(work in progress)
The divine Tannie Evita has written an amusing cookbook, 'Evita's Kossie Sikelela': as ever with Pieter Dirk Uys, a pun on the Afrikaans word for food ('kos') and the name of the national anthem Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika. However, despite much self congratulatory fanfare about the brilliance of her bobotie and her celebrated catering for overfed politicians, I would suggest that it's not worth eating in the restaurant before the show (since the vast majority of performances start at 14:00).
We were on a tight schedule on our recent trip to Darling, so in the interests of making best use of our time, we booked a platter at Evita se Perron, which I sadly cannot recommend. The platter was a disappointingly basic assembly of biltong, droewors, boiled eggs, fingers of undistinguished cheese and a few samosas, served with an assortment of pickled onions, gherkins and tomatoes. It is probably best described as an uninspired platteland twist on a Ploughman's Lunch, and the sort of thing that's more appropriately whipped up from the fridge and larder to serve with drinks if friends drop by.
By contrast, it's a very pleasant place to drop in for morning coffee or afternoon tea, accompanied by a traditionally Afrikaans cake: my personal favourite is the melktart (a delicious local variation on a custard tart theme), but if you have absolutely no regard for the longevity of your dentition, feel free to try the koeksisters (a deep fried twisted doughnut that is then left to wallow in a cavity-inducing sugar syrup until it has a hard crust).
You can eat in the eclectically decorated restaurant - where the cabaret takes place - or the railway carriage stalls (pictured above) , but if the weather is good, why not take the opportunity to eat in the shady grounds?
(work in progress)
Places where you can enjoy great food and great beer are always going to be a winner for us - especially when combined with a great price!
We visited the Darling Brewery to sample its beers: we had already tried its most famous product (Bone Crusher, which has a hefty 6% alcohol content) and were keen to try its lighter beers. We were most impressed with its Slow Beer, which is closer to a lager and has a more manageable 4% alcohol content.
Favorite Dish: Given that it was about lunchtime, we decided to order from the interesting bar menu, which changes regularly.
We chose ostrich burgers, which were absolutely delicious and were served sandwiched between hunks of local wholegrain bread with a rocket and tomato salad. The price was almost laughable: R80 for two (which seems to have been a special offer, as a single burger would have been a still reasonable R55).
As you would expect of a brewery, staff are happy to advise on beer pairings for the dish you select.
Nice place, not so good food, but a great drag show from South Africas most famous. Shame though athat about a third is in Afrikans, only 23 thirds English. Also a bit too local-political for my taste (and understanding). A sight in any case!