Going Home To The Rusty Oak

The Rusty Oak Sign

There is a certain thing that happens to foodies, even accidental ones. We get used to all the foodie places, the fine dining, a splash of this and froth of that, the giant plates with tiny portions, the art-work plating, the perfectly designed interiors … and then you start to miss the sort of restaurants you went to when you were a kid. The unassuming ones, the ones that serve normal food on normal plates, the ones that were functional, not artistic. The ones that felt like home.

This is exactly the feeling that hit when I entered The Rusty Oak in Durbanville. This was a place that wasn’t pretending to be something else. What you saw is what you got. What a wonderful feeling! When I asked JP, the manager, what he would like for us to experience, he reflected exactly that: Sit down, have a meal, enjoy. Simple, but important.

The Rusty Oak Interior

So, my Bestie, the always awesome Francis (GGPops), and me settled down at a table and studied through the drinks menu. The Bestie went with her staple, Cola Tonic and Soda, and GGPops went for his staple: Beer. As I unashamedly will admit, I have zero understanding of beer and I cannot for the life of me tell you what it was, but it smelt of bananas and seemed to make him happy. I saw a few of my favourite wines on the menu, but eventually went with a glass of Warwick First Lady. It goes without saying that it was divine.

Next up we studied the actual food menu. It’s pretty challenging when you have four things you want to order but can’t decide. I eventually chose the Fillet Mignon, then raced after our wonderful waiter Kelvin to change my order to the delicious-looking Eisbein I just saw at the neighbouring table (sorry about that, Kelvin, it just had to be done). The Eisbein obviously left an impression and I am already ahead of myself here. Let me track back to starters …

The Rusty Oak Devil's Fork

For starters, the Bestie and I had a Devil’s Fork, which already sounds like fun before you even know what it is. Basically, this dish consists of grilled mushrooms skewered on a Triton-like fork and brushed with basting. It comes with a devilishly hot sauce on the side and I am grateful for the warning that both Kelvin and JP gave us in regards to its hotness. Needless to say, I focused on the mushrooms and they were yummy! GGPops had the peri-peri chicken livers, which I’m afraid I can’t comment on. Must be an old boarding school fear I have of anything with liver.

And, so, back to the mains. My Eisbein was perfectly huge (1kg to be exact) and perfectly done. Crispy, just the way it should be! I did something I have never done at a review before: I asked for a doggie bag! I will be eating this meal for the next week and I am super excited about that! The Bestie had the pork belly with cauliflower puree and wilted greens and GGPops had the rack of lamb with sweet potato mash and winter veg.

The Rusty Oak Eisbein

The Rusty Oak Pork Belly

The Rusty Oak is the sort of place you go to with your family or old friends. Its unassuming, relaxed atmosphere makes you feel right at home and its meals are reasonably priced – and you definitely won’t be leaving hungry! I had a great evening and it was wonderful to simply enjoy the company of friends and eat a good meal. Ultimately, what more do you want?

A big thank you to our waiter Kelvin for taking such good care of us and to the food and beverage manager JP for welcoming us so warmly.

You can visit The Rusty Oak at 14 Langeberg Road in Durbanville. For more info on them and to look at their menu, feel free to head on over to their website here. We’ll be back soon with more foodie love!

Written by Sabine Palfi

Review Date: August 2016