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The Island Cafe

$$ - $$$
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Sawtooth Lane | Thesen Islands, Knysna 6570, South Africa
+27 44 302 5746
07:00 - 21:00
Closed now
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Sun - Sat 07:00 - 21:00
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113 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 98: English reviews
Harare, Zimbabwe
Level Contributor
11 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

This charming restaurant is close to our accommodation on Thesen Island. We sat outside and enjoyed a decent cup of coffee in front of one of the canals. The service was quick and efficient. My salmon and rocket open omelette was delicious. The breakfast voucher from our hotel was for ZAR 90 each and more than met our meal and... More 

Thank Sarah T
Cape Town, South Africa
Level Contributor
111 reviews
56 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

We visited on a late Sunday afternoon, without a booking, when it was very quiet and then sat in the bar area having walked through the restaurant area to the pub end past the old turbines. We hadn't realised it's part of the Turbine hotel as we came in from the back. A unique setting with some quirky additional designs... More 

Thank Dancingthroughchaos1
Fredericksburg, Virginia
Level Contributor
148 reviews
85 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 weeks ago

We were seated next to the old steam turbine in this converted power plant. The décor was very interesting and original. The service and food were excellent. Highly recommended!

Thank elvistoo
Dublin, Ireland
Level Contributor
104 reviews
57 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

Had a brunch here, i have not had such slow and inefficient service in a long time. The do benefit from the captive audience of the hotel. There is one staff member who seems to know what they are doing the rest are just wandering around aimlessly keeping busy. The food was actually OK, but simple food took an hour... More 

Thank Bryan A
Knysna, South Africa
Level Contributor
119 reviews
87 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 January 2017

Our supper for four was a bit disappointing. Service was quite slow and waiters seemed either disorganised or untrained. If a manager was on duty we never saw one. Food was very tasty and well presented BUT arrived on cold plates and food partially warm, partially cold. Considering the five star prices charged at this restaurant this certainly should not... More 

Thank MalkieM
Level Contributor
27 reviews
25 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 January 2017 via mobile

We stopped at The Island Cafe for "quick" lunch. The restaurant was busy but we were able to get a table after a few minutes. We placed a drinks order that was delivered to our table within a few minutes. We then placed our food and wine order. After waiting for the wine for about 30 minutes, we were able... More 

Thank Marthin G
Chris S, General Manager at The Island Cafe, responded to this review

Dear Martin G Thank you for your valued feedback. The day in question was busy however there is no excuse for the service you received. I was the manager who arranged the wine and my sincere apology that this long wait was extended with your meal and did not do justice to the Island cafe experience. Yours in service, Chris... More 

Johannesburg, South Africa
Level Contributor
14 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 December 2016 via mobile

Busy noisy vibe ; food was great ; coffee was great ... Ja we had to wait a bit for the coffee to arrive and then the food but hey! its season and the place was packed . At least there was service and they were friendly .

Thank KoobearSiberians
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level Contributor
23 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 December 2016 via mobile

Appearances can be deceiving. Attractive decor but disinterested slow service. Halloumi salad: cheese was killed and more peppers than anything else. Burger was decent. Chips were oily and salty. Better places to go.

Thank JonoSav
Southampton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
173 reviews
98 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 December 2016 via mobile

Very quiet for our visit so the place lacked atmosphere. The staff attentive and helpful and the food was good. The best part is the old turbines etc which are very interesting. Maybe on a busy night and a bit of vibe the place would move up a notch on the scoring, can only comment on the evening we attended.

Thank Nick S
Chris S, General Manager at The Island Cafe, responded to this review

Dear Nick S Thank you for your valued feedback and response. The night you chose for dinner was a oddly quiet night for this time of the year. We appreciate your honest comments and look forward to having you visit us again on a busy vibey evening. Yours in Hospitality, Chris More 

Level Contributor
11 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 November 2016 via mobile

Actually we wanted to get a lunch. The menu looked very delightful, so we went in. We asked the waitress if we could sit outside for lunch. She agreed. After weve waited 15 minutes and nobody brought us the menu, we left. Such a shame. I really wanted to try the food.

Thank Chrissi R
Chris S, General Manager at The Island Cafe, responded to this review

Dear Chrissi R Thank you for taking the time to provide us with valuable feedback. I don't know how it could happen that we neglect serving you on our door step, unacceptable. Please accept my apology in this regard and I have addressed this with the team to ensure this can not happen again. Yours in service, Chris Schutte More 

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Restaurant Details

Rating summary
  • Food
    4 of 5 bubbles
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Lunch, Drinks, Breakfast, Dinner, Brunch
Restaurant features
Wheelchair Accessible, Reservations, Outdoor Seating, Waitstaff, Parking Available, Street Parking, Free Off-Street Parking, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Free Wifi, Seating, Highchairs Available
Good for
View, Child-friendly, Romantic
Open Hours
07:00 - 21:00
07:00 - 21:00
07:00 - 21:00
07:00 - 21:00
07:00 - 21:00
07:00 - 21:00
07:00 - 21:00
Location and Contact Information
  • Address: Sawtooth Lane | Thesen Islands, Knysna 6570, South Africa
  • Location: Africa  >  South Africa  >  Western Cape  >  Knysna
  • Phone Number: +27 44 302 5746
This 90 seat restaurant at The Turbine Hotel creates a totally unique environment for all meals. Tables overlook the canal, pool deck or are nestled between the original refurbished turbines. Warm open fireplaces and majestic sliding glass doors allow us to maximize and match the ambiance and weather conditions. The Island Café has won the prestigious 2011/12 Diners Club Platinum Awards.Open daily for Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Questions & Answers

Questions? Get answers from The Island Cafe staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do you have gluten-free options?
  • Is there a dress code?
  • Do you allow dogs on the outdoor patio?