The Thistle Restaurant

The Thistle Restaurant

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+27 46 604 5400+ Add website
Hours
Mon
18:00 - 21:00
Tue
18:00 - 21:00
Wed
18:00 - 21:00
Thu
18:00 - 21:00
Fri
18:00 - 21:00
Sat
18:00 - 21:00
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Ratings and reviews
4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles

RATINGS
Food
4.9 of 5 bubbles
Service
4.6 of 5 bubbles
Value
4.7 of 5 bubbles
Atmosphere
4.3 of 5 bubbles
Details
Someone from this business manages this listing.
Learn More
CUISINES
International, European, Contemporary
Special Diets
Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options
Meals
Dinner
features
Is this restaurant good for local cuisine?
About
Enjoy a touch of class and a memorable dining experience at our signature Thistle restaurant. We offer an experience of relaxed sophistication in this beautiful restaurant with its high-end A la Carte menu, excellent cuisine and superlative service. Our special wine pairing evenings are an experience on their own and are highly recommended. We invite you to enjoy our exquisite food, relaxed intimate atmosphere and Gracious Hospitality Reservation are recommended, but not essential. No under 10's. Dress Code is smart Casual.
CUISINES
International, European, Contemporary
Special Diets
Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options
Meals
Dinner
FEATURES
Reservations, Seating, Parking Available, Street Parking, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Free Wifi, Accepts Credit Cards, Table Service
4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles69 reviews
Excellent
49
Very good
6
Average
4
Poor
6
Terrible
4
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.

Duane D. Booysen
South Africa373 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2023 couples
The thistle is a fine dine experience at the The Royal St Andrews Hotel and Spa in Port Alfred, South Africa. The overall experience was very good. Staff and service was of a good standard. The floor manager and waitress was very helpful. They have an extensive wine list, and the menu has a good range of dishes to choose from. I had the pork belly and it was delicious (hoped for some more crackling!) and the dessert was a good finisher!
Written 21 January 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Robin Hyde
Good morning, Thank you very much for taking the time to let us know of your experience at the Thistle Restaurant! It is always wonderful to see that our guests enjoyed their dining experience with us! I have conveyed your compliments to our kitchen brigade and your waitress. We look forward to welcoming you back to Gracious Hospitality. Kind Regards Robin Hyde
Written 23 January 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Lady Day
Port Elizabeth2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2022 couples
My partner and I had the pleasure of dining at The Thistle on Saturday evening and loved every minute from the moment we walked in. From the decor to the romantic, tranquil setting overlooking the courtyard to the incredible food (absolutely recommend the mussel starter but it was all wonderful) and magnificent wine selection. The cherry on top was Robin Hyde and his awesome, welcoming team. We felt like royalty for a night! Thank you so much.
Written 18 July 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Stan C
2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2019 none
What a superb eating establishment. The service was prompt, friendly and non intrusive. The food was very good with a great wine list. I would highly recommend The Thistle restaurant for good food in an upmarket setting.
Written 6 January 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
RobinHyde123
Good morning, Thank you very much for sharing your experience with us. The staff at the Thistle restaurant strive to provide the best food and service that they possibly can and it is great to hear that you received this. We look forward to your next visit Kind regards Robin Hyde
Written 22 January 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Clyde Andrew H
Kuwait City6 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2022 family
At over 800 rand per head, absolutely not worth it. Spent a birthday dinner booked in advance with my family , absolutely the worst execution in food and service I have experienced in a long time. I had to request a bottle opener to open my own wines and pour for my family , there were 4 tables in the restaurant at the time....this is after being forced to buy the most expensive as they had no stock of 4 diffrent wines I asked for !! Food was charged at a premium but delivered as poor, espetadas were tough chunks of meat, fish was frozen and rubbery after being boasted as catch of the day ...my wife sent hers back and came back even worse than the first time around. Not once ! We're we checked on by management and eventually when I found out who the manager was and took him aside ro explain the experience to him , it was more amusing to him than serious. If you want to charge premium prices then you need to execute and deliver , the name of your " fine dining " is smoke and mirrors , I have had better value and service at local cafes in area. It is such a shame that you have let greed overtake the simple rules of hospitality. Understaffed , undertrained , overpriced, poor quality of produce.
Written 29 April 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Rod N
3 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2021 friends
Very Disappointed!!! Normally, I'm not one to complain but on this occasion I feel compelled to make an exception. I ordered the poached fish in broth. If the chef doesn't know how to prepare fish they should not put it on the menu. The fish was rubbery, most likely rapidly defrosted in some way and over cooked. I couldn't use my fish knife, it was that tough, I had to resort to the table knife to cut it. My first bite, I found a bone, my second too. I then missed a bone and swollowed it. Not a pleasant experience. At that point my meal was over. I was definitely not going to continue trying to avoid bones in a poorly prepared piece of fish. The waitress was apologetic, it wasn't her fault. She was very pleasant and quite upset. My experience was not very good, of the six people dining my meal arrived almost 10min after everyone else. To order a replacement or something else would mean everyone waiting for me. My fellow diners did enjoy their meals though. Stay away from the seafood!
Written 9 October 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Robin Hyde
Dear Sir , Thank you for taking the time to let us know of your experience at the Thistle Restaurant. This is the kind of feedback we need to receive in order to make sure we never let our standards drop. Please accept our most sincere apologies for the experience that you had. This is not the experience we want to give you at the Thistle Restaurant. We have shown the kitchen staff your review and we have implemented some corrective measures and training in order to ensure that when you return to the Thistle you receive the dish that is described on the menu,cooked to perfection. Thank you for your kind words about the waitress, the staff do indeed take great pride in serving our guests and she was disappointed that your experience of the Thistle was ruined. We sincerely hope that we will see you at our establishment again to see that we have taken steps to fix this. We really do appreciate the blatant honesty in your review of our restaurant. Kind regards Robin Hyde
Written 13 October 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Fllorentina Ureche
South Africa2 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2022 couples
We celebrated a birthday in this restaurant at the beginning of December 2022. A day before we had a good meal at the Highlander pub. The food we ordered for the birthday celebration it was very disappointing: the Chinese noodle soup resembled with a stew,the duck breast was horrible taugh and the pork belly was more than 50%fat We complained about the quality of the meal,the chef came to apologize and told us us that they are aware of these and the menu will be changed from the following day! We paid the full bill for a meal which was beyond any decent expectations. If the manager of the restaurant was honest,he would have advised us to order a plate of food which was real good for the price they charge. This was an experience,I would not like to repeat in any restaurant.
Written 8 January 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Robin Hyde
Good Morning, Please excuse the lateness of reply as this review seems to have been missed on our notifications. Please accept our sincere apologies for your very poor experience and that we did not treat this complaint in the correct manner. Please would you contact me at: fandbmanager.co.za so that we may sort out this very sad situation. Kind Regards Robin Hyde
Written 6 February 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Johann Swanepoel
2 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2022 friends
Service not up to standard. Food definitely poor. Duck beef and lamb chops tough , tasteless. Waited longer than an hour and half to get food. Atmosphere not nice. Temperature control not done. Embarrassing to take our American friends to this restaurant. Food not served same time. No one came during dinner asking if food was good then we would have complaint. Had to request for someone to serve us drinks.
Written 15 October 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Robin Hyde
Good afternoon, Please accept my sincere apologies for the very poor service that you received at the Thistle Restaurant. It is never our intention to embarrass anyone and for that I humbly apologise. Please would you be so kind as to give me a call on 046 604 5400 or email me on fandbmanger@rsah.co.za so that I may find out what went wrong. This will give us a chance to apologise in person and try and rectify our mistakes so that something like this does not happen again! Kind Regards Robin Hyde
Written 20 October 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Dean
Cape Town1 contribution
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2022 couples
No background music, no air-con, no wagyu beef or beef Espetada! We really enjoyed the mussel starter. Prices are good.
Written 8 August 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Mick griffiths
2 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2022 none
Excellent food but Fine dinning ruined bey allowing people in with tee shirt and shorts, also staff were dressed as a fast food outlet
Written 15 February 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Robin Hyde
Good afternoon, We are incredibly happy to hear that you enjoyed the food at our Valentines Eve Dinner! Thank you for your candid review and feedback! We look forward to welcoming you back to the Thistle. Kind regards Robin Hyde
Written 16 February 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

antonieb64
Genoa31 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2021 solo
I should have realised when I asked the waitress what the venison was for the day - ostrich - that if a chef put that as venison he is definitively not a chef . Which showed in the two courses I had . As a supposedly fine dining restaurant one do expect your quail to be deboned. Which this poor bird was not . It was a rather tough boney experience of which half of the animal were still the same temperature as the fridge it lived in . Second course - after not having the venison ( ostrich ) and they were out of Rack of Lamb I ordered the pork belly . It definitely could have done with at least 30 mins to an hour more of slow cooking . It was tough - not any sign of crisp skin - rather just an boiled carcass . And they tried to do Asian but they put tzatziki on top. Well as far as the restaurant is concerned - the waitress did not know the menu - when asked questions I had to ask her to removed the extra place setting - I was dining on my own. But main reason no one should ever go there - as you walk in you see a glass partition to the kitchen . But unfortunately they did no sound proofing - and the chefs were extremely loud - one almost did not hear the music they played in the restaurant. The kitchen is also used for the pub restaurant - so even there was only 3 guests in the fine dining - it sounded like a train smash in the fine dining - totally unacceptable
Written 4 January 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Robin Hyde
Dear Sir, Thank you for taking the time to let us know of your experience at the Thistle Restaurant. This is the kind of feedback we need to receive in order to make sure we never let our standards drop. Please accept our most sincere apologies for the experience that you had. This kind of an experience is not what we ascribe to at the Thistle Restaurant and we will be looking at the menu items that were not prepared to your liking and how our wait staff are trained. Whilst we are aware of a design flaw in the restaurant we will look into the amount of noise that is generated by the working of the Kitchen and ensure that more training is done with regards to the noise levels We sincerely hope that we will see you at our establishment again and appreciate that you have been brutally honest in your review of our restaurant. Please never hesitate to point out your dissatisfaction with our service or food on the night so that we at least have an opportunity to rectify it at the time and allow us to make your experience a memorable occasion We would like for you to come back and give us a chance to show you what the dining experience at the Thistle should be. Should you wish to do so, please contact me at: fandbmanager@rsah.co.za or 046 604 5400 and I will gladly facilitate your booking. Once again thank you for letting us know of your experience which allows us to improve our offering and please accept our apology for this Kind Regards Robin Hyde
Written 8 January 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

valIsleOfMan
13 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020 none
We were guests in the hotel tonight and dined in the Thistle Resturant , My quinoa salad was the best ever , and main meals was delicious , and to finish it off i had the Mint chocolate desert 😋 The service was very attentive and always with a smile -Brenda especially ,
Written 20 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
RobinHyde123
Good evening, Thank you so much for taking the time to tell us about your experience at the Thistle Restaurant. I have conveyed your comments to Sipokhazi, the chef who made the Quinoa salad and shown Brenda the review and they are both very happy that you loved everything they did! We look forward to seeing you again in The Thistle!
Written 21 February 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

mjanser
Bern77 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2019 none
I had the springbook carpaccio as a starter. Excellent taste, right temperature and generous portion. Followed by the Karro Lamb rack which was cooked to perfection. Impressed by the extensive winelist and the very good choice of by the glass selction of South African prime wines. The menu offers a variety of different dishes. Would be nice to see a better seafood selection.
Written 27 October 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

ChanteV_SA
South Africa10 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2019 couples
We had a delicious meal. We ordered the small portion of the mussel pot as a starter, which was absolutely wonderful. As mains we ordered the rack of lamb (which was very tender and well seasoned) and the mushroom risotto (which was unfortunately slightly undercooked still). They have an interesting wine menu; unfortunately we had to wait a good 15-20 minutes for one of the wines that was ordered as they were looking for stock; they were unfortunately out of stock of some of the wines that were on their wine menu. I was so looking forward to having their baked alaska for dessert, but unfortunately I was informed that the chef will not be able to make it for me. The restaurant's food tastes delicious, it is just a pity that quite a few items were unavailable (despite being on the menu, and without us being informed thereof before placing our orders) and the slow service that was provided.
Written 9 October 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Priscilla E
Amanzimtoti4 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2019 none
Great food fantastic service had a great evening. Well recommended. All staff a very friendly and helpful.
Written 5 June 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Pumla
East London16 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2019 couples
Booking essential. Incredible service. Really good food. I had yellowtail which was the linefish of the day; he had the risotto. For dessert I had the peppermint icecream. Nomonde is the most incredible waitron, but the whole staff complement was just exceptional.
Written 18 May 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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The Thistle Restaurant, Port Alfred - Menu, Prices & Restaurant Reviews - Tripadvisor

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