Being the original ‘dam house’ in Melkbos built from stone and used to store fishing boats and dried fish, Die Damhuis seems to be a landmark in Melkbos.
We had a pleasant experience in visiting Die Damhuis for dinner. The restaurant is wheelchair accessible from the parking area right through to the entrance. There is a ramp leading up from the street to the pavement and then a wheelchair entrance through a small wooden gate. The floor plan throughout is level and easily accessible.
I was intrigued by the contrasting décor between the indoor and outdoor areas. The outside restaurant is set with white tables and chairs, large umbrellas and a play and sand area for the kids. Stone carved characters bearing fish stand welcome at various points. A closed off tented area, also with white tables and chairs and decorated with fishing nets and shell wreaths, provides the best of both – the beachy vibe of the outdoor area with the benefits of a sheltered dining area. Inside the restaurant the décor changes dramatically into an elegant dining room. Tables are draped in red velvet tablecloths, each with a centrepiece of a silver vase and plastic dusky roses. Rough walls with the original stone work showing though and a thatched roof with thick beams provide the farmhouse feel with antique display cabinets and black and white photos of the original Damhuis and people of the era lining the walls. What fascinated Damian was the display in the rafters above us:- two mannequins, one seated in an antique chair and the other standing in a bridal gown; as well as the granny puppet keeping a watchful eye above the counter. A black wrought iron chandelier hanging from the centre of the ceiling added to the effect with rows of hanging lights giving ambient lighting.
Service was quick, professional and friendly, with our waitress being available at the right times. Die Damhuis has an adequate wine and cocktail menu and impressive food menu. The menu includes breakfast, starters, kids, seafood, poultry, meat, tapas and dessert, with a variety of choices in each.
To start, I chose the D’Aria Blush Rosé and Damian, predictably an Appletiser.
Being vegetarian, I don’t often have much of a choice when dining out, but to my delight I found the choice of six main meals and three salads. Narrowing it down to two choices, our waitress was quick in making an informed recommendation and I went with the Butternut and Almond Bobotie:- slivers of almond and diced butternut with flavours of curry in a fruity sauce and a baked egg topping, served with basmati rice and a side of vegetables (marrows and carrot). Damian chose linguini pasta with bacon served in a creamy chicken sauce from the kids menu. Both dishes were ample in serving size. The food took around half an hour to arrive, but with the friendly atmosphere we didn’t feel the wait at all. We both thoroughly enjoyed our meals. Meals on the kiddies menu averaged R36 and the vegetarian menu ranged from R55 to R80.
Bathrooms are neat and clean and follow on with the indoor theme with antique photos enlarged and framed, and an enamel basin for discarded hand towels. There is a wheelchair and baby changing restroom. The venue is pet friendly, although pets are not allowed inside the restaurant or in the sand play area for hygienic reasons.
Die Damhuis goes the extra mile to ensure comfort of their patrons with a rack of fleece blankets available for those enjoying Melkbos’ magnificent sunsets from the outdoor area.