09 May 2011 by Robyn Campbell

Make some noise for the Oyster

Paternoster (‘Our Father’) with it’s sickle shaped bay crowded with fishing boats, sun-bleached fisherman’s cottages and weather-worn shop fronts, resembles many-a West Coast village.

That is until you follow the main route through the town, and a very low-riding, expensive marque scoots past you. Followed by another. And another. It isn’t a sports car rally, just another weekend in Paternoster.

Look closer at the maze of white washed walls, and between the compress of tumble-down cottages in which the fisher folk live, you’ll see name plaques for some of the West Coast’s most awarded boutique guest houses, all boasting absolute luxury and enviable views of the West Coast’s startlingly blue sea.

You see, Paternoster has gone - gastronomically speaking - from a scraggly oyster-beard town, to a pearl, if you’ll pardon the trite simile.

A 90-minute drive from Cape Town, the thimble-sized village offers some of the Cape’s most exciting places to eat. One of these restaurants is the quirkily named Noisy Oyster.

A muddled booking at another Paternoster restaurant found me hungry and not very hopeful of finding a table at midday on a Saturday in Paternoster.

I believe in serendipity, which is how I came to be licking my fingers after a starter of sardine spring rolls, and looking forward to my main course of crayfish, with an interlude of fresh oysters, followed by a chocolate and salted caramel tart at the Noisy Oyster restaurant.

The restaurant has a magical garden setting that’s somewhere between a hippy encampment and a Bedouin tent, to which has been added a fountain, fairy lights and randomly placed blackboards with obscure literary and food quotes.

The menu is varied, and though the obvious is to go for the local seafood, there’s duck, pizza, steaks, and burgers too. Being a barefoot kind of town, service isn’t fast but it’s friendly, sincere and efficient. The mainly West Coast wine list is a tad pricey, but it has some must-try local gems.

Though I’d been anticipating my meal at the ‘other’ Paternoster restaurant for weeks, I came away feeling super-satisfied with my accidental lunch. The Noisy Oyster is worthy of some noise; but do book a table beforehand. Or else you’ll have to contend with the noise of a rumbling tummy…

The Noisy Oyster
Tel: +27 (0)22 752 2196

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