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Arbour Café & Courtyard

Arbour Café & Courtyard
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Cost
R90 avg main meal
Ambience
Coffee, Quick meals, Special occasions
Food
Bistro fare, Café fare, Fine-dining food, French, Seafood, Steak, Vegetarian
Payment
Diners Club, Mastercard, Visa
Corkage
R100(wine); R120(champagne)

Critic's review

Paddi Clay

Food
This French-inspired café in Birdhaven specialises in Breton galettes made from gluten-free buckwheat. Try one of these light but substantial French pancakes with a generous filling of exotic mushrooms, or the chef’s special filling of flambéed chorizo, mozzarella, tomatoes and basil. In winter, warm up with a bowl of tasty homemade chicken soup and seeded rye bread then finish off with a classic crêpe with cinnamon, sugar and lemon juice.

Mains include seared salmon with a crisp black sesame-and-citrus crust and avocado cream, rib-eye steak, and chicken with a white wine sauce of sundried tomatoes, spinach and feta. Ingredients are enticingly fresh and original, and the salads and sides alone will delight vegans and vegetarians.

Naturally, crêpes with various sauces and fillings, are the dessert focus. Brandy flambéed with orange butter sauce, a classic, is highly recommended and the decadent nutella and banana is addictive.

Drinks
Pick a typical accompaniment for your galette from three local craft pear and apple ciders. If you’re feeling flush after such an authentic experience, you can choose from two very pricey imported French ciders. There’s a small collection of bubbly and light wines, in keeping with the mains menu, as well as a handful of craft and other beers and classic cocktails, such as mimosas, Pimm’s cup or Bloody Marys, essential for any brunch.

Service
The service is friendly, unobtrusive and unhurried.

Ambience
Although there’s room for only two tiny tables on the pavement outside, there are several more in the pastel interior and many more in its hidden courtyard, which is at its best in summer. It’s a popular spot with ladies who linger over lunch, but the free WiFi also lures a sprinkling of business people and internet surfers to this early-opening café. The enclosed courtyard is a good option for a drink in a quiet corner or a quick coffee and pastry if you have a poodle or small child in tow.

And…
The courtyard is available for private functions and parties and occasionally hosts intimate music events such as an album launch or an acoustic session.

(August 2017)

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

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User reviews

  • My husband and I went to the restaurant on 8 February. It was chilly and had been raining. It was our first time. We had heard a lot about the courtyard. I asked the server if we could just peek outside to get a sense of the size. She said no and showed us to a table. The service was fine with the occasional hiccup (still instead of sparkling water, etc). The food was a huge disappointment. To start we had a baked apple salad and chorizo galette. The salad was flabby and flavorless. The batter for the galette should have been made with buckwheat flour and wasn't. The chorizo was hard to chew and full of gristle. For mains we had the seared salmon and an aged ribeye with aioli. The salmon was burned so badly the skin was black, as was the top non-skin side. It was dry and tasted singed.we asked for a rare steak, and it arrived blue - barely warm. It was also sinewy and impossible to cut or chew. The aioli was thick and clumpy with none of the promised paprika. I alsonhad a terrible allergic reaction to something! We told the waitress about the problems with the food. She was apologetic and offered a coffee which we declined. She said she'd tell the manager. No one came to address the issue with us. In the end we paid R700 for a terrible experience.
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  • 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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    • Service
    • Food

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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