With some restaurants you can instantly feel from one look at the menu that here is a place with an instinct to feed. Clear descriptions of the dishes are laid out and if one does need clarification the waiters are happy to help. Here at The Lodge our waiter was excellent and didn’t flinch despite being asked (probably for the 700th time that month) to specify exactly which gland was used to create their signature Monkey Gland sauce. For the record, this sauce is not made from a gland from the nether regions of any primate, it is South Africa’s favourite barbeque sauce made with onions, Worcestershire sauce, fruit chutney, Tabasco, wine vinegar, tomatoes, garlic and sugar. Phew!
Seemingly the story of the naming of the sauce came about when in the 1950s French chefs in the Carlton kitchen threw all these ingredients together as an act of sheer frustration at their head chef’s total lack of appreciation for fine cuisine, the monkey gland reference was used because at that time medical scientists were speculating that monkey glands could help keep people young.
At The Lodge chef Peter van Rijn and his wife Stacey, who is the front of house boss, display a passion not only for good food, but also for collecting very attractive and fitting artefacts along with unique decorative items which makes this establishment sing out loud as a restaurant with a high level of good taste in both regards.
One has to also mention that on offer are the comfiest of chairs. The lighting here is also perfect so one isn’t reduced to wishing for a Braille edition of the menu. Chef Peter comes with a hard earned degree in the art of grilling meat as he was senior grill chef at a popular San Francisco grill house. All the meat served originates from France with the reputed blonde d’aquitaine and Limousin beef having been dry aged for up to 21 days in a humidity controlled environment before being subjected to the grill.
Two friends joined me for dinner. I settled on the Lekker burger, which came as a 300g pure beef steak burger with bacon, cheese, grilled onion and pickle, medium cooked with just the right touch of pinkness and encased in a proper warm bun – comfort food at its very best. Our male friend did not hesitate when ordering and zeroed in on the spare ribs with rib glaze and 600g of these delights was duly delivered looking eerily akin to a medium sized crocodile on a plate.
His wife opted for the vegetarian special.
The big surprise for us all was the quality and genuine tastiness of the veggie platter, a good size bowl of chanterelle mushrooms, asparagus, red tasty flavoured rice, a spinach dish plus a good size piece of grilled halloumi and on the side, a bowl of perfect mashed potatoes.
The menu also offers fish and next time I am going to try the wild coast sea bream stuffed with fresh herbs and spices and then flame grilled or maybe the tiger prawns. I truly defy anyone not to find a dish that satisfies. A good test drive of the menu can be experienced at The Lodge’s Sunday lunch as they offer a selection of their meats salads and sauces plus a free flowing liquid accompaniment of beer and wine for three hours.
Simply put, The Lodge does what any good restaurant should do, in that it really does send you out feeling better about the world than when you went in.
SPECIALTY South African style Braai (grills)
WHERE The Lodge, Kato Paphos
CONTACT 96 677288, [email protected]/ www.thelodge.eu
PRICE from €15 to €33