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Arbour Café & Courtyard

Arbour Café & Courtyard
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Cost
R90 avg main meal
Ambience
Comfy & casual
Food
Café fare, French
Payment
Diners Club, Mastercard, Visa

Critic's review

Kate Liquorish

Food
Hidden behind the stylish shops of Wrenrose Court you’ll find an enchanting leaf-dappled alcove, aptly named ‘Arbour’. Robyn Timpson, chef and owner of the French-inspired café and crêperie has created a whimsical and elegant space that will nourish your soul as well as your stomach. They’re open for breakfast and lunch with their gluten-free, buckwheat galettes (savoury French pancakes) taking centre stage. The menu itself is an orchard of fresh and free-range, with only the best ingredients used.

For breakfast you can choose to ‘build your own’ which comprises your preference of eggs on either rye or baguette with an array of salaciously rich and decadent sides including smoked streaky bacon, hand-made beef chipolatas, creamy wild mushrooms and Norwegian smoked salmon. For those wanting something a little naughty, you can choose between butter croissants and French toast with lavish toppings or, if low GI is your thing, there are ‘fruit bowls’ with porridge or Greek yogurt and homemade muesli.

Lunch appeals to both the in-and-out-business-crowd and those with time to linger; the menu boasts a wonderfully balanced mix of salads, sandwiches, galettes and mains, all of which taste as good as they sound. The salads, whilst presented in a delicate fashion, are robust and flavourful in all the right ways. The smoked salmon salad with avocado, grapefruit, cucumber, red onion, black sesame and a citrus dressing is the quintessential lady’s lunch and the chicken salad, piled high with avocado, broccoli, beans, Rosa tomatoes, parmesan and toasted seeds will bust your hunger the healthy way.

The sandwiches are casual; simple and tasty. The galettes, Arbour’s signature, are what people really go here for, they’re light and crisp with fillings to die for: the creamy herbed wild mushrooms, the five-spiced duck and cherry and the flambéed chorizo, mozzarella, tomato and basil galettes are all wonderfully rich and seductive.

For mains you’ll find gorgeous ribeye steaks, simply cooked and beautifully presented as well as seared salmon with creamed avocado, duck confit and chicken fillets with an artichoke, sage, caper and lemon cream sauce.

If you’re one with a sweet tooth, the selection of crêpes will have you weakening at the knees.

Drinks
They specialise in imported French ciders that, whilst delectable, come with a heavy price tag. The wine list is different, but concise, with wines that are on the delicate side to pair with the menu. You’ll also find some local craft beers and ciders as well as a few cocktails for those keen to hit the brunching scene.

Ambience
It is just delightful: feminine and refined, French and floral. The courtyard is ideal for spring and summer days; it’s a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of Melrose and one of the few courtyards in Johannesburg that isn’t looking onto a parking lot. It can be too cold to sit outside during winter, but the inside section is warm and welcoming dotted with ferns, beautiful mirrors, flowers and a central table flourishing with butter croissants, cupcakes and other delights.

Service 
It’s personal and continually good. This is generally the case with owner-run restaurants, but the team at Arbour is always willing to go the extra mile, making it the perfect spot for a special occasion.

And…
They open bright and early and serve fantastic almond milk cappuccinos.

(September 2016)

Eat Out reviewers dine anonymously and pay for their meals in full. Click here to read our editorial policy.

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User reviews

  • I had a Nutella crepe with bananas and it was quite decadent, it really quite an bit of Nutella, had a hot chocolate too which was good as well
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  • What a wonderful experience! Thank you Arbour Cafe & Courtyard for fabulous Food and Superb service!
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  • Hidden gem in Birdhaven. Had an absolutely fantastic meal at Arbour Cafe this morning. Perfect atmosphere for a relaxed breakfast or lunch. Tried the chorizo gallette which was amazing, but will definitely be back to try a couple more items. Everything looked and sounded delicious. Very hands on approach from the owner and manager which is refreshing in this day and age. The pride and passion definitely shines through. Great food, great coffee and great service all round. 5 out of 5!
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  • Excellent, chicken Pie or Beef Salad
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  • Devine fresh little restaurant serving traditional French crepes and gallettes, amongst other things. They have a wonderful deli where you can buy cakes, pastries and croissants too. My favourite is the chorizo, roasted rosa tomato, mozzarella and basil gallette. YUM! They have a good wine list but their speciality is Imported French Cider. The do breakfast and lunch, and I think they do after-work drinks on Thursdays.
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Facilities

  • Accepts credit cards
  • Alfresco
  • Beer served
  • Breakfast
  • Child friendly
  • Dog-friendly
  • Food
  • Licensed
  • Lunch
  • Parking
  • Serves food
  • Smoking
  • Takeaways
  • Wheelchair
  • WiFi

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