Venues

The Woodlands Eatery

The Woodlands Eatery
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Cost
R100 avg main meal
Ambience
Comfy & casual, Contemporary cool
Food
Bistro fare, Pizzas
Payment
Mastercard, Visa
500
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Critic's review

Raphaella Frame-Tolmie

Food
This popular neighbourhood eatery is best known for tasty and imaginative pizzas. Perennial favourites include the Tuscan-style slow roasted lamb with crème fraîche, and the ‘Big Gus’: caramelized pork with soy sauce, mango and coriander. The vegetarian options are enticing too – a zucchini and tenderstem broccoli pizza with red onion, peas and Ricotta, for example, is light and fresh. Other well-liked choices include Larry’s Cheeseburger, made with pasture-reared beef from Frankie Fenner Meat Merchants; or the mouth-watering peri-peri prawns. Based on the occasional nod to their ingredients’ provenance on the menu, it’s quite apparent that owners Larry and Sarah-May Steenkamp are passionate about showcasing the best of local produce. The consistency has in recent times become a little erratic (mostly when neither of the owners are on site), but not enough to be a deterrent. With a varied menu of sides and salads, it’s one of those ‘something for everyone’ eateries. Leave room for the panna cotta, or a scoop of homemade ice cream of the day (tempting flavours include Earl Grey tea and almond).

Drinks
A great selection of locally crafted beers, cider and wines, many of which are available by the glass.

Service
Staff are relaxed and friendly, although when the restaurant gets really busy they can sometimes seem a bit scarce. It’s advisable to book in advance, especially for dinner on the weekend.

Ambiance
The interior is quirky and ever so charming, with twinkly fairy lights creating an inviting atmosphere.

And…
For those with food allergies, gluten-free pizza bases are available, and there’s even a gluten-free beer on offer.

(August 2015)

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  • Ishay Govender-Ypma

    Food 
    Despite its small entrance and offbeat appearance, The Woodlands Eatery in Vredehoek, Cape Town, is well known for the consistently good food it delivers. They offer a relaxed menu with daily changing specials, and their focus of late is leaning distinctly in the direction of ethical meat and produce – you’ll spot Frankie Fenner Meat Merchant products prominently outlined on the menu.

    Those suffering from food allergies are well catered for: they offer gluten-free pizzas and go as far as to mention on the menu that carrots are used in the tomato sauce.

    The starters and antipasti can be ordered as tapas and the portions are generous. The salt and pepper squid and, when available, the arancini (fried risotto balls) are crowd pleasers. The slow-roast lamb pizza with rosemary and crème fraîche has been a favourite ever since Woodlands opened their doors three years ago, and deservedly so. All pizza crusts are thin, and available in a gluten-free option. The daily menu sometimes features hearty curries and interesting soups.

    Service 
    Service can be a bit lacklustre at times, but in general you will be well taken care of, and will never have to wait too long for your meal.

    Drinks 
    They offer a small but adequate craft beer and wine selection and a few inventive cocktails. Oddly, espressos are served in enormous shooter glasses with just a few teaspoons of brew.

    Ambience 
    The venue is very popular, so booking in advance is highly recommended. With its selection of mismatched chairs and quirky light fittings, the eatery looks like a pared down version of the Mad Hatter’s tearoom. Cosy and comfortable, it draws groups of friends celebrating birthdays or friends catching up. In summer the handful of outdoor tables get snapped up quickly.

    And...
    Do try the excellent peri-peri prawns served with a large garlic and feta bread – it makes the perfect sharing dish.

    (July 2014)

  • A warm, atmospheric neighborhood eatery with excellent, inventive food. Its fun vibe makes it great for birthday parties. There’s a regularly-changing menu, but the wood-fried pizzas are
    always outstanding. Try the slow-roasted lamb pizza, gourmet burger and the chocolate fondant.
  • Food
    Although the burgers and handful of daily specials always tempt, pizza has really become the thing to order at this charmingly bespoke bistro. Crispy thin-crust pies with toppings like slow-roasted Tuscan lamb or caramelised pork and mango are superb. Dishes like the caramelised pear and Gorgonzola salad showcase ingredient freshness. Simply delightful.

    Wine
    A smallish but well-chosen list is further complemented by one of the best craft beer selections in town, a few fabulous cocktails and a love of tequila.

    Service
    Friendly competent service is brought to you by cute hipsters. Can be shockingly difficult to get a table, so book in advance.

    Ambience
    With it’s beautifully eclectic array of lamps, mirrors and framed illustrations, this neighbourhood joint is all warm vintage charm without an ounce of pretence.

    And...
    If you can't get a table, try a spot at the bar. (LM, October 2012)"
    "Food
    Although the burgers and handful of daily specials always tempt, pizza has really become the thing to order at this charmingly bespoke bistro. Crispy thin-crust pies with toppings like slow-roasted Tuscan lamb or caramelised pork and mango are superb. Dishes like the caramelised pear and Gorgonzola salad showcase ingredient freshness. Simply delightful.

    Wine
    A smallish but well-chosen list is further complemented by one of the best craft beer selections in town, a few fabulous cocktails and a love of tequila.

    Service
    Friendly competent service is brought to you by cute hipsters. Can be shockingly difficult to get a table, so book in advance.

    Ambience
    With it’s beautifully eclectic array of lamps, mirrors and framed illustrations, this neighbourhood joint is all warm vintage charm without an ounce of pretence.

    And...
    If you can't get a table, try a spot at the bar. (LM, October 2012)

User reviews

  • Love this consistent place. And it's open on a Monday - always a bonus. The tacos (turn over to back page of menu) are a welcome addition to the menu since I was last at Woodside. I had the fish tacos - generous portion of perfectly battered and fried fish, served with 3 corn tortillas, and two different slaws and guacamole. The fish could do with a bit of seasoning, but other than that, it was delicious!
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  • Always love the setting of Woodlands, so quaint and inviting. Went with my family, and all five of us absolutely loved our meal! Tried the broccoli tempura as a starter- what a treat! I've been to Woodlands a couple of times before, and sadly this time the service was efficient but it wasn't t very friendly. As a waitress I know it's not very hard to put a smile on your face and welcome people to your restaurant when you give them menus and take their orders. But other than the lack of smiles (from only 2 of the 4 waiters) a great night was had by all, and I'll definitely be going back!
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  • My family and I visited the establishment for lunch today. We left bitterly dissapointed and sad. The food was generally good but the service was well below par. We were seated differently than was agreed on the phone when making the booking. At the time when we were to be seated it appeared that there was a mix up. My wife overheard a staff member say "It does not matter anymore so let's just seat them anywhere". It was Mother's day and the children and I wanted to treat my wife to Sunday lunch so my wife did not bring to my attention what she had heard. After all, it was not the end of the world. Later on we were served 2 x tea instead of 2 x decaf coffee as ordered. We waited quite a long time for a waitron to return to our table for us to report the problem. When I tried to get the attention of a waitress she in essence walked away bluntly ignoring me. When we eventually did get to speak to a waitron (I had to fetch him from the bar area) he did apologise but seemed to question what we were saying. I am going to excuse the long waiting times for a waiter to attend to us seeing that it was Mother's day and the staff complment was possibly slightly overwhelmed. When I showed my dissatisfaction by way of the tip that I left, the waiter was so rude (he basically threw my credit card into the container used to present the bill after processing the payment) we could not wait to leave. We could not help but feel extremely unwelcome. The quality of your food unfortunately does not make up for what your staff has undone in how they look after patrons. Again, I am deeply dissapointed in how we have been treated when we support business in our own city.
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  • Exceptionally bad service, with very bland pizza. A huge disappointment.
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  • One can never go wrong at Woodlands: consistently good food, delicious flavours, which always makes for a difficult meal choice. The peri-peri prawns are a personal favourite. Opted for a side salad instead of the garlic pizza and it was probably one of the tastiest side salads I've had at a restaurant in a while. Will be back again very soon
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Facilities

  • Accepts credit cards
  • Booking required
  • Child friendly
  • Cocktails
  • Dinner
  • Food
  • Licensed
  • Lunch
  • Parking
  • Serves food
  • Takeaways
  • Wheelchair
  • WiFi

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