| Not exactly a restaurant... not exactly a bar... definitely not a deli... well, not exactly a deli... it’s an eating place, a drinking place and definitely a meeting place.
And it’s a gift shop, a clothing emporium, a food store, a fish monger and a bakery, too.
And it’s always on one, single line of latitude - the 34th parallel (but only on the Waterfront at the Knysna Quays).
And the finest wine shop this side of the grape curtain.
WHERE ON EARTH?
the countryís Favourite Town - lies sleepy on the shores of its famous
lagoon. Itís the finest destination on South Africaís Southern Cape
Coast and the one youíll choose as your home base when youíre out
exploring the Garden Route region and itís neighbour, the Klein Karoo.
34į South - thatís your horizontal spot, your parallel position, your
line of latitude. And thatís where youíll find us - 34 South, Knysna.
you find yourself exploring the garden route over the summer
holidays, drop anchor at the Knysna Quays. Mariners avoiding the
tourist traffic can simply set sail for lunch, dock the yacht in the
marina and stroll over to 34 South - a culinary destination and
landmark on the Knysna waterfront well known to landlubbers and
It's summertime and the living is easy. The restaurant terrace has
its own docking platform overlooking a canal that links waterfront
apartments to the lagoon. Blink and you might imagine a gondola passing
by. The market is abuzz with tourists trawling the fishmongers for fresh
linefish, oysters and shellfish - and the trestle tables are laden with
seafood platters and crustacean specialties.
and laidback, 34 South has latitude. We started with a platter of
freshly shucked wild coastal oysters harvested between Nature's Valley
and Witsand - still tasting of salt and sea. They serve calamari (tubes,
heads and steaks) and mussels (in and out the shell) many ways - in
vinaigrette, masala, with peri-peri or with wine and garlic. The herring
comes six ways, the fish pates four and the mezze too many ways to
Traditional Greek, Spanish and Portuguese themes run through an
eclectic menu that highlights Mediterranean flavours - with chicken,
ostrich and vegetarian options for diners averse to seafood.
With tastebuds tantalised by oysters and bubbly, we moved on to mains. Signature dishes tempt with fresh linefish brought in through the Knysna heads, east-coast sole, linefish espetada, Portuguese sardines, jambalaya and seafood paella.
Spoilt for choice, we took the indecisive way out and opted for a seafood platter - a combo of butterflied prawns fried on the flat-top with olive oil and lemon butter, calamari, mussels in the shell, crayfish and linefish (musselcracker and kabeljou). A succulent feast of the fruits of the sea came grilled to perfection with a firm, fleshy texture. The affordable wine list is well chosen, showcasing a range of top-notch Cap Classique, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay to enhance the rich fishy flavours.
There was only one way to top a long, lazy Saturday lunch. To the sounds of the guitar man on the terrace playing 'Take it Easy', we walked the gangplank from 34 South and boarded the Outeniqua, a 50-foot sloop. On a cruise out to the Heads and Featherhead Bay, we went looking for the sea-horses and mermaids that live in the placid waters of Knysna lagoon. The fishermen on the banks were casting a line for the catch of the day.