On a clear afternoon approaching the cooler days towards the end of May, we got the I Love Ballito team together to try out a vibey new spot we’ve heard a lot about “The Shed Restaurant & Pub at The Litchi Orchard! For years, The Litchi Orchard has been one of the most beloved local spots on The North Coast, and has set the scene for many joyful mornings spent exploring their Farmers Markets, or nights spent under the stars with a good bottle of red, great live music and close friends.
â€˜Live simple, share oftenâ€™ is The Shed team’s philosophy when it comes to business and that really comes across in the way theyâ€™ve designed their menu, and the way theyve set up the space of the restaurant itself. The central bar lends itself to casual conversation and connecting with the staff and fellow patrons and the open plan setting is so inviting that you almost want to lean over to the next table and join in their conversation! The staff are charming and gracious and it is so easy to see that they are in their element as they easily chat to one table after the next. The simple wooden furnishings, touches of colour and view across the Litchi orchard and neighbouring farms is the perfect spot to relax as the sun dips behind the cane fields.
Shortly after arrival, we get going on the drinks menu and just one look has us in a frenzy of indecision! Anyone that tells you that gin and tonic on tap is a bad idea is not to be trusted and The Shed serves theirs with subtle flavours of strawberry and lime. I try one on that sunny afternoon and in this moment find it difficult to imagine a place Iâ€™d rather be.
The selection of gourmet milkshakes they have on offer is truly breathtaking, but the Milo and Cookie Dough definitely steals the show! This particular beverage fights a long hard battle but is eventually beaten by Stiaan our web Design guru â€“ the sugar high that ensues is something out of a science-fiction movie but totally worth it to see this drink that doubles as a work of art!
Our waiterâ€™s eyes widen as we casually order one of everything™ and although it is said in jest, the table almost groans when our hefty food order arrives. Of all the myriad of colourful dishes we order, I can’t quite decide which one I love the mostâ€¦ The locally-sourced mussels with lashings of garlic and cream, the salty, crunchy haloumi strips with coriander lime mayo or the bacon-wrapped jalapeno poppers stuffed with sun-dried tomato cream cheese!Â A dish I find very intriguing is my pulled pork yoghurt flatbreads, served with slow-roasted barbeque pulled pork offset by sweet pineapple salsa and pickled cucumbers. The pizza we sample is the classic bacon, feta and avocado made in a traditional wood-fired oven, and every bite is a dream come true.
As locals here in Ballito, we’re always on the lookout for a new hang-out spot, and The Shed has been able to create a place where the community can come together to share good times, great food and chilled vibes. As I leave The Shed after a leisurely afternoon spent sampling all manner of food and drink, the over-riding sentiment I have is one of true warmth, care and genuine hospitality and I can’t help but feel filled with excitement to see what the future holds for this awesome new spot “ lots of fun, friends, family and good times! How does it get better than that?