Dee and Neal Robinson have converted it into a restaurant, nursery, and farmstall and over the last few years it has seen some changes and “tweaks” that has made it what you see today. Dee has also devoted a room to “vintage” items – clothes, ornaments and various other items of a bygone era that are now regaining popularity and coming back into fashion.
Dee sent me a message asking me to take a few photos of her new dish on the menu – the “Bok Burger” and she told me that payment would be that I could eat what I snapped! I love to barter like this and told her it would be a pleasure. But for those who have never been to the “Red” the following might be of some use:
First Impressions: The old farmhouse is inviting, with plenty of parking and an attractive piece of garden with picnic tables to sit at in good weather. There is also a jungle-gym for the active tots (who are welcome here) and a dedicated “Kid Zone” room that have tables to sit and draw at, toys, dressing-up gear and games. The open restaurant area is furnished with old items and nothing matches, but it all works together really well which is a testament to Dee’s design skills. Apart from the dining tables, there are displays of farmstall produce and also vintage bric-a-brac. We were seated near the fireplace, next to the large windows overlooking the farmlands at an intimate table.
Service: Dee and Neal do virtually all the cooking and prep work themselves. They do have staff that help but it is strictly a hands-on operation. None of that “leave it to the manager” while we holiday-in-Ibiza-for-3-weeks type of place. For the record, they do have the occasional day off when Maria ably steps in to help and ensures that their high standard of service and food doesn’t suffer.
The Food: The ‘Bok Burger’ is not for the small eater! It is a man-sized burger served with a lovely fresh salad with a variety of leaves, tomato, red onion, feta and a dressing. There is also a generous portion of freshly cooked fries too. I’m sure Dee would serve it with a baked potato if you wanted, but fries were fine for the wife and me.
The burger is locally-sourced springbok. The texture was just right and really succulent with a definite flavour that was not beef, but it wasn’t “gamey” nor wild. The herbs in the meat brought out the flavour and combined well with the salad. I’m not sure quite what I was expecting but I’ve had springbok in the past and it has been hard and unyielding. Not here! This was the perfect combination of flavour and consistency.
It is served on a lovely bun with crispy bacon and a cheese topping that has cranberries in it – this complemented the flavour perfectly.
The Bill: The ‘Bok Burger’ is on the menu for R70 – I can assure readers that this delicious and substantial plate of food is good value for money. And I’m going back for more!
Highlights & Extras: The atmosphere is calm and relaxed. We felt it was a great place to sit and look over the peaceful countryside, away from the noise of the traffic. Part of the charm of the Red Windmill is that it is NOT a fast-food place – while the food is timeously served, if you’re in a tearing rush, don’t bother.
The Red Windmill is not licensed – so if you want to enjoy a glass of wine with your meal, you can take your own. And as there is no “corkage” you will find that your final bill illustrates the value of this gem at the side of the road.