KwaZulu-Natal’s Kloof has gained a trendy new eatery that’s all about hearty American-style diner food in an incredibly stylish setting. Eat Out critic Nikita Buxton heads up to 1904 Bistro Américain in the leafy suburb for a first taste.
Cost: Average main course is R110
Serves: American-style food for breakfast, lunch or dinner
Parking:It’s located at Delcairn Centre, where there should be parking bays available
Best for: Catch-ups with friends or a bite with family
Star rating: Food 3, service 3, ambience 5
The American-themed menu is massive. There is everything from bagels and chowder to smoked meats and gourmet dogs. Initial excitement makes way for mixed emotions as the food has some great hits and some sad misses.
The hits: Look forward to delicious flavours that leave you wanting more. Chilli poppers are done American-style, with crumbed cheese containing bites of jalapeño peppers, served simply with a refreshing ranch dip. The Cajun fish is lovely, beautifully cooked and zesty, and comes with a nicely spiced savoury rice. The Coney Island dog is everything I look for in a hotdog. A classic Frank sausage is served in a pretzel roll that’s slathered in ketchup, chopped red onions, mustard and grated cheese. Scrumptious. Yummy also is the po’boy sandwich with its filling of crumbed, beautifully cooked prawns. Desserts also please, with the likes of gourmet shakes and warm blueberry pie with hints of spicy cinnamon.
The misses: While flavours are great, there are sadly some let-downs. Our skinny fries, although served in quirky tin cups with checked paper, are lukewarm, with a slightly stale texture. The Cajun hake and rice, although tasty, are also lacking in temperature.
This beautifully styled restaurant has so much promise, but has a bit of work to do when it comes to executing its exciting menu. This isn’t to say I won’t be back – those gourmet dogs and prawns were true winners.
1904 Bistro Américain doesn’t have liquor licence yet, so take your own tipple along. The gorgeous bar looks as though it will soon have ample craft beers on tap and gins, so look forward to that. Alternatively, there is a monumental number of freakshakes, floats and juices from which to choose. As for coffee, you’ll get a decent cup of Douwe Egberts here.
The restaurant is only a few weeks old, and it shows in terms of the service. While the waiters are friendly and eager to please, there is still a bit to learn – as expected with many new establishments. The managers are present but do not seem to check in on many tables. The extensive menu may also be leading to time issues in the kitchen.
This place is gorgeous. The blush pinks, green plants and rose-gold touches work beautifully with the marble bar and velvet and leather seating. If it’s a warmer day, sit outside in the undercover area. 1904 Bistro Américain is truly a well-designed space that’s a breath of fresh air for the area.
This spot is extremely child-friendly. You’ll find high chairs, an extensive and tasty-sounding kids’ menu, and glorious freakshakes to keep the little ones happy.
Eat Out critics dine unannounced and pay for their meal in full. Read our full editorial policy here.
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