My last few Easter Sundays have usually been spent gorging on chocolate at home. If I go further back than that, there was sometimes Easter Egg hunting involved and, on the rare lucky year, BOUNCY CASTLES!
This year involved a lot more physical exertion: the gold pot at the end of the rainbow had to be earned. In other words, lunch would only come after a 4-5 hour hike through two of Lantau Island’s highest peaks (Sunset Peak & Lantau Peak).
We left central pier no. 6 at 08h30 and took the ferry to Mui Wo where our hike started. What comes up must come down and our hike ended at the big Buddha statue. Suffice to say he looked just fine from the bottom of the stairs after all the climbing and descending we had done.
We spent several minutes in silence gulping down litres of Pocari Sweat until we were ready to head down to Cheung Sha beach.
The bus dropped us off adjacent to a long strip of soft sand that was divided into two sections (crowded vs. empty) by a group of easily traversable rocks. Yet, this was enough to keep about 90% of the beach-going crowd on the restaurant/civilization side of the beach.
Once we had crossed over into the more populated area, I spotted the restaurant we were going to have lunch at.
The Stoep is a bustling South African beachside venue. Proudly displaying their national flag over the building entrance, the walls are painted in bold colours in a delightful organized chaos that popular restaurants tend to have.
After researching to double-check what “stoep” means in Dutch (I guessed right!), I discovered the following:
It seems very fitting: the doorstep opens to one’s home and shared experiences. Yummy.
Rumour had it that the seafood at the Stoep wasn’t their specialty, so we went all-in for 2x mixed BBQ meat platters, bread with dip and two tomato/onion salads on the side to balance out things.
It had been a long time since I’ve had such an abundance of carnivorous treats: the platter included chicken, beef, lamb and a great, well-seasoned sausage. All, with the exception of the chicken, were tender and perfectly cooked. The chicken was dry but, thanks to the potato-au-gratin, I could substitute the creamy cheese sauce as a kind-of mayonnaise.
I had a lot of fun with the bread and salads but, in the end, the entire loaf of Seed Bread was way too much for four people. Bear in mind that we were 3 guys and 1 girl (who, as far as food-intake, is an honorary guy) that were very hungry after a hike. So, if you go order less than more to start with.
Perhaps on an average day, instead of a holiday, the Stoep might have a more relaxed and retreat type of atmosphere. But I still recommend facing the sun and the crowds to grab lunch here: your stomach and taste-buds will thank you. And, if you really want to enter nirvana try their caramel-soaked cake dessert, the “Malva Pudding”, served with delicious vanilla ice-cream. In fact, that is so good, it’s worth going back for, all on its own.