The Shuntin Shed
‘Shunting’ is a railroad term for when the train changes from one track to another, and this little spot in Botrivier certainly shunted my perception of the sleepy town of Botrivier. I’d been there a few times to visit Beaumont wines (always a worthwhile visit) and had passed through several more, but nothing had caught my eye. The town is sleepy. Like no-traffic-lights-yet sleepy. Then I heard about this place that serves good pizza. I think I read about it on JP Rossouw’s site a while back. Anyways, some friends decided to move onto a small farm nearby and it provided opportunity to visit The Shunting Shed.
The restaurant is a large tin shed that is furnished with old railway seats and tables and fitted out with some quirky accessories. There’s the pizza oven in the corner, a decent little bar with a Birkenhead tap and a TV playing sport. And a deck outside. The menu is simple, focused around the pizza’s. A wine blackboard lists some local wines, quite reasonably priced. The patrons seemed a mix of a few locals, visitors en route to Hermanus and tourists from further afar. But I get the sense that if you come here during a rugby match, the place will be packed with local farmers and other regulars. The vibe is warm here. It also has that we-could-get-really-drunk-here-and-meet-some-interesting-people feeling. I really enjoy places like that. In fact, The Shunting Shed is one of those rare places where almost anyone would feel at home. The stiff, red-trousered English tourist. The big denim- and leather-clad overland biker. The rough-skinned local farmer. The Cape Town hippie on a weekend jaunt. The family in need of an easy lunch to break a daytrip. All would enjoy this place.
We ate pizza, served on terracotta floor tiles with Spoornet branded plates on the side. The special was a rib pizza, which was delicious. All the pizza’s were good, served on thin bases and without too many toppings, something commendable. They could have been a touch crispier, but overall were very tasty. Considering the small, country town location, they were excellent. Sadly they were out of the Feiteiras Cabernet Sauvignon we wished to try, but the Birkenhead’s went down smoothly.
We toyed with the idea of staying and drinking for another two hours after lunch to see what happened at 5pm when the rugby came on. Would it get filled with local farmers that drink Olof Bergh and sit at the bar with a thousand-mile stare? Maybe. But we’ll have to wait till next time to see.
by the Foodie
The Shunting Shed. 028 284 9443.