Restaurant creates lasting MEMORIES

2016-07-20 06:00
Steve and Dee Cloete dress to impress at the birthday celebration of Vic Cloete at Memories.  Photos: tania sandberg

Steve and Dee Cloete dress to impress at the birthday celebration of Vic Cloete at Memories. Photos: tania sandberg

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LIKE many people, when Pam Smit and her husband Sean wanted to escape the hustle and bustle of Johannesburg, they came to the quiet of Amanzimtoti. The couple opened Memories Restaurant in Athlone Park 20 years ago and the restaurant is still going strong.

“We wanted to get out of the city and bring our children to the coast to grow up on the beach, involved with the ocean either with surfing or lifesaving, just a healthier and positive upbringing opposed to the malls of Johannesburg,” Pam recalls.

“We opened the restaurant in February 1994. After four years of working together we realised the restaurant wasn't going to sustain our family as we had three young children. So I took over the day-to-day running of Memories, while Sean is still very much involved in the financial side and assisting in all areas, from the background,” she added.

Neither Pam, nor Sean had any background in the industry, but they shared a passion for people, entertaining and food.

“I feel with having Memories for so long I have grown more passionate about the industry and love meeting new people and getting involved with the menu-planning, and so on,” Pam explained.

The quaint restaurant is the ideal place to have a romantic dinner, far superior to most restaurants that are now part of franchises.

“I think our passion for our restaurant, personal service our excellent waitresses and waiters and our staff who have the same passion and are like family and are a combination of factors that make Memories more special than a franchise restaurant where diners are often just another number,” Pam said.

The kitchen staff and the chef have been with them since they started and their aim is to let all their customers walk out having enjoyed their meal, extra special service and the warm ambiance of Memories.

Some of the many menu favourites are their espatadas with fillet and prawns, venison potjies and pies, bisque, prawn crostinis and duck, LM prawns and cheesecakes.

Because they are such a small restaurant, it is the ideal venue for small to medium-sized functions as they can close off the restaurant and make the occasion personal. One such special occasion is the 70th birthday of Vic Cloete on the day of the Fever reporter’s visit. The small intimate setting quickly leads to everybody getting to know one another.

“We have done weddings, engagements and plenty of birthday parties over the years. We can also personalise a menu for everyone to suit their needs and pocket,” Pam said.

Over two decades with many memories, the one saying that has stuck is “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”.

“I won't be changing too much in the future, but I will be doing some changes to my menu soon, which I try to do every five years, and a bit of a repaint to upgrade. Other than that I keep trying to invent new dishes for my specials and make my customers happy allowing them to enjoy their culinary experience at Memories,” Pam said.

Contact Memories Restaurant, on the corner of Booth and Abelia roads, Athlone Park on 031 904 2310 or
083 232 1301.
Memories is open Monday to Saturday for dinner and Tuesday to Friday for lunch. Booking is essential.

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