I love to go to Stellenbosch with family and friends to discover new little bistros, or revisit my old favourites. Yesterday, I took my cousin from Australia, and her boyfriend out to Schoon De Companje, a long time favourite of mine. Formerly known as De Oude Bank Bakkerij (the old bank bakery) the authentic dutch decor and name speak to my heritage. The menu has a mix of traditional and more modern dishes and the food ranges from light lunches to hearty gourmet sandwiches. The restaurant is famous for their bread, and you can buy any type of bread you could imagine there to take home as well. There is also a beautiful traditional style bakery inside, which houses vintage style pastries, pies, macaroons and treats. a large selection of amazing craft beer is on sale, and there is also a brasserie and boutique butchery on site. Schoon De Companje also has a wine boutique, called Het Winkeltjie (the little shop), and an artisan ice-cream shoppe, called Fanny-Chanel.
For lunch I ordered a Quinoa Fritter salad, with mixed greens, pickled pears, cranberry salsa, crushed almonds and beetroot. It was amazing, especially the fritter balls (I will definitely try to recreate them and post my recipe if it works). The salad could have done with one less slice of pickled pear,as it was quite strong, but still enjoyable. I'm not really a lover of beetroot, but damn this beet was amazing! all the ingredients went well together, and the cranberry salsa was very understated; which was good because I was worried about it being overpowering.
Previously when I was there I had the Wild Mushrooms with grilled sorcery and sage paste on sourdough with a poached egg. That was also amazing, and very flavourful. All the meals are very filling, and satisfactory and the pricing is very fair, as you do get a lot of food on your plate. I've had their hot chocolate twice previously, and it's probably the best I have ever had, seriously. It's basically full cream milk (there's probably cream in there, too) that they have frothed, and then you get a whole espresso cup filled with quality chocolate disks to mix into the steaming hot milk! Definitely the ultimate cheat day drink...
There are a few things to keep in mind when visiting this place. Firstly, the service can be slow if they are busy. It can take a bit longer to get your food; but once that comes it is worth it. By no means are the staff unfriendly, just not always timely. Yesterday was the first time I had been there in summer, and it was extremely hot (36•c). The restaurant doesn't have air-conditioning, only fans (which only aciculate the hot air); so it became quite uncomfortable, especially since we were seated at the top floor - the bottom floor is definitely the best place to be. If you want to know when the best time is to go, winter is certainly it; it's always warm in there, considering all of the ovens that are constantly working.
If you are in Stellenbosch I would really recommend you check the place out, it has amazing food for vegans, vegetarians and meat eaters alike; and the meat free meals are much more than greek salads; in fact the salad I had was vegan and I was pleased as a meat eater.
Until the next post
-The Traveling Oyster
P.S. Here is the link to their website, where you can find their contact details and address: