Homemade Happiness at Rojaal Eatery, Elgin

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Take the road less travelled this holiday season and discover Rojaal Eatery. It’s a homely country deli/cafe set among the peaceful, rolling hills of Elgin, only a short drive from the bustle of Cape Town.

Weary travellers along the N2: this is your haven.

Whether you’re passing by on a trip up the N2, taking a break after tackling one of the region’s many MTB trails or just looking to get away to a slice of heaven away from it all, Rojaal should be your rest stop of choice.

Housed in a former flower-packing shed overlooking one of the fruit region’s many valleys, Rojaal (the Afrikaans word for Royal) was established in 2016 by enterprising apple farmer Arno Reuvers. Today, it is a popular deli, cafe and function venue.

A place for the heart, Rojaal is defined by its heritage-style décor and wholesome menu that hark back to days of innocence, goodness and generosity.

“The name Rojaal epitomises South African hospitality, from the abundance of food to the care and love that underscores every meal,” says Reuvers. “I believe all of us share some kind of memory that recalls happiness; a moment in time we were happiest. It’s a semblance of this authenticity that we seek to re-create at Rojaal.”

The eatery sits on a grassy ridge, almost inconspicuous in the gentle green landscape. Inside, the setting is homely – exposed, rustic trusses link distressed corrugated panelling while farmhouse furniture, crockery and cutlery complete the picture. A corner of the room is taken up by a plush vintage lounge suite and an old fireplace – the place to be when the mist rolls in. Then, step through the double-doors, out onto a veranda occupied by jolly umbrellas and outside seating. Beyond a children’s playground, the vista rolls away to distant blue-green mountains.

The menu is a perfect reflection of the Rojaal philosophy, whether you’re popping in for a light snack or something more substantial. In a tiny, magical kitchen, chef Orscilla Hitchcock carefully applies her loving touch to ingredients to produce a collection of truly marvellous creations. Originally from Prince Albert, she completed her studies at Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) Hotel School in Granger Bay, Cape Town before joining the Volkskombuis in Stellenbosch. Her path then led her to Leeuwenhof, official residence of the Premier of the Western Cape, where she headed up the kitchen brigade.

All the timeless country favourites are there, from roosterkoek to traditional chicken sosaties – each with Rojaal’s unique spin. Try the Eggs Benedictus, poached eggs with Hollandaise sauce offered in various formats including on bobotie; or the Brilliant Chicken Salad, a fresh and crispy serving of greens with sesame soy sauce and a honey mustard balsamic vinegar dressing, and a side of roosterkoek – just in case.

Every meal is prepared on site – from the fluffy blueberry-infused bread to the delish black brioche roll infused with black squid ink that bookends Rojaal’s “Next Level” hamburger.

Those hamburgers are also on the menu on Burger Night Fridays 18:00 (last orders taken at 20:00), while a traditional, table-creaking buffet on the last Sunday of every month has already built a large and loyal following among locals-in-the-know. Bookings are essential if you want to join this treat.

And what would a country eatery be without cake? Rojaal lines up a daily offering of these mouth-watering pièces de résistance. Of course, there’s more than just tea on offer. Enjoy a steaming cup of “Boeretroos” coffee or a CreamSoda float and simply watch the world go by.

Rojaal seats 60 people, but is available for functions catering for up to 100 people too. Whether it’s a birthday party or intimate wedding, Rojaal has to be your first choice.

Rojaal is open Wednesday to Sunday, 08:00 to 17:00.

It is located a scenic one-hour’s drive from Cape Town. Turn off the N2 at the Viljoenshoop Road, just after the Peregrine Farm Stall and keep left for 4km.

For enquiries, call 021 204 1085 or email bestuurder@rojaal.co.za and chef@rojaal.co.za.

Keep up to date with events at Rojaal by following it on Facebook (https://web.facebook.com/Rojaal-Est-2016); Twitter @Rojaal_Est2016; and, Instagram at rojaal_est2016.

Rojaal Eatery

Tel: 021 204 1085

Email: bestuurder@rojaal.co.za

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Celebrating life with food, wine, friends & happiness! Writer, cook and blogger. Author of four cookbooks. Passionately South African, proudly Capetonian.