REVIEW – If you take a drive along the Cape coastline to catch a glimpse of the magnificent and increasingly rare whales, you inevitably have to stop in Hermanus, one of the most scenic towns on the coast. After stopping at the local mosque in Protea Street, you may be inclined to seek a meal after the one hour drive from Cape Town. For such Muslim visitors there is now another stop in the town.
Situated on the 2nd floor of the Misty Waves Hotel on Marine Drive in Hermanus, the Muslim-owned Tikka Palace is a welcome respite, boasting spectacular views of the bay, with the added benefit of safe parking. Described as a restaurant that specialises in “authentic Indian/Pakistani cuisine”, the restaurant can accommodate over 100 patrons inside.
Tastefully decorated with subtle furnishing, it steers clear of the heavy Indian accents often seen at such restaurants. Like the hotel, it is beautifully furnished in sold pieces imported from Pakistan. The food is cooked by an authentic Indian chef and is deliciously spiced without going over the top with spices. The menu is extensive and easily caters for those who like their food mild to hot – but not so hot that it will get you sweating. A wide range of traditional Pakistani/Indian dishes are offered from Butter Chicken to Lamb Rogan Josh, exotic curries and mouthwatering tandoori meals.
For cost cutters who still want a full meal, a quarter chicken tikka which comes with deliciously crisp chips and a salad will set you back about R50, which should suit most pockets. Salads were wonderfully fresh and the grilled or curried prawns are definately to be recommended. Another advantage are well trained staff who make you feel at home, but do not hover over you constantly. A word of warning though, neither the hotel or restaurant allow children under the age of 10. However, families are welcome to order their meals as a take out and enjoy it as a picnic on the beach.
While the restaurant is Muslim owned and has a separate fully halal kitchen, the space is used in the morning by the hotel’s kitchen staff to serve breakfast to their guests. Tikka Palace then takes over the operations for lunch and supper, using their kitchens with separate crockery, cutlery and even table cloths. At present Muslim clientele account for less than 10% of the restaurant’s visitors, with 40% being from the hotel, 20% being walk in guests and the remainder being regular custormers.
Despite the small percentage of Muslims who frequent the restaurant, no alcohol is sold in the restaurant.
Tikka Palace is a wonderful corner of familiar cuisine, served by professional staff in a magnificent setting and definitely worth a return visit, especially since it is the only sit down halaal restaurant in a town that makes its name with tourism.
For more, visit http://www.tikkapalacesa.com/. VOC