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The top reader-reviewed restaurants of the week

Want to know where the best restaurants are in your ‘hood? Here are the restaurants our readers have been loving in the past seven days. Each week for the last month we’ve been giving away one R500 voucher to spend on Yuppiechef.com to a lucky reader who writes a great review. Enter for the last week of this competition now by writing a review. This week’s winner is Nompumelelo Mazibuko, for her review of Parliament.

Joburg

A la Bouffe (Linden)
The country-style look and feel of this cosy bistro is utterly charming. I guess most people are still intimidated by a ‘French’ restaurant, but this relaxed and lovely restaurant and friendly staff makes you feel at home immediately. The menu features traditional French favourites like croque monsieur, cuisses de grenouilles à l’ail (frog legs), etc. We tried the frog legs (never had it before) as a starter to share and it was really delicious. The wine list is fabulous and the cheese and charcuterie platters (we ordered it to share) was really very tasty. We will definitely be back for a ‘home-cooked’ meal! – RoeliaT
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Restaurant-front

Outside at A La Bouffe. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Café del Sol (Olivedale)
My fiancé and I were treated to dinner here one night. We shared the primavera rolls and the squid heads… now, the primavera rolls look like dainty desserts before you bite into the cheesy, parma ham goodness… really tasty. The squid heads were by far my favourite starter, they were seasoned beautifully, they were crunchy without being too covered in batter and with a squeeze of lemon you could taste the calamari properly and the texture was spot on… and the aoli that came with was great for dipping. For mains, we both chose the seafood risotto… It did NOT disappoint. The risotto rice was cooked perfectly, there was an incredible amount of flavour, and a very generous portion of seafood. The freshness of the baby tomatoes in the dish help balance out the richness and creaminess of the risotto. I was blown away, as was my fiancé. I then had the pavlova (I’m a sucker for meringue and berries) and he has the chocolate tart… both were absolutely delicious and full of flavour. The service was fantastic; we were well looked after, our glasses were never empty and the waiting staff were always smiling. Honestly cannot wait to go back and try other items from the menu. What a fantastic experience. – Zoe Raffray
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The interior at Cafe del Sol. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

The interior at Cafe del Sol. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Café Hemingways (Kyalami)
Delicious food, wonderful service. Their desserts are amazing. Definitely one of the best in Jhb. – Neilyn Tathiah
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The interior at Cafe Hemingways. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

The interior at Cafe Hemingways. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Parliament Restaurant (Parkmore)
This restaurant has quickly become one of my favourite spots for a number of reasons. 1. It feels like you’re hanging out at a friend’s house, unaware of the passing of time because you are just having so much fun in your friendship bubble. 2. The beef-fat fries taste like what I imagine joy would taste like… They are the best deep-fried potatoes I have ever had (and I have had many.) 3. They are now doing Sunday brunches (10.3am to 2.30pm) with a bottomless mimosa option and bottomless no-mimosa option – I LOVE a delicious brunch on any day. 4. The Yankee stack flapjacks – I ordered them twice in one sitting. They are worthy of the most elaborate, grand and most enthusiastic slow-clap ending with a spirited standing ovation. Parliament, I salute you! Love your food, love your vibe and love, love, LOVE your food! – Nompumelelo Mazibuko
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Ghazal North Indian Restaurant (Bryanston)
I had some of the best northern Indian food I’ve ever had here. We were quite a big group but service was still excellent and the food was to die for. I had a lamb korma with naan bread – best I’ve ever had. A little pricey, but the portions are big and it is worth every cent. The place was packed on a Tuesday evening, which shows that it is something special. Definitely give it a try! – Roger Player
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Food at Ghazal North Indian Restaurant

Food at Ghazal North Indian Restaurant. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Pilgrim’s Pizza Food Truck (Melville)
This may not be fried chicken but rest assured this is soul food, every single pizza that comes out that oven is filled with chef Jeff’s secret ingredient: passion. Five out of five in all aspects, from the finest quality toppings to the warm and friendly ambience when placing your order. Watch this space, as chef Jeff is a man on a mission. Viva La Pizza Revolución! – Ryan Esteban
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A glorious pizza from Pilgrim's Pizza. Photo courtesy of The Joburg Foodie.

A glorious pizza from Pilgrim’s Pizza. Photo courtesy of The Joburg Foodie.

tashas (Melrose Arch)
Fantastic experience all round! What would’ve been a quick lunch turned into an unforgettable experience, leaving us wanting more. From getting welcomed and seated right through to the mouthwatering salmon platter for two, every little detail left us amazed. The food is superb, the service something you don’t find everywhere and the ambience put’s you right into a mood where you can relax and enjoy the moment – every second of it. We left satisfied in every way. We’ll be back for more. – Roger Player
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Pretoria

A’la Turka Speciality Restaurant (Doringkloof East)
We were a large crowd and celebrated a birthday in one of the private dining areas. The food was delicious, the ambience lovely and the experience awesome. The venue is truly beautiful. Our guests all enjoyed the evening! ¬– Mvengo
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Outside at A la Turka. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Outside at A la Turka. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Capital Craft Beer Academy (Menlo Park)
Great place to hang around, relax and spend time with friends. The service is something they can definitely improve on. If you aren’t eating the best option is actually just to go to the bar yourself and not wait on waiter service. Food is good – give the jalapeño poppers a try! All round, this is the best place to casually spend time with friends in Pretoria area. – Roger Player
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Inside at Capital Craft Beer Academy. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Inside at Capital Craft Beer Academy. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Deli on Duncan (Hatfield)
The atmosphere draws you away from the everyday Pretoria hustle and bustle. With a shabby-chic vibe running throughout the yard, it is easy to be transported to a relaxed lunch break getaway reminiscent of small European coffee shops. Lamb pie is by far the best, and the milkshakes and cakes are worth coming back for a second (or third) time. Overall, very good and reasonably priced, plus it’s located in a prime spot surrounded by beautiful artisan shops. – Malandri van Jaarsveldt
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De Kloof Restaurant (Waterkloof)
Beautiful setting. Food was absolutely outstanding. We had the set menu. I would recommend that you do the wine pairing that goes with it. Every bite was a new taste sensation! The chef manages to combine ingredients that will stay with you long after you left. The restaurant is expensive, therefore ideal to celebrate a special occasion. Notify the staff if it is an anniversary as they prepare a little surprise at the end! Definitely worth a visit. – Riekie le Roux
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The interior at De Kloof Restaurant. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

The interior at De Kloof Restaurant. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Free State

Pont de Val Riverside Bistro (Parys)
Experienced a ‘la grandé evasion’. Truly a great escape out of the rush and great value for money. – Hendrik Louw
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The deck lounge at Pont de Val Bistro. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

The deck lounge at Pont de Val Bistro. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Cape Town

Chef’s Table at Planet Restaurant (Gardens)
We had a sensational lunch experience at the chef’s table Mount Nelson today. It’s a five-course interactive experience, where meals are presented by the chefs themselves and tables are situated in an alcove to the side of kitchen. We were offered a tour of the entire impressively spotless kitchen by the head chef on duty, Thembalani. I was most impressed with their commitment to sustainable living, from using fruit excess for their worm farm to the use of egg shells. Produce is locally sourced (local is LEKKER!) and primarily organic, with everything being made on the premises. Thank you Craig, Bradley, Thembalani, Lisa and Albert – you were all amazing! – Elsa Kerschbaumer
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Food being plated at Chef's Table at Planet Restaurant. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Food being plated at Chef’s Table at Planet Restaurant. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Guts & Gizzards (City Bowl)
We had been noticing the renovations to Glaston House towards the end of 2015, and heard that a new restaurant was opening there. Since it is not that easy to find good food at a reasonable price in the centre of Cape Town (most places cater to tourists) we hoped that this would be an exception. Well, they opened at last, and what a pleasant surprise! All our most optimistic expectations were generously exceeded. The food is fresh, seasonal, locally sources, prepared with skill and care, and beautifully presented. The service is friendly, and attentive without being overbearing. For locals, the prices are very reasonable. For visitors from abroad, it seems to good to be true – gourmet fresh seasonal dishes at bargain prices. The only reason I don’t give five stars here is because they do not yet have a licence to serve some of South Africa’s excellent wines. But that will be remedied very soon, and apparently they have a top sommelier already signed up! Highly recommended! – Pieter Opperman
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Burgers and chips at Guts & Gizzards. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Burgers and chips at Guts & Gizzards. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Pajamas and Jam Eatery (Strand)
Tucked away in the middle of an industrial estate, this quirky cafe could easily be passed by but great delights await those who find it. The menu includes breakfasts and lunches with magnificent muffins and cakes for the sweet toothed. The portions are generous, served on wooden platters, and the freshly prepared juices are served in glass preserve jars. My mom had the Italian beef, beetroot and camembert open sandwich, which was served with onion marmalade – delicious! My juice was green – a mix of celery and cucumber with lemon and no ginger, which was most refreshing. My sister had the largest portion of chocolate cheesecake we’d ever seen, which she proceeded to demolish along with two cups of cappuccino! Our waitresses were efficient and friendly and clearly delight in seeing the surprise on the faces of first-time visitors. After our meal we browsed through the collection of antiques / junk in the midst of which the restaurant’s tables and chairs are arranged, and then proceeded to the adjacent fancy dress hire / buy section, which just adds to the charm and quirkiness of this place – an absolute treasure trove complete with the shell of a helicopter on the roof! It warrants lots of visits to sample all the delights on offer. – coldgoldicecrm
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Inside at Pajamas and Jam Eatery. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Inside at Pajamas and Jam Eatery. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Phizantekraal Restaurant (Durbanville)
I have been a patron for 3 years. I have never been more impressed with a restaurant in my life. Have been a foodie for 20 years. The flavour of the food. The textures. The chef and front of house are brilliant, as is the service of the waiters. Perfection. – Juanita Schmidt
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The interior at Phizantekraal Restaurant. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

The interior at Phizantekraal Restaurant. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

The Velvet Cake Co. (City Bowl)
‘Just Eat Cake’: a famous saying, yes, but to find the right cake is a whole different ballgame. Look no further, stroke your taste buds and tickle your imagination. From red velvet to rainbow-coloured decadence, you will not find a more tantalising cake-baking brilliance of a company. Every amazing memory stored in my life has been accompanied by one or other of this companies exquisite creations. Well done and see you soon! – Ryan Tennant
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Some of the cakes on offer at The Velvet Cake Co. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Some of the cakes on offer at The Velvet Cake Co. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Winelands and beyond

Bakesh Food and Wine (Durbanville)
They are better than ever, new menus with the same amazing quality food. Evenings are my favourite time: cosy and romantic inside. – Liza Smith
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The Whaling Station Greek Restaurant (Overberg)
One of the best family restaurants that we have visited in a long time. My husband enjoyed his 500g T-bone, which was done to perfection, served with chips and salad. My grilled cape salmon with Greek salad and baked potato was excellent. The portions were quite big and the prices very reasonable. The restaurant was quite busy but the meals were served fast. My kids had the lamb shwarma and the pizza. Looking forward to our next visit. I highly recommend this Greek restaurant! – Grace Madison
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YUM Eat Café (Stanford)
The excellent freshly prepared food in this vibey restaurant in Stanford will want to make you come back over and over again. Friendly staff, fresh pressed juices, the best coffee in the village and, if it’s cake you’re looking for, the home bakes are wow. – Marcelle du Preez
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