversation level background music, general restaurant bustle.
RECOMMENDED: The eggs Benedict, although everything that came out of the kitchen looked delicious. The coffee – Lavazza – is always a winner.
RICE RANGE: Ridiculously reasonable, from R30 to R95 for meals, with massive portions.
HOURS: Open every day from 7.30 am till around 4 pm.
RESERVATIONS: First come first served. Get there before 9am for breakfast if you don’t want to queue, although the queue does seem to move fairly quickly.
CREDIT CARDS: All major.

WHAT THE STARS MEAN: Ratings range from zero to five stars and reflect the reviewer’s opinion on the food, ambience and service, with pricing taken into consideration.

Closing nights at Rock Lily

As Rock Lily Music Promotions and Events are moving on to host live music at the St Francis Bay Brewery and at The St Francis Links, we are sad to be leaving our iconic building and invite you to two incredible nights of music to send us on our new musical Journey with love and by having a really good time.

Our last 2 nights of Live Music will be

Friday 27 April

Steve Fataar and Friends LIVE.The LEGEND AND THE BEST OF LOCAL MUSICIANS TO BACK HIM.Ryan Osborne, Chris Constanza, Chris Leopold and Yawn Allen.

Tickets at The Door.R70

Saturday 28 April


Free Entry.

Drinks and food specials on both nights.

Join us as we celebrate our future in promoting LIVE SA Music with these 2 magnificent nights of music, food, drinks and a whole lot of fun.

See you there


Fish on the Menu

It seems somewhat ludicrous that although we live in a ‘fishing’ village, access to fresh fish either means going out and catching it yourself, having a friend who is happy to share his catch or travelling to PE. Surely there must be a market for small portions fresh yellowtail, geelbek, cob or Steenbras or a dozen oysters or fresh mussels?

When Balobi’s Seafood Market was still around they did offer fresh fish but one had to buy the whole fish which was crazy and all the other fish they offered was frozen and mainly brought in from the Western Cape (smoked snoek) or KZN or Mozambique (dorado, swordfish).  Imagine a fresh fish counter at SPAR or at The Butcher Shop where one could buy a couple of cutlets of fresh fish for dinner or some fresh hake, even a red roman or two. There must be a few fishermen who would be prepared to apply for the right licenses and supply the fish merchant or even open a fish shop of his own. The fish shop / counter could of course also stock frozen prawns and a range of the exotic fish available from the tropical waters of KZN and Mozambique.

Oh well I guess we can only dream and in the interim either make friends with a fisherman will to share part of his catch or go fishing one’s self. There is the alternative of eating out at one of our local restaurants and Chokka Block now under new management is fast building a great reputation for some creative fish dishes. Christy’s have opened a new ‘branch’ with the odd name of Lunar Blue where Balobi’s used to operate and before that Loligos and before that …….

But the best place to get a really great plate of fried or grilled hake and chips, rice or salad is at Joe Fish at the Cape St Francis Resort. And if you choose to dine at Joe Fish on a Friday this delightful offering will cost you just R69. And order a ‘Car Park John’ draught beer to accompany your fish and you have an ‘eat out treat’ for a little under R100. Great value.

Joe Fish really has become popular for Sunday lunch now offering a new menu along with live music and of course the kids have the pool to enjoy whilst mom & dad sip on their wine or Car Park John.

And talking of Sunday lunch!  Linky Whatsapped SFT with the news that they are offering their Sunday specialty of ROAST BEEF & YORKSHIRE PUDDING for lunch this Sunday. A really good deal at just R155 but you will need to make a booking.