Sometimes simple is better... no, actually always simpler is better. Many times I eat out at beautiful acclaimed restaurants, who have put so much thought and time into the creation of a dish, but unfortunately over complicate it and do not allow the real hero of the dish to shine. This is not the case at Freshline Fisheries, simple, relaxed and rustic the local haunt of Knysna, is a true hidden gem.
Whenever I head home for a weekend or holiday my parents instinctively know that I would love to have lunch sometime during my stay at Freshline, and they are never wrong. I must've eaten there at least 20 times, and have never ever been let down by the freshness & standard of all on offer.
Freshline does not serve alcohol, but this suits us well as my Dad picks a bottle of his favourite white and my mom, her go to Villiera Tradition Rosé Brut NV. I generally start off with a cider and then join my Dad in some white wine. They are always so quick to bring a bucket filled with ice, which is perfect to chill your bottles, nestled next to the table in the soft beach sand. We are always sure to pack our champagne glasses from home, as they keep it simple and only have wine and beer glasses on offer, so keep that in mind, if your a bubbles fan & don't forget your bottle opener!
The atmosphere of Freshline always transports me into holiday mode. Be sure to wear sandals, as it's the best feeling to kick them off and scrunch your toes in the cold soft sand beneath you. Perfect for children as it has jungle gym and play area, which to be honest if I was a kid wouldn't need that, I would've just built sandcastles all day long. Saldahna Pilchard cans hold you're eating utensils and tiny enamel cups are vessels to all the different sauces paired with the dishes. Top tip.. the chilli and peri peri sauce is out of this world, if you like the spicier things in life.
We have pretty much worked our way through the entire menu and have settled on some firm favourites. In my opinion the best way is to have some starters to share, this is standard practice in our family, as we love to have a little taste of everything. Crab Cakes with a Wasabi Aioli dip was my Mom's choice, Dad went for some Grilled Prawns with a soy dipping sauce and I chose my all time favourite Grilled Calamari tubes & tentacles with homemade "goodbye" sauce (my moms nickname for it) or Tartar sauce to most. I have never had grilled calamari so beautifully executed like it is done at Freshline, so tender and flavoursome with a slight crisp on each head or tentacle, it's my all time favourite! I always feel a little sad once I pop the last piece into my mouth and I stare down at an empty plate, only looking forward to the next time I will order that very same dish.
In my effort to #EatClean and all that, I had Grilled Sole with a side salad. My dad went for his preferred, Fish & Chips which is what I lean towards most times too. The hake they use is so fresh, you see the beautiful flakes of flesh melt apart from one another gracefully and the batter crispy and light. My mom also went with the Fish & Chips, although minus the chips, living that carb conscious life. It was all well seasoned and scrumptious, one distinctive factor that never ceases at Freshline Fisheries, is the freshness of produce, they are unquestionably loyal to their patrons in this regard.
Another unique factor of this unusually good restaurant is the Weskus Braai, they have a different menu specially for this. The Baby Kingklip is an incredible choice on the open fire BBQ, as are most of the other options. Nothing beats that chargrilled flavour! If you are ever in need of fresh fish or any form of seafood, Freshline is where you need to be, but be sure to get their early as their catches for the day sell out fast, also be understanding to season for availability. Dessert is available but not something I often have, but the ice cream & chocolate sauce is a winner! I would be interested to try their other options in the future.
So if you ever find yourself in the charming town of Knynsa, be sure to make a booking at Freshline. You wont regret it. For me no trip home is complete without a visit (or two) to Freshline Fisheries.
044 382 3131
Monday to Saturday 11.30 to 8pm. Closed Sundays
Unlicensed (B.Y.O) & No corkage. Bookings advised
FRESHLINE FISHERIES SHOP: 044 382 0430
WHOLESALE ENQUIRIES: 044 382 3131