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Review: Less is more at Durban’s ever-reliable The Glenwood Bakery

The Glenwood Bakery has established itself as the artisanal-bread baseline against which all other bakeries in Durban are measured, says Eat Out critic Shirley Berko.

Inside at The Glenwood Bakery. Photo supplied.

Inside at The Glenwood Bakery. Photo supplied.

Fast facts

Best for: Breaking bread with friends or reading the paper over a cosy breakfast
Cost: The average price main course is R65
Serves: Baked goods and café fare
Star rating: Food 4, service 3, ambience 4

Food

Slow-fermented hearth-baked bread is freshly prepared before dawn every morning, and usually sold out before noon. But, as any reverent local knows, there’s more to The Glenwood Bakery than just that.

Eggs Benedict at The Glenwood Bakery. Photo by Xavier Vahed.

Eggs Benedict at The Glenwood Bakery. Photo by Xavier Vahed.

Simple breakfasts of soft-poached eggs, served with caramelised baby tomatoes on one of the breads, such as the coveted rosemary potato loaf, are representative of what chef and owner Adam Robinson, does well: simple, unpretentious food, with each ingredient honoured to perfection. Robinson has an almost constructivist approach to cooking: nothing is served that shouldn’t be on the plate. There’s no superfluous garnish, just the perfect slice of bread and the perfect free-range egg. No more, no less.

The Glenwood Bakery is open for pizza dinners every Monday and Tuesday, with pizzas ranging from about R60 to R70. Prices are extremely reasonable. The pizza menu is a single page of a few options, including antipasto, that changes each week depending on availability of seasonal ingredients. House-made ice creams are usually on the pudding list, with a rotating range of flavours.

Drinks

Bring your own; otherwise, sip on freshly pressed juices and coffee.

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Service

Food preparation takes precedence over promptness, so if you are popping in in the morning, enjoy the free WiFi or the paper while you wait. If it’s the evening, bring a bottle of wine and some friends for a chat as your pizza bakes for dinner.

Ambience

The bakery is abuzz with chatter, redolent with warm smells wafting from the oven, and occasionally punctuated by the hissing of the coffee machine or grinder. It’s cosy and comfortable.

And…

If you are after a specific loaf, be sure to pre-order. The bakery can make anything from soda bread to challah.

Have you been to The Glenwood Bakery recently? Write a review and Eat Out will pledge a meal for a hungry child through Rise Against Hunger SA (formerly known as Stop Hunger Now SA). Write a review now

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

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