VALLEY HARVEST IN SIXTH AVENUE, WALMER
VALLEY Harvest has been a Walmer fixture for many years and the cafe side of it is now run by Niki Westraadt, a familiar face on the Eastern Cape restaurant and cafe scene. Niki and her husband, artist and gallery owner Raymond, moved back to PE in June but have kept up some of their business interests in Graaff-Reinet and Nieu-Bethesda.
Valley Harvest has not traded at night for some years, but is now open for ploughman's platters and hearty curries until about 8pm every Thursday.
The coffee: I didn't catch the brand but Valley Harvest's cappuccinos (R16) are always first class – and this has not changed one bit. This was our best cuppa of all three cafes visited. The food: Some of the menu items have stayed the same, but Niki has added quite a few of her own tried-and-tested dishes. I was tempted to try her rare roast beef and beetroot salad, but instead went for another newcomer in the unusual-sounding grilled calamari open sandwich on toasted pot bread (R45). It turned out to be an excellent choice, expertly plated and worthy of a future order. The salad on the side was fresh and varied. Salvelio's Portuguese wrap (an old favourite at R49) was bursting with tasty and succulent chicken, further indication good value and decent portion sizes have returned to Valley Harvest.
The sweets:We shared a slice of Niki's lemon silk tart which was reminiscent of a cheese cake, only far more refreshing on the palate. I spent the rest of the day wondering how I could possibly squeeze her for the recipe. Heaven on a plate at R28.
Service and timing: We finished lunch in an hour. Service was thoughtful and attentive. The waiter (she didn't tell us her name) was cheerful and informed about the dishes available.
The damage: The bill came to R154 excluding the tip. All three review visits on this page were unannounced and paid for in full.