Carl van der Merwe: “It’s all about making this a lovely place to visit and linger.”
Carl and Megan van der Merwe are renowned in White River for the convivial, relaxed eating they delivered at the restaurant they founded, Fez. Their new venture, 64 Coolmore, combines Megan’s sophisticated chic décor style with Carl’s eclectic cooking to offer White Riverian’s a place to enjoy good, slow cooked food combined with a comfortable, luxe ambiance.
Ok, that was a mouthful but so is their food. Carl’s passion is for fresh seasonal ingredients slow cooked (in his wood oven if possible) and nothing fried. He’s intent on changing the menu with the seasons, but some staples will remain – South African men enjoy their steak, and lamb shanks are too popular to leave out. Their immediate plan is to expand the vegetable garden – perhaps you didn’t realise that the crisp greens, avocados and fresh artichokes on your plate were grown just metres away from your table?
The duo believe that the secret is to keep people happy from the minute they arrive until they leave, and dining out is about the entire experience not just the meal. Add to the mix a small, happy team that welcomes returning diners like family and clients can expect to enjoy a relaxing time in the elegant but warm atmosphere.
Carl is passionate about cooking game and he’s made Bush Pig his speciality. If that’s on the menu when you visit, make sure someone in your party orders it and stick your fork in for a taste – it’s sublime.
Many of the beautiful pieces of furniture and décor items are from their home. Megan believes that this is the secret to the comfortable feel and the Lesser Striped Swallows busily building a nest under the eaves clearly agree – 64 Coolmore is the perfect location for their new home!
We’ll leave the final word to Carl, who advises that patrons take his advice when he recommends a menu item. “After all, I cooked it and know what’s especially good on the day!” he chuckles.
Photos by Hennie Homann
64 Coolmore is open 18h30 – 21h00 Tuesday to Saturday, and 12h00 – 14h00 on Sunday for tranquil, country lunches.
64 Coolmore Road, White River
Tel: 082 896 4646
64 Coolmore is on Facebook