The twist is that new owner Andrea Botha wants to transform the Cocopan Restaurant into a tourist hub. A connection point where visitors to the area can browse the attraction, meet up with tour guides, make reservations, tap Andrea’s endless knowledge of the area, and then have something to eat if they want!
“I see it as a network café of sorts. A place where tourists can relax, and people can use as a central connection point. The geologists and paragliders already do this. I am forever being left picks, spades and samples for someone else to come and collect!”
The reason the Cocopan Restaurant makes the ideal tourism hub is that it is already renowned as a restaurant. Before I had even stepped through the saloon doors the descriptions of their “world famous” steak burger already had me drooling.
Like the town, the Cocopan Restaurant has real history. Opened 33 years ago by local legends Bev and Moggs, it quickly became a firm favourite of the visiting geologists. The traditional menu packed with ‘home-cooked’ favourites meant Cocopan appealed to everyone, and the laid-back inviting atmosphere kept customers coming back for more.
Andrea’s vision is to build on this by keeping iconic favourites like the Cocopan’s Steak burger while adding to the Cocopan’s repertoire by developing the menu with enhanced flavours. Even the renovation has been in keeping with the Cocopan’s heritage. There is a distinct geological theme that celebrates the area’s history and heritage. As artists, geologists, friends and treasure hunters have all added their own personal touches to make the Cocopan a vibrant Aladdin’s Cave of Barberton treasures.
Open from 6am till late, seven days a week. Prices are really reasonable, ranging from R25.00 for a Burger and R110 for the more hungry meals. There is no reason why you should ever go hungry in Barberton. The fast friendly service, relaxed friendly atmosphere and the countless curiosities to marvel over, make the Cocopan the idea venue to grab a quick snack or leisurely lunch. The Cocopan can be found in Barberton on 117 Crown Street or directly across from the Main Museum next to Mica and the Task Nissan garage, to make a booking contact Andrea on [firstname.lastname@example.org | 079 180 1488].
For our “Mpumalanga on YOUR plate” recipe Andrea has decided to share the recipe for her legendary Steak & Mushroom Burger:
200g fillet steak (must be good quality butchers cut)
6 medium sized button mushrooms
2 knobs of butter
Sesame seed bun (large and fresh)
2 crisp lettuce leaves
1 ring of tomato
Aromat (to season).
The key to this burger is the freshness of the ingredients. You must ensure your bun is freshly baked and the fillet steak is the best quality possibly, preferably brought from a butcher.
- Wrap the fillet steak in cling wrap, before tenderising it with a meat mallet. You want the fillet to end up the thickness of a schnitzel (about 5mm thick).
- Cut the mushroom into thin 5mm slices.
- Season the steak liberally with aromat on both sides.
- Place a frying pan on a high heat and add one knob of butter.
- Once the pan is hot place the steaks in and allow them to cook on this side for approximately 2 minutes.
- As the steaks cook, cut the bun in half and place on a grill plate (alternatively you can use your ovens grill)
- After two minutes turn the steak and add the mushrooms to the pan so they can take up some of the wonderful steak juices.
- Check on the buns, once toasted remove from the grill and set down on a plate.
- Butter both buns liberally and plate the bottom side. Add shredded lettuce and the tomato rings.
- Remove steak after two minutes on the second side.
- Add the other knob of butter to the mushrooms and cook for a further two minutes while the steak rests.
- Add the steak on top of the lettuce and tomato. Place the mushrooms on top of the steak and pour over the remainder of the buttery cooking sauce.
- Finish with the top of the bun and there you have it – The Legendary Cocopan Steak ‘and Mushroom’ Burger