The story of how we named our restaurant
‘Patat’, our restaurant at Swartberg is actually the second Patat restaurant to be opened in South Africa. The first restaurant was opened back in 2005 when Cobus van den Berg, who was initially involved with the Cape Diamond Hotel and is now the owner of Swartberg Country Manor, wanted to open a restaurant in the heart of Cape Town that truly captured the ‘boerekos’ essence while also giving it a modern twist.
Gerdi van den Berg, wife of Cobus, initiated the name ‘Patat’ as it is not only a beautiful and modern Afrikaans word, but is also a star ingredient in traditional ‘boerekos’ recipes, making the name incredibly apt. A ‘patat’ (sweet potato) is a very versatile vegetable and the restaurant in the cape Diamond Hotel served it in the most creative shapes and sizes; even in ice cream! Amongst the many factors that made this restaurant so unique was that it homed a theatre café in its cellar, called ‘Gatta Patat’, where Afrikaans singers used to perform on a regular basis – a first of its kind in Cape Town!
Cobus and Gerdi later went on to renting out the hotel to new tenants who came all the way from Germany, but, however, did not understand the Afrikaans language nor the Patat essence and connotation. Cobus then arranged that he rather keep the name, leaving him with a beautiful restaurant name but no restaurant.
In 2007 when they opened a restaurant the second time around, this time on Swartberg Country Manor, the name ‘Patat’ was undoubtedly the one and only choice. This new restaurant served the tastiest South African-traditional dishes with a delicious modern twist. The scenic views also played into the ‘boerekos’ feeling of the countryside. Today ‘Patat’ has a wide selection of delicious food on the menu, including the traditional ‘boerekos’, thanks to the ever-talented chef, Rickus Engelbrecht.
Next time you are in Oudtshoorn be sure to pop in for a delicious traditional treat!