Down-to-earth town shows an impressive taste for fine dining

Dining out with Helen Crooks

Review appeared in The Herald, 25 August 2013. 
 
HUMANSDORP. It's a place to go through en route to more glamorous destinations.
 
A rural kind of rough and ready little town, it's hardly the kind of place where you would expect to find a restaurant where crystal chandeliers decorate the ceilings, ornate mirrors decorate the walls and an eclectic mix of tables and chairs await diners.
 
But that's exactly what you will find at Le Chameleon, somewhat hidden away on Humansdorp's Voortrekker Road, blending effortlessly into the background and easily being overlooked by passing motorists.
 
Before even reaching the extensive dining areas, visitors can wander through a large entrance foyer where a selection of jams, preserves, home-made bread rolls and probably the largest Chelsea buns can be purchased.
 
There's also a tasteful gift shop, but the main thing at Le Chameleon is the food and the menu is certainly one to die for.
 
There are cheese platters for two with camembert, brie, cheddar, nuts, preserves and biscuits for R135; a tempting ploughman's lunch with cheddar cheese, gypsy ham, pickled onions and home made bread for R65; interesting sounding bobotie spring rolls, pancakes and chicken and venison pies at between R50 and R55.
 
For heartier appetites there's the Pisces trio of homemade fish cakes, prawns and calamari at R65, oxtail stew R89 and the very tempting beef burgundy at R75.
 
But we were indeed passing through so we opted for items on the lighter side of the menu and, it definitely being soup weather, my lunch partner opted for the soup and sherry combination on the menu for a very reasonable R40.
 
Often being disappointed when requesting quiche, I plumped for the quiche Lorraine at R50.
 
Although being a bread and cheese fan, the earlier mentioned ploughman's lunch kept on calling me.
 
The ambience being both charming and laidback at the same time – single diners were reading books over their lunch and looked completely relaxed.
 
It was easy to sit back and enjoy a pot of tea (for my lunch partner) and orange juice for me.
 
Considering that the restaurant was fairly full, the food was served promptly and proved to be just what the doctor ordered after a morning of sightseeing in nearby Tsitsikamma.
 
The large bowl of bean soup (my lunch partner's favourite) was covered with a lid to keep it piping hot and accompanied by a large fresh bread roll with real butter as well as croutons.
 
"Delicious" was the verdict and, although it was a large and hearty portion, it was polished off with delight.
 
The quiche, which was served with a large side salad attractively topped with a purple nasturtium was one of the best I have had with the gentle custard taste being interspersed with just the right amount of pepper.
 
The dessert menu is small but what was probably the Eton Mess enjoyed by a fellow diner was substantial in proportion and cost just R25. Our bill, with a tip, came to R130.
 
Restaurant visits are unannounced and meals are paid for in full.

Trading Hours

Monday - Friday
8:30 - 16:00 (Kitchen closes at 15:30)
Saturdays
8:30 - 14:00 (Kitchen closes at 13:30)
Closed on Sundays & Public Holidays

Where to find us

  • 53 Voortrekker Road, Humansdorp
    GPS: -34.027 ; 24.779

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