When a restaurant has survived the ups and downs of the last few years and still maintains its legendary decades-old status, there are usually a few very good reasons. Normally these have to do with the quality of the food, because no matter how interesting the ambience of the place, no matter how good the service, and no matter how brilliant the wine list, in the end it all depends on the food. After all, isn’t that what we go to a restaurant to do—eat?

Al fresco

On a recent trip to Stellenbosch, the centre of town that is, and not to one of the excellent wine farm restaurants which surround it, we decided to go to Decameron, an Italian restaurant of enormous fond memories. I’m pleased to tell you that it was a most pleasant experience, and, while the restaurant itself has that comfortable lived in feel about it, the food does not disappoint. Even though you will find, unusually, some Curry options, the Italian food for which it is renowned is still there.

Superb carpaccio

I could not wait to taste the delicious Carpaccio di Manzo which was beef sirloin sliced paper thin anointed with delicious olive oil and a splash of lemon juice, finished off with parmesan shavings and crunchy rocket— superb.

Crunchy calamari

The other starter was calamari tubes deep fried lightly dressed with sweet chili and lemon juice, which were deliciously crunchy. Compliments of the house were two slices of thin crunchy pizza bread and two aubergine slices topped with melted cheese which went down a treat.


Piccata Parmigiana

The main courses were Saltimbocca, obviously with ham and melted cheese, nice and rich ,  and Piccata Parmigiana, similar to the saltimbocca but with delicious tomato sugo. These were both accompanied by excellent French fries considering we were in an Italian kitchen.


The service is friendly, the wine list is adequate,(corkage R60 a bottle) and the prices, while not quite at Wimpy Bar level, will not eat your heart out. The restaurant is situated right next to a parking area just down from some of the major historic attractions of the town and within easy walking distance of some of its excellent art galleries. Get there and see for yourself.