Venues

Balducci

Balducci
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Cost
R70 - R130 avg main meal
Ambience
Authentic culture, Classic elegance
Food
Asian, Burgers, Coffee, Fine-dining food, Italian, Modern, Pizzas, Seafood, Steak, Sushi, Tapas, Thai, Vegetarian
Payment
Amex, Diners, Mastercard, Visa
Corkage
No BYO

Critic's review

Gather a group and head to Balducci’s for a vibey Friday or Saturday night at the Waterfront. Their sushi platters are deliciously fresh and offer great value for money. The restaurant is always busy, the food is mostly Italian-themed and of a consistently good quality. Prices are upscale and staff are pretty efficient given the high turnover of customers.
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  • Food
    Balducci’s provides a memorable eating experience with flavours of Italy coursing through the extensive menu on offer. Renowned for stylish simplicity using the freshest ingredients, eat your way through antipasti, insalata, panini, pizza, pasta and, for the more voracious appetites, the burger menu is hugely tempting. Balducci’s has also become much loved for its sushi at the Royal Sushi Bar. Maki rolls, sashimi and nigiri aside, pan-Asian dishes like oyster tataki, miso soup and prawn spring roll add a good balance of hot and cold. If you’re looking to splash out, the decadent seafood platter (with or without), crayfish is a Balducci speciality, as well as the mussels served with a choice of pomodoro, arrabiata or a creamy garlic sauce.

    Wine
    A world-class wine list features a good selection of local vintages and imported varietals.

    Service
    Slick and befitting of the stylish setting. Waitrons are au fait with menu items and willing to go the extra mile.

    Ambience
    As one of the trendiest spots in the V&A, there is always a glamorous buzz permeating the restaurant.

    And...
    The impressive cocktail menu adds a special quality to Balducci’s, a perfect way to start or end your visit. (PU, October 2012)
  • Priscilla Urquhart

    Visit for a vibey Friday / Saturday night. Their sushi platters continue to be delicious, fresh and great value for money! I have visited Balducci's several times in the last year and found their food and service to be consistent. (July 2013)

User reviews

  • If only we could have eaten the gorgeous new decor, because it delivered in value where the food fell terribly short. Amid great flourish, we were offered a slice a slice of bread. Specifically described as complimentary. Isn't that at least to be expected. This wonderous bread was procured from the basket in theatrical manner, only to be nothing more than a slice of Woollies everyday. We settled on the seafood platter for 2 at R880. a good selection of the usuals. we were then given an option of 11 sides, of which we could only order 1. Considering there were 2 of us, at least 2 should be included. But no, only 1. And no, no half chips and half rice either. It was discussed with the manager who stood firm and stuck with the restsurant policy of NO. Moving on to the standard trio of sauces that usually accompany a seafood platter. Whilst lemon butter, garlic butter and per peri sauce were available, guess how many we could have? One. We decided that at that price, we could find better options at the waterfront and a restaurant that was more concerned with customer satisfaction. We went upstairs to Baia and were thrilled with our seafood platter for two for R790. R110 cheaper, came standard with two portions of chips and rice and 3 overly generous jugs of sauce. Ultimately Balducci's have now lost a previously loyal customer due to their inflexible attitude and lack of customer care.
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  • Oddly enough for a restaurant at Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront, Balducci’s manages to be elegant and trendy without being pretentious as well. And even though it’s situated at one of the mall’s entrances, it has a warm and intimate feel (as long as you’re not sitting close to the front doors, being blinded by fluorescent lights pouring in through the clear doors).
    Upon being shown to our table for dinner (via the cosy bar for a few seconds to wait), my friend and I were presented with menus the size of a Clicks magazine, with advertising to match. Given the extensive wine list, voted by Wine Spectator magazine in the US as one of the best in the world, it was hard to pick. And so we simply went for a bottle of the house red, a blend of merlot and cabernet sauvignon that proved to be more than adequate.
    For starters, we both opted for soup: onion for him and minestrone for me. Both dishes were a lot more filling than we expected, which is why we didn’t bother with the depressing slice of brown bread on the side. All that soup also made it hard for us to get through more than half of our even more generously portioned main meals. But the manageress was happy (and very quick!) to pack up my friend’s ostrich lasagne and my salmon pizza, which made for a great (and healthy?) breakfast the next day.
    The total cost for our food and wine came to a reasonable R465. However, the restaurant currently has a number of impressive lunchtime specials on sushi, pizzas, pastas, and sirloin. (In the spirit of Cape Town’s unique variety of African time, these are available daily until 6pm.) They also have a loyalty programme that, when coupled with an Entertainer Cape Town voucher, means great discounts at Balducci’s as well as Belthazar and Gibson Burgers, also part of the Slick Restaurant Group. Clearly, there’s more than enough reason to go back over and over again, no matter the season!
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  • The four stars for food eminates from numerous previous visits to the restaurant. Unfortunately, yesterday was different, as far as food and service pertains. My Melanzaan was excellent. However my wife's Burger a disaster. What she ordered and was delivered was 2 different meals. No gaucomole! No caramilised onions! Balducci decided to rectify the dish by bringing the missing ingredients on 2 small bowls as sides! And the first bowl of gaucomole we had to send back as it was brown and not green! No excuses, no offer to redo the dish as was ordered. Hope that this will not be the standard in future as my star ratings will differ for sure
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  • I have been going to Balducci's for the past 5 years and I have never had a bad experience regarding service or food. I would like to thank management and staff for the high standard of service and quality they uphold.

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  • Pure food heaven. Celebrated my friend’s birthday here. The food was great from start to finish. I had a pasta dish with pasta that had that slight chewy bite of fresh made pasta. My friends had the lamb shank and the butter chicken curry and both were in love. For dessert I had the tiramisu. It was silky and not gelatinous which is a common mistake when making tiramisu but this dessert was perfect. The ambiance was intimate and lovely. There's a beautiful bar in the back dripping with elegant glassware and groaning under the weight of a vast assortment of wines whiskys and exotic libations. At the front there is a lovely open air patio with heaters and chairs so comfy you just want to curl up and stay there forever. Service was fast and attentive and our glasses were kept topped up at all times without ever having to ask! Definitely coming back because there is so much I want to try on the menu.

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  • I went to Balducci's this week with 6 other people.
    Unbeknown to the manager William, one of the people I was with had a Balducci's VIP card and knows the owner personally. She ordered the fish and when it arrived she felt that it smelled a bit strange. So we waited until the waitress walked past (which was not often, in fact we had to get up and call her to serve us all night) and asked her to take the fish back to the kitchen.
    The manager then came to our table a few minutes later and declared that there was "absolutely nothing wrong with your fish ma'am and therefore I cannot remove it from your bill. Would you like to order something else in addition?" Well, no actually. It was terribly embarassing to watch a young manager talk like this to a customer. Despite the decent meal we had, I vow never to return to a place that does not appreciate its clientele.

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  • Often go there when I'm in town. On the 27th December service was really slow and my veal marsal special was bland and tasteless but I dicided not to complain because they don't believe you anyway!

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  • We visited Balducci's on the 2nd January 2012. After being shown to our seats we waited about 30 minutes before I had to ask a waiter to get us drinks. A different waiter arrived with our drinks and filthy glasses! The waiter Jean then took another order of drinks and when he brought it back, he spilt an entire glass of water on my friend! All my friend received was a "sorry, we'll get someone to clean it up now" from someone who appeared to be a supervisor. A new waiter arrived describing the house specials in something resembling English. My girlfriend ordered one of the specials and it was not at all what the waiter described. They then dropped our food at the table leaving about 5 of us without cutlery! Another friend sent his side plate back as it looked like someone sneezed on it! The food arrived and was not at all what we expected i.e. bland seasoning, undercooked pasta, overcooked fish, unripe avocado, to mention a few issues. With my desert, I had to wait another 5 minutes before requesting a spoon, then he brings me 2, "in case there's something wrong with the one"! For such a high priced, apparently highly-regarded restaurant, the entire experience was absolutely nauseating!

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  • A nice place for sushi and a good glass of wine.
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  • Our absolute favourite Waterfront restaurant. The food is always brilliant, the service impeccable and the Lindt Chocolate Bomb, to die for! A fantastic restaurant for the whole family!

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  • The service was really great but the food was horrible! I am a celiac so must stay away from gluten, wheat and oily foods. I ordered a gluten free pizza with smoked chicken, green peppers and pepperdews, with no cheese!  My order took 45 minutes before it arrived... Guess what? With cheese and no chicken! I then waited another 30 minutes for a gluten base with stir fried chicken and vegetables. I then waited another 15 minutes for a gluten free base with only green peppers and peppadews and after another 30 minutes I received a gluten free base with stir fried oily chicken, green peppers and peppadews.

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  • Pathetic. It was a waste of money.
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  • A nice place for sushi and a nice glass of wine.
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  • Service was very poor at lunchtime today. No focus, staff tripping over each other and no-one paying attention. Not up to usual high standard.
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  • I went to this restaurant with family (4 pax in total, not a big table) about a month back for a Sunday lunch. After the waiter took our food order, we waited as one would expect but then we slowly started to realise that the tables around us, whove arrived after us, had all started getting their food orders - I then asked one of the waiters and was informed that the food was coming shortly and we carried on waiting. By the time the food arrived, I checked on my watch and wed waited for an hour after the food order was taken - for 3 steaks and one sea food platter (butterflied prawns, grilled calamari and linefish fillet). But, the waiter got the order wrong and the steaks were overcooked. My girlfriend then got up to speak to the manager. The manager approached our table and he asked, So, do you guys still want your food or not? after we informed him of our dissatisfaction with the wait. He was adamant that steaks and sea food platter takes a hour to cook, but I was not convinced. He went on, taking over my knife and my steak and cut it open to say that it was medium rare, which it wasnt, and immediately took it back to the kitchen without a word of apology. The patrons at the table next to us actually said to us that we should get up and leave after the manager spoke to us - which we ended up doing. I will carry on and continuously post the incident that I experienced with the manager in any restaurant review website, as I was really shocked with how the restaurant would have someone with that kind of attitude as a manager.
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  • I work at the concierge desk in one of Cape Towns leading hotels. I had a guest complain about bad service and a rude manager - come on Balducci, dont let us down.
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  • Fabulous food, crisp, friendly service. I eat there at least once every 2 weeks and can honestly say I have never had a bad meal. My only gripe is that they change the menu too little. Wine list is extensive and not crazily priced. My pick of the V & A Waterfronts offerings...
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  • We went to Balduccis this year in January during our usual holidays in Cape Town and its only now I find the time to write a few notes.It is to mention that we visit SA very regular, twice per year at least and that good food & nice wine is a hobby, we ourselves are in the tourism in Mauritius and it’s important for us to enjoy our dinner.In the past we visited the sister restaurant of Balducci, Balthazar - also at the Waterfront, however we were very much disappointed with the service and food. We were a bit skeptic when entering the Balducci the first time. After our shopping we finally decided to give it a try, having had some nice experience the days before in some of the other ‘top’ restaurants in Cape Town such as Five Flies, 95 Keerom, Carne, Aubergine, Mount Nelson just to name a few and the welcome at Balducci was pleasant. We were four on that first evening, got a nice table and a really good waiter, he was well trained, polite and could answer with details to all our questions, he did a great job! The menu gives a good choice for everybody and they even cater for vegetarians, if you don’t find something just ask and the kitchen will do it! A real good combination of different food and perfectly prepared, what a positive surprise on the first evening we spent at Balducci, we really enjoyed it! We came back another two times during our stay and we were now a group of 8 and had a different waiter, the staff recognised us from our first visit and we were taken good care of and the service was perfect once again. However please let me mention that the ‘manager in charge’ of the restaurant should be greeting the guests on all the tables, instead of spending long time with only a few of his clients and maybe he would need some holidays as well as he seemed to be very stressed.A compliment to the chefs as all dishes were prepared to our full satisfaction, from the sushi & sashimi (the Japanese chef is not to be missed! However we mentioned that the pizza could have a bit more crisp, otherwise good, meat grilled to perfection, fish & seafood fresh (you have to try the oysters!) and if you have a sweet tooth don’t miss the dessert!The drinks were served well and the red wines having the right temperature, everything just like it must be. Keep it up and we will certainly be back!
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  • I am sure you guys are always grateful for feedback from patrons.I dined at Balduccis last night and just wanted to applaud you on an excellent experience.The food was amazing and the waiter, Peter, was the BEST waiter I have ever come across in my lifetime I will definitely be returning for many more meals (as long as I am waited on by Peter!!)Kudos to you.
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  • Fantastic Burger Menu - lived up to all the expectation created in WINE magazine - outstanding wine experience - well done!
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  • Being a hamburger freak - I have experienced the finest most delicious burger EVER at Balduccis. The quality of homemade patty, the relish, the chips, the presentation, the salad - quite outstanding. I have had the Swiss cheese burger -it was tantalizing. I then had the double burger for a mere R75... This was the best burger ever! The soft drink was COLD - with lemon. The service was robust. The ambience good - very European. There is an attempt to deliver the finest and the success rate is 99% !
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  • We ate at Balduccis over the weekend and tried out their new burger menu. Wow, what incredible value considering the fabulous ingredients used. The best bun, patty and relish not to mention the perfectly prepared thick cut chips. I cant wait to go back, yum! The burgers started from R55.00, unbelievable value.
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  • I had a wonderful meal at Balduccis two weekends ago. I just seen in a previous comment that apparently you cant order sushi in the main restaurant but this isnt true. I know this because I had sushi in the main restaurant, for my lunch. The sushi was excellent and the burger my husband ordered was one of the best burgers Ive ever tasted in a South African restaurant. Whats more is the prices of both were reasonable for the Waterfront - which can easily get expensive for locals. Balduccis remains a firm favourite of ours.
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  • Whats the point of having specials on sushi and burgers when you can not go there and have one of each. Sushi is not served in the restaurant and burgers are not served in the sushi joint outside.
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  • Take a bow all the burger places in Long and Kloof Street! Balduccis burgers are the best in town!
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  • On January 27, 2010, we wanted to have a quick dinner at Balduccis before going to the Artscape and ordered the famous hamburgers. Even though I had mentioned that we didnt have much time and even though I was assured that hamburgers are very quick to make, it took more than 20 minutes, before we received our food. I sat facing the entrance to the kitchen and could see that the kitchen wasnt very busy at all. When we complained about the delay to the manageress, she was very apologetic but not actually helpful. In the end we had to gulp down a R65,00 hamburger, which would have cost me less than R20,00 to prepare at home. Wont be going back here soon!
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  • A group of us (6) made a reservation at Balduccis last Thursday. We had hoped to sit outside but unfortunately the South-Easter put paid to that plan. We were accommodated inside but unfortunately were placed directly under a speaker. We made two requests to our service ambassador to lower the volume as we could barely make conversation but without success. The music couldnt be described as soft and soothing by any stretch of the imagination and it totally spoiled our evening.We all ordered burgers from the burger menu which were first class. The service was good too.The only other gripe we had was that we were charged R213 for 3 glasses of sparkling wine which we felt was more than a little excessive. Our service ambassar did not advise us of the cost at the time of ordering otherwise we would probably have ordered an alternative.
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  • My boyfriend took me for dinner on my birthday, 22 December. He was looking forward to it a lot! The two things that he cant have enough of, are sushi and burgers, and he decided on Balduccis because of that. On arrival we were told that when sitting in the restaurant, you cant order sushi. Then the notice on the menu which said no burgers after 5pm was the final straw. As all South Africans know, wine is ridiculously expensive in Waterfront restaurants. So we took the cheapest bottle of white, which was about R100. I think that, and the fact that we were South African (restaurant was PACKED with foreigners) caused our waiter to forget about us for most of the night. The maître d took most of our orders (she was great), the bus boy took most of our drinks orders (yes, we had a few of those bottles of wine). Actually, our waiter forgot what we ordered most of the time, when he actually took it. He honestly came back to ask us to remind him of what it was. The food was amazing though, we both had starters too. We left our waiter a tip, I didnt think we should have, but my boyfriend insisted. On the way out, I mentioned the bad service to the maître d, and complimented our bus boy. The atmosphere inside the restaurant was cold, literally, and chaotic. The waiters were running around like crazy, so no romantic chilled-out atmosphere there. Was a bit hard to have a conversation too, now that I think about it, everybody rushing around was so loud. I honestly think they should increase their staff. I took a walk outside, and that was amazing. Pity we didnt reserve a table there. Seemed quite chilled out, no frantic waiters, and quite cosy actually. So even though the food was great, I unfortunately have to say that I definitely wont go back. We werent important enough, and Ive already mentioned what I suspect the reasons were. And that is a slap in the face.
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  • Best night out in a very long time. Pizza was best I have had, wife had chicken burger and said it was to-die-for, service faultless... would recommend to anyone wanting an awsome experience in Cape Town!
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  • Have to rave about this restaurant, visiting Cape Town on holiday and had supper at Balducci in the Waterfront. There Californian pizza, was mouthwatering in presentation and delicious to eat. I would recommend Balduccis to anyone wanting an excellent meal with superb service.
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  • Great Balduccis night out! Enjoyed two burgers from their new burger menu. I had the basic burger and my friend tried the chicken burger which was so deliciously tender. Both came with relish, pickles, coleslaw and fries, and after a few beers each the bill only came to R165 for the both of us - including tip. Really great value! well done on nicest burger I have had out in a while.
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  • Have you tried Balduccis new burgers? Mouthwatering, so perfect for winter! And their new italian menu - DECADENT, HEAVENLY! Balduccis, you never disappoint. Now the tough part is choosing what to eat... Well done. 5 stars!
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  • On Sunday my mom who is a vegetarian heard about the new gourmet burgers at Balduccis. She had a vegetarian one. This was the most awesome burger we had both tasted - it was just like Melanzane! It had tomato, eggplant and smoked cheese -YUM!
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  • Have eaten from their new menu. MMMMMMMMMMMM are those luchtime hamburgers something else! Made from Karan Beef - 100% grain fed rump and sirloin ground beef burgers.Prices start from R55.00 to R75.00. Even a vegetarian burger - really yummy. Then the dinner menu - wow!! 35 pizzas and pastas to choose from - osso bucco, seafood as well. You have to try this menu. For the diet concerned citizens - try the Thai chicken salad for a mere R55.00. With that view and the great ambiance plus really good on the wallet - who could ask for anything more?
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  • We came here often as it is a lovely point to watch people (maybe it is my Dutch origin coming out). We had a terrible experience as the owner was very rude to us. The lady at the door was too busy on the phone and we wanted to be seated. We entered the restaurant and the owner came to us, to say that we needed to wait. But the lady at the door is on the phone?!? We still needed to wait... What an attitude. I am sure that he could have seated us. This restaurant was one of our favourites, but we decided never to go back again.
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  • With Restaurant Week coming to an end, we were compelled to have a final visit to one of Cape Towns most recommended restaurants - Balduccis.The European Cafe style outside set up allows one to see the wonderful bustle of the Cape Town tourism from a comfy chair with a glass of chilled Sauvignon Blanc of their extensive winelist.The service was fantastic too - appropriately attentive, quick, and phenomenally (too) patient with the neighbouring tables children who decided that the white table cloth was the perfect place to smear their neon green moulding clay.The food, however, was just perfectly nice - while definately eye-catching in presentation and well cooked, the menu was just too safe. The fillet steak was a fillet steak and the prawn curry was a prawn curry, both lacking that whimsical flair of creativity that seperate the ordinary from the exellent. One does not want to leave a restaurant of this notoriety believing they could have made the same meal at home.All in all, an enjoyable meal, we just hope the restaurants next menu takes more risks.
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  • I really felt like having a great slice of carrot cake, that would be expected at balduccis. It was the worst carrot cake Ive ever had and I have eaten carrot cake all over the world, from London to Denver Calorado and all the way back to Hong Kong.
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  • Ive been avoiding the restaurants in the Waterfront as Ive having bad experience with some of them. I know how it goes...overpriced, lack of hospitality and service, even the food is sometimes awful. But the other night I took my friends from Europe to Balduccis and what a great evening we had. I must say that the hostesses at the door are quite arrogant, this is not the welcome you should get at the door.We were sited outside to enjoy the summer evening. Our waitress(which name i cant remember) was absolutely great. She was quick, with a wonderful charm and well informed about the food. What is most important she was very atending, even on the busy evening. The food was excellent! My friends had a trio of the game meat and it was one of teh best on their life.I had ostrich fillet and I must say, Im not such a big fun of meet, but this one was absolutely lekker! I think Balduccis is a great place to enjoy the dinner or even a late cocktail at the bar. It is a bit expensive, but the portions are adequate to what you are paying for. I highly reccomend that place.
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  • Place have gone donw hill the last 2 years. Service was bad - has to wave down waiters - all staring at the till.... Food totally overpriced - and the breakfast is NOT enjoyable. Wont go back. Society beats this place hands down
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  • Nice restaurant. Food, service and ambiance were great. A nice way to spend a Sunday - thanks.
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  • Breakfast outside was delicious. Comfy chairs, linen napkins and strong coffee. The omelette with tomato, cheese and rocket is fabulous. Also try the cheeseboard. But with the toasted focaccio instead of the water biscuits. Absolutely out of this world - enough for 2 people. Lovely preserved green figs, the softest Boland Blue cheese, black olives, lettuce leaves, strawberries and grapes. Definitely try the White Stilton with apricots. Service was good, people friendly and we had a wonderful time.
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Facilities

  • Accepts credit cards
  • Beer served
  • Booking required
  • Cocktails
  • Dinner
  • Food
  • Functions
  • Licensed
  • Live entertainment
  • Lunch
  • Parking
  • Serves food
  • Takeaways
  • Vegetarian
  • WiFi

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