A super popular new dining spot landed in Gordon’s Bay this year (or more accurately, about 5 km outside of Gordon’s Bay), and of course, given that this is my home stomping ground after all, a plan was made to go and experience it.
Situated along Clarence Drive, one of the finest and most scenic coastal drive roads in all of South Africa, the Grille Shack (at PitStop Lodge) looms large in front of a person, dressed from head to toe in midnight black with splashes of red for accent, anchored by swaying Blue Gums, and nestled in between dramatic cliffs and a sparkling blue sea.
With some owner/chef DNA coming from the equally sublime Hickory Shack on the other side of the mountain, the Grille Shack grabs its setting from 1950’s era pump diner scene, with a twist of “lekker” South African tossed in for good measure. Loads of car and other vintage memorabilia help set the style and tone, the car grilles on the wall enforce the pun of its name, and the seemingly never ending stream of petrol-heads, road-trippers, families, adventurers, hikers, locals, free spirits, cyclists and tourists ensure the vibe.
Pleasingly, the quality and presentation of the food matches the setting and vibe, and Grille Shack puts forward a strong menu that should be more than enough to keep people interested for a long time to come.
Unfortunately for us though, this particular visit of ours didn’t go quite as smoothly as one would have hoped from such a great setting. Kitchen staff trouble and a boom of visitors on the day meant that service broken down more than just a little, so ultimately we walked away a bit disappointed by our overall experience.
Nevertheless, as you might have picked up from the glowing tone of my write-up from the get go, I can’t really fault Grille Shack on this at all. After all, these things occasionally happen to just about everyone, even more so if they are new. Instead, all it means then is that I just need to try again come another day – though maybe once all the initially curious crowds have thinned just a little bit more! ;)
Right, so now even more of an excuse to head out for a drive along the achingly beautiful Clarence Drive!