There are so many reasons to visit the Island Café on Thesen Island. Number one is, of course, its location: there’s something simply irresistible about Thesen island, with its steel grey canals lined by whitewashed timber homes.
Then there’s the décor. Island Café is the culinary heartland of the Turbine Hotel and Spa, a bastion of industrial chic. A massive turbine forms the centrepiece of the café, giving a nod to the hotel’s history as a power station; an impressive background to a restaurant that’s light, airy and popping with colour.
The feeling is fresh, fresh, fresh – and the menu complements this setting perfectly, with seasonal dishes made from local produce. This is in keeping with the hotel’s green ethos, and the results are stunning: think starters like stuffed squid in a bold, garlicky romesco sauce, or pillowy puffs of gnocchi offset by earthy mushrooms and a peppery rocket bite. One of the dinner menu highlights, though, is that you’re able to build your own plate, choosing from a selection of fresh fish, seafood, and meat, along with sauces and sides – great for those who regularly suffer menu envy or indecisiveness. For dessert, the densely decadent chocolate and hazelnut mousse is a must.
The Island Café also hosts regular theme evenings, giving diners a chance to travel to a new food destination each week.
Sawtooth Lane, Thesen Islands
Knysna, South Africa
+27 (0) 44 302 5746
Written by Lisa Witepski