People come for the garden and the atmosphere and of course the amazing food!
By Jana-Mari Smith
Kameldorn Garden and Restaurant is enclosed in a lush, green and flowering garden, with a parrot perched on a gnarled log at the entrance, cheerfully looking on as guests relax in his paradise. At night candlelight flickers across the leaves, while flames from the fire gently disperse an orange glow across the restaurant.
The meals are prepared with fresh, local ingredients – from Namibian oysters, dairy and meat products supplied by local farmers, home-grown vegetables and herbs, and home-made ice-cream, to home-baked bread, buns, cake and cookies served with foaming thick and delicious coffee.
This is Kameldorn Garden and Restaurant, the revamped eating and relaxation haven situated in Otjiwarongo on your way to the Etosha National Park or other parts of northern Namibia.
New on the menu are the super-fresh Namibian oysters. Another favourite is the nutty chicken salad drenched in bush
honey and roasted almond dressing. Daily specials include mouth-watering offerings such as warthog roast, or gemsbok liver on a summer salad, topped with papaja. A wildly popular dessert choice is hom-made cheesecake and yummy home-made white-chocolate almond ice cream.
Professional chefs – husband-and-wife team Dieter and Eleini Radeck – bought the Kameldorn Garden & Bistro in 2011 from Hanne-Dore Smith.
She had run it as a bistro for ten years, and it had been frequented by regulars from near and far. Dieter, who was head chef at the top-notch Gathemann Restaurant in Windhoek before opting to become his own boss, says he does not regret the move.
He and Eleini say their goal is to consistently offer guests good service, along with simple but delicious food, which ranges from ‘traditional boere fare to gourmet cuisine’. The menu has been changed significantly from the bistro days – although some favourites from Hanne-Dore’s time have endured, such as the world-famous beef burger, now made with fresh rolls from the kitchen. Eleini, a qualified pastry chef, dishes up sweet classics such as crème brûlée, apple tarts, and homemade cakes and cookies.
While the restaurant is home to a loyal clientele of regulars, it also attracts tourists from all over the globe, having become a popular stopover for tour operators who have entrenched the Kameldorn Garden & Restaurant as a must-experience for their guests before embarking on their trip to Etosha.
One thing’s for sure – this restaurant offers great food, great company and a great atmosphere. Indeed, it should be listed on any itinerary aimed at giving visitors a true and unique Namibian experience.
Kameldorn Garden and Restaurant is located at 17 Hindenburg Street in Otjiwarongo opposite the Shell Service Station. It has seven tables, some of them outside, and for those who can’t do without it, free wi-fi connection.
Friday: 07:00–15:00 and 18:00–21:00
Closed on Tuesdays
This article originally appeared in the November 2012 edition of Flamingo magazine.