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Goblin's Cove Print E-mail
Robin Forrester   
Friday, 22 May 2009

On the evening of our weekend getaway to the Magaliesberg we set off about 10km down the road for a much-anticipated dinner at the Goblins Cove restaurant. We didn’t know what to expect except that there would be goblins, faeries and other un-worldly surprises.

Upon arriving, we thought we’d wandered onto the set of a new “Lord of The Rings” movie. The view of the restaurant amidst the trees and forest setting is serene and the building itself is quite magnificent with its big water wheel and a large detailed goblin face modelled into the side of the structure. The restaurant is the first building you will see with the much marvelled train accommodation a little walk away. At the rear of the restaurant is a well detailed outside dining area where you will find large faeries adorning the trees and entrances to various sections.

 Goblins Cove
 Goblins Cove
 Goblins Cove
 Goblins Cove
 Goblins Cove
Created by Charles and Marguerite Gotthard, the 4 storey restaurant is located on the banks of a lake on the Magaliesburg river, it boasts a fantastical structure containing lots of coves, domes and almost hidden rooms, each one of which has been styled to offer a magical atmosphere whilst dining.

Inside there are small winding passages and wooden stairways with models or detailed paintings of fairies peering out of little spaces or around corners.

Outside you will find a tiny fairy sized shop to wander into for children and those who’d like to take a reminder back with them to the ‘real world’. There is also a small animal farm and play area that is sure to keep the children interested for a good while and keep the magic flowing. There is so much to see, I’d recommended doing all the exploring before eating to set any adventurous minds at ease.

We were seated in a cozy cove by a window overlooking the dim lit forest. The cove was well detailed with ceiling cobwebs, little hidden areas in the walls where goblins statues were placed, and even smiling faeries floating around the walls. Sitting in the cove area really made us feel like we were in the home of some friendly creature. You will find yourself discovering new things poking out and hiding in places all the time, our imaginations were flowing as we made up stories of all the things we could see whilst waiting for our courses.

Onto the food; the menu is very varied and consists of dishes for all palettes, the vegetarian choice is also impressive with three dishes such as grilled mushroom risotto, basil pesto penne with roasted pine nuts and danish feta, and a baked cauliflower and broccoli cannelloni. There are also two fish dishes with line fish and salmon. We were told the menu will be changing soon to the winter menu which will include warm cozy dishes with a home cooked feel. The dishes reviewed will also be on the winter menu.

For starters we tried the Puff Pastry topped with Aubergine, Caramelised Onion & Parma Ham, and the vegetarian Roast Carrot & Avocado Salad with a spicy Orange & Lemon Dressing. Both were very well presented and each combination offered lovely textures and tastes. The portions were perfect for starters, the orange and lemon dressing for the salad was particularly tasty.

Our mains consisted of Chicken Breast Stuffed with Spinach & Sage, served with Roasted Baby Potatoes & Grilled Vegetables for myself, and for my partner Roasted Carrots, Beets & Sweet Baby Onions with Juicy Lamb Cutlets & Mint Sauce, served with Mash Potato & Butternut.

We didn’t have to wait long at all before the food arrived, once again well presented neat and hot, both meals were ideally cooked and the portions not too heavy. The chicken dish was quite sublime with the spinach and sage stuffing with the roasted vegetables providing a homely feel to the dish. The lamb dish was also very good, combining well with the mash potato and butternut. Suffice to say we were thoroughly pleased with our choices and would certainly recommend these.

Just when we thought we’d have to pass on dessert, Chris our waiter provided a well-informed breakdown of some of the favourites and recommendations.  I went with the highly recommended B1 Cake (A Rich Moist Chocolate Cake with Caramel Centre, covered with a Parrisienne Chocolate Cream & coated with B-1 Chocolate Sauce). My partner decided on the equally tempting Malva Pudding with sticky Toffee Sauce & Custard option. The generous slice of my chocolate cake was moist, sumptuous, decadent, and any other word to describe something delicious. The layers were not too rich, the chocolate was good quality, and the portion more than generous, what more does one need? The Malva pudding was just as good judging from how fast my partner had finished, the toffee sauce was rich but not too over-powering and once again the portion very generous. We chose to go with warm desserts as the coves can get a little nippy late in the evenings, however there are a few other options for the dessert lovers out there including various styled ice creams, frozen desserts, cakes and even meringues with pears. The sweet-toothed among us will not be disappointed.

Overall the atmosphere of Goblins Cove restaurant is very unique given the creative architecture and imaginative theme of faeries and goblins, the ambience created caters for the romantics, families and even wedding parties. The food is varied, well priced and provides well for vegetarians. The staff are very friendly, love what they do and try their hardest to leave you with good memories.

A trip here will certainly leave you wondering if faeries and goblins are lurking in dark corners or nooks or crannies, so put your imagination into over-drive and treat yourself to the magical retreat that is Goblins Cove!

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