Oep ve Koep

Paternoster, South Africa

Feb 2014

You will probably get here after a morning in the West Coast National Park, a few hours northwest of Cape Town. You cross the National Park gate and drive surrounded only by low vegetation, white dunes and birds until you reach the Langebaan Lagoon, an expanse of azure blue water battered by strong winds; groups of surfers from a hippie dream gliding over the water. You cross the door of the dim lit Oep ve Koep shop first, then a second door opening onto the sunny inner garden; you leave the sound of the ocean behind and stop for a gourmet break. The store is a bazaar of local souvenirs, simple but very well looked after. They sell small bags of salt with herbs, jams, linen and cotton kitchen towels, and enamelled china and tinplate. A blond sweet lady, the mother of chef Kobus takes you to your table in the garden. The young blond sweet Kobus tells you what’s on the daily menu, cooks for you and serves each dish. Homemade bread and focaccia with sea salt in a jute bag, with herbs from the garden, rosemary, sage and flowers. Colourful African tablecloths, white umbrellas, an old fisherman boat faded by the sun and turned into a flowerpot and simple and genuine atmosphere, in between seaside and countryside. Each dish is a small work of art. All plates are decorated with a leaf or a flower in a very natural way that precedes any concepts of contemporary cuisine. 


Thanks to Kobus van der Merwe, Sardines on Toast


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