Text and photographs: Ron Swilling
A new burst of freshness has arrived in Swakopmund with the Wild Rocket restaurant, conveniently situated in the Kronheimer Courtyard (next to Autohaus Swakopmund) off Sam Nujoma Avenue. The green colour of hope combined with a soft purple merges with the clean lines of the furniture and glassed walls for a light and modern finish. Vases with flowers and a seasonal menu scrawled on a large blackboard complete the décor and hint of the ‘honest food’ to come, a term Anita Hennies uses to describe her delicious (and reasonably-priced) dishes.
Open Tues-Fri 7:00-17:00; Sat 7:00-15:00; Sun 8:00-14:00
Tel: +264 (0)64 461046
A Swakopmunder, who grew up waitressing at some of the town’s well-known eating establishments and who follows in her parents’ footsteps of owning a restaurant, Anita spent sixteen years in Munich where she trained in restaurant management and completed her chef’s exam. She also spent a nine month period in India where she furthered her training, learning about nourishing the body and the nuances and subtleties of food. Anita says that in India before you are asked your name your host enquires whether you would like a cup of chai (tea) and if you have eaten. It is a culture that expresses itself through food. “For them,” Anita says, “eating with the six senses is important.”
Keeping her extensive experience close at hand, Anita also strives to keep all her customers happy, providing Classic and Steakhouse breakfasts, popular combinations and Namibian favourites like Rohhack and Kochkase (a raw minced meat and mature cheese spread) while also offering something different and interesting. The menu comprises paninis, brötchen, wraps and salads with an additional warm lunch dish, which could be anything from a fish bake to a lasagne.
Anita believes that ‘you are what you eat’ and offers that high quality of food to her diners. Sourcing Namibian produce from Omaruru and the Swakop River plots, and baking her own paninis and breads, she ensures that her food is fresh and that she supports local producers. She also offers coffee from Slowtown Coffee Roasters, roasted in Swakopmund. Freshly squeezed juices and smoothies (with a choice of Greek yoghurt or ice-cream) are also on the menu, providing delicious choices for all ages, tastes and types.
Anita is partnered by her mother, Lorchen Schulte, who manages the admin side of Wild Rocket leaving Anita to create in the kitchen. It has been Lorchen’s dream to open a restaurant with her daughter. Combining talents, the team offers an inviting venue (and menu) at a restaurant which is as bright as a sprig of the freshly picked green.
Although the paninis are amongst Anita’s favourites (providing a balance of fresh white bread filled with fresh herbs and mouth-watering combinations, toasted to perfection), her chef’s choice for the day – for those who want to tantalise tastebuds – is a veggie-couscous mix with tomato, lettuce, cheese and a generous dollop of humus served in a pita or wrap. In-joy.
This article appeared in the January’12 Edition of FLAMINGO Magazine.