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Gin cocktails and pizzas at East London’s Thyme Fusion Gin Bar – reviewed

Thyme Fusion Gin Bar is a popular East London hangout spot with a concise menu geared towards leisurely eating and enjoying. Eat Out critic Martli de Jager has a taste.

Fast facts

Best for: A relaxed evening with flavoursome food
Food type: Italian
Cost: R85 average main course
Corkage: R30
Star ratings: Food and drinks: 4; Service: 3; Ambience: 4

Food

True to the laidback nature of the South African east coast, the Thyme Fusion Gin Bar offers a relaxed setting where simple but flavoursome food can be enjoyed.

The freshness can be seen and tasted in this Italian menu. Create your own starter plate by choosing from a list of items, or indulge in a cheese platter. The salmon-wrapped feta cubes with springbok carpaccio-wrapped strawberries served with a balsamic reduction is a noteworthy starter.

The salmon and springbok carpaccio starter at Thyme Fusion Gin Bar

The salmon and springbok carpaccio starter at Thyme Fusion Gin Bar. Photo Martli de Jager.

Carbo-loading is the name of the game when it comes to mains. The menu offers a selection of thin base wood-fired pizzas with generous toppings, as well as gourmet sandwiches. The Thyme Special pizza, with its roasted lamb topping, comes highly recommended, but don’t fear if you’re not a meat lover. A small selection of vegetarian dishes is also available.

One of the pizzas at Thyme Fusion Gin Bar

One of the pizzas at Thyme Fusion Gin Bar. Photo by Martli de Jager.

Ciabatta bread is freshly baked on a daily basis and the sandwiches are bountiful too. Try the Pig Shed sandwich with slow-roasted pulled pork that melts in your mouth. This is served with caramelised onion, mustard sauce and a secret thyme salad.

The Pig Shed sandwich at Thyme Fusion Gin Bar

The Pig Shed sandwich. Photo by Martli de Jager.

A dessert pizza is the only dessert option, but the coffee bar offers quality coffee to wrap up your meal.

Drinks

Seeing as this is a gin bar, a variety of gin and gin cocktails are expected. Sadly, this is not the case. There are five to six types of gin and seven cocktails on offer. The Ginger Dream cocktail is a fresh choice and reminds one of old-school, homemade ginger beer with a kick.

Don't leave without trying a gin cocktail at Thyme Fusion Gin Bar

Don’t leave without trying a gin cocktail. Photo by Martli de Jager.

Service

Friendly, South African hospitality makes you feel right at home and the food is prepared within a reasonable amount of time.

Ambience

This restaurant reminds one of an Italian street café combined with a rustic coffee shop. This quiet, undiscovered restaurant provides the opportunity for good conversation and is ideal for when you want to break free from the buzz of the town. In rainy seasons, the sound of rain on a tin roof makes you want to stay for that coffee.

And…

Although the gin is not presented very creatively, the cocktails are great and the vibe will make anyone feel right at home.

Eat Out critics dine unannounced and pay for their meals in full. Read our full editorial policy here.

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