Tag Archives: Van Hunks

Van Hunks

6 Aug

Van Hunks is a cosy restaurant that immediately puts its guests at ease, with delicious food and excellent service.

I am embarrassed to admit that I only discovered this gem when friends arrived from Jo’burg who had heard of it. I hung my head in shame for all of 5 seconds and realised that it would make the perfect start to “Review Bar”.

Van Hunks is settled in a house in Tamboerskloof and it has managed to maintain the home-like atmosphere, by keeping many of the interior walls and the central fireplace. It was a wonderful place to eat on a cold Cape Town night. Luckily, as I avoid the trendy like a snotty child, the crowd was relaxed. Our waiter was super helpful, going so far as to help us cut open a suitcase (long story!) and he always had a smile, which definitely encouraged more wine drinking! Unfortunately the staff needs to hone their fire making skills for the winter months as at times it became a little smoky, but we were at Van Hunks after all! (Find out the tale of Van Hunks below if you don’t know it.)

The menu was small, but had delicious choices, including good old steak, chips and veggies (and the steak was done to rare perfection I might add), homestyle oxtail ragout and, for my vegetarian friend, mushroom and artichoke ravioli. Every dish was scrumptious and the portions were well sized. I’m definitely part of the empty plate club but there is nothing worse than eating too much of a yummy meal and feeling way too full. I felt satisfied, and by no means hard done by, especially considering the price.

To go with our meal we chose from their large wine list. We had the Waterford Pecan Stream Sauvignon Blanc which somehow managed to disappear extremely quickly! I’m not going to pretend to be anything of a wine fundi, that would be cheating, so I can merely say – Nyummy!

Van Hunks. Corner Upper Union and Kloof Street, Tamboerskloof; 021 422 5422; Mains: R60-R95 Desserts: from R40; Service: Great

The real Van Hunks story

A long time ago (as rumour has it) Van Hunks was a captain in the navy and lived on the slopes of Table Mountain. His favourite pastime was strolling up the mountain, sitting on a rock and smoking his pipe.

One day Van Hunks was upset to find a stranger, dressed all in black and wearing a peculiar hat, sitting on his rock. The stranger greeted Van Hunks by name, so he soon forgot his displeasure and sat next to the stranger, bragging about his tobacco and smoking ability. The stranger claimed that he could smoke more than Van Hunks. The old sea codger decided this was a challenge worth accepting and the smoking began.

They smoked and smoked and smoked. People in Cape Town were worried when they saw a billowing cloud begin to cover Table Mountain. And still the men smoked and smoked. Eventually, both men began to feel ill (understandably so!) and, about to topple over, the stranger’s hat fell off revealing his horns and his true identity. It was the devil! Van Hunks realised he had beaten the devil himself and no doubt started bragging immediately. The devil, being the bad loser that he is, disappeared in a cloud of smoke.

Now, when the cloud comes down and covers Table Mountain, it is said that Van Hunks and the devil are smoking again.

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