Although very travelled, I am a true South African (to the bone), so when I heard about the Potluck Restaurant and Sports Bar (previously Rod & Reel Restaurant), situated in the Castleton Gated Community off Piesang Valley Rd. in Plettenberg Bay, Western Cape, South Africa, with it’s traditional South African food, we had to go there and check it out. After all, this place represent a country. It was on a Sunday at around 14h15, and we were welcomed at the door by a waiter and the manager after walking up the very wheelchair friendly entrance walk-way, after leaving a very large parking lot. We were the only two visitors at the time.
We immediately noticed the total lack off tablecloths and pre-placed condiment-clusters on the tables, but were optimistic about the invitation to enjoy the buffet of the day. We settled on the deck, which met us with a view second to few in the area filled with mist at first, but then opening up to eye-catching beauty facing Keurbooms lagoon and Lookout Beach below.
NOTE: We emphasize that T&Q hold not a shred of malice toward the management, owner or staff of a venue when doing a review, but we do a realistic and trained assessment of any business.
When walking to the buffet range, we were met by a lady busy filling to-go containers (I assume – for the staff of the day), who I later found out (from her), is the co-owner of Potluck Restaurant, and have been in the industry for a long time.
We proceeded to help ourselves (two of us) to the beef and chicken options, with traditional green beans, pumpkin fritters, rice and a green salad. The food was average at best, the waiter did not introduce himself and his outfit needed ironing, the view does not automatically exclude the condition of the garden, the furniture out on the deck could do with a full refurbishing, the spelling on the very sub-standard (condition and choice of flip-file option) menu was filled with spelling mistakes, and the price did not warrant the range (buffet foods) we could choose from. What made me frown food-wise even more, was the limit placed in advance on a single portion of desert. I understood from the owner that they had taken the restaurant over about 6-7 weeks before our visit, which allows a fair amount of leniency in review, but two factors come into play.
1. The owners know the game. They are and have been in the industry (successfully) for an extended period.
2. Six (6) weeks is ample time for salted restaurant owners to add finishing touches to their venue.
The bar looked good (see image), and the one interior space truly fit the view. T&Q suggest that before offering a good time at your venue, inject financial upgrades needed to meet the local market, which includes foreign trade throughout the year. Study structural training for staff and present a better product. We felt when we were leaving that the meal offered was just a home-cooked replacement for a Sunday meal because a few people elected not to eat at home. It was not a restaurant experience. I do believe we will return and we are confident that Potluck Restaurant will in it’s perhaps, philosophy of simplicity improve their venue to represent traditional South Africa, hopefully adding a small but significant touch of class. We look forward to seeing their upgrade in the future.
Potluck Restaurant and Sports Bar receives a 5.25 from the T&Q independent Rating System.