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Bellevue Café

Bellevue Café
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Cost
R90 avg main meal
Ambience
Local cuisine, Quick meals
Food
Bakery fare, Bistro fare, Modern
Payment
Amex, Mastercard, Visa
Corkage
R40 for the first bottle and R55 thereafter

Critic's review

Nikita Buxton

Food
Chef-patron Chris Black cooks up comforting food with soul here. Breakfasts popular with the locals include British-style eggs, toasted bagels, and the comforting and cheesy Welsh rarebit.
Lunches and dinners feature satisfying bistro food, from light sandwiches and salads to classic fresh fish and chips and homemade pastas. Starters are light and tasty, with options like meaty duck spring rolls with a pleasing plum dipping sauce, a moreish coriander corncake with smoked salmon and lemon crème fraîche, or the Falkland calamari deep-fried with a sprinkling of salt and pepper and an ingenious pink ginger mayonnaise.

Mains continue to be hearty, with beef burger creations and slow-cooked Karoo lamb shank with rosemary, mash and vegetables. The homemade pie of the day is a glorious bowl of food and could feature the likes of chicken and mushroom with a creamy gravy, pops of green peas and a perfectly made puff pastry lid. Served with a side salad and golden fries, it makes for a generous and fulfilling meal. If you’re a steak person, the fillet medallions here are a top choice. Cooked to pink perfection, the tender meat is served with a rich and creamy mushroom sauce and crunchy chips.

If there’s room for afters, the dark and satisfying liquid centre chocolate pudding is wonderfully rich. There’s also a very good vanilla-flecked crème brûlée, which should please the pudding purists. Alternatively, give way to temptations and pick your favourite treat from the pastry counter – the pasteis de nata and brownies are particularly good.

Drinks
Sip on a range of local craft beers or gins, or choose from the interesting wines available. They also host wine evenings with popular estates from the Cape.

Service
Friendly and swift.

Ambience
The restaurant is light and breezy with face brick, luscious plants and a pastry table laden with treats. With its laid-back feel, the space is ideal for lazy weekend dining. On sunny days, opt for a table outside under the trees.

And…
The cosy upstairs section is available to hire for private events and celebrations.

(August 2017)

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

  • Ambience
  • Service
  • Food
  • Nikita Buxton

    Food

    Chef-patron Chris Black cooks up comforting food with soul here. Breakfasts are popular, offering the likes of traditional eggs, toasted bagels, and a comforting and cheesy Welsh rarebit.

    Lunches and dinners feature satisfying bistro food from light sandwiches and salads to classic fresh fish and chips and homemade pastas. Starters are light and tasty. The meaty duck spring rolls come with a pleasing plum dipping sauce; there’s a moreish coriander corncake with smoked salmon and lemon crème fraîche; and Falkland calamari deep-fried with a sprinkling of salt and pepper and an ingenious pink ginger mayonnaise.

    Mains continue on the hearty theme, with beef burger creations and slow-cooked Karoo lamb shank with rosemary, mash and vegetables. The homemade pie of the day is a glorious bowl of food and could feature the likes of chicken and mushroom with a creamy gravy, pops of green peas and perfectly-made puff pastry lid. Served with a side salad and golden fries, it makes for a generous and fulfilling meal. If you’re a steak person, the fillet medallions here are a top choice. Cooked to pink perfection, the tender meat is served with a rich and creamy mushroom sauce and crunchy chips.

    If there’s room for afters, the dark and satisfying liquid-centre chocolate pudding is wonderfully rich. There’s also a very good vanilla-flecked crème brûlée, which should please the pudding purists. Alternatively, give way to temptation and pick your favourite treat from the pastry counter – the pasteis de nata and brownies are particularly good.

    Drinks

    Sip on a range of local craft beers or gins, or choose from the interesting wines available. They also host wine evenings with popular estates from the Cape.

    Service

    Friendly and swift.

    Ambience

    Bellevue is light and breezy with face brick, luscious plants and a pastry table laden with treats. With its laid-back feel, the space is ideal for lazy weekend dining. On sunny days, opt for a table outside under the trees.

    And…

    The cosy upstairs section is available to hire for private events and celebrations.

    (June 2017)

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

    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Food
  • Nicola Jenvey

    Food
    Chef-patron Chris Black has a well-earned reputation for creating food magic and in Bellevue Café that comes with a trendy vibe for breakfast, lunch and dinner – all day food with soul.

    Light nibble breakfasts range from homemade toasted banana bread or croissants with butter or mature cheddar and black forest ham to good old-fashioned jungle oats or muesli with fruit and yoghurt. Classic breakfasts display British roots with eggs and bacon, English muffins or a touch of Banting dishes served without toast.

    Lunch caters for the social crowd, with a hearty ploughman’s platter of locally cured meats and cheeses, seasonal fruit and homemade chutneys, dips and pickles or fish and chips, the Bellevue pie of the day displayed on the chalkboard specials board, and Thai chicken and prawn curry.

    The signature pastas, fresh and homemade, come in medium or large servings and creamy sauces embody a richness that ignores conventional diets. The tiger prawn fettuccine with chilli, garlic, slow-cooked tomatoes, white wine, parmesan and parsley is neither shy on prawns nor well-melded flavours and the penne Bellevue with char-grilled chicken breasts, cherry tomatoes, rocket, basil pesto and a light cream has a breathless quality crying out for another helping.

    Dinner main courses are hearty offerings including rigatoni with slow-cooked lamb ragu, exotic beef burger creations and slow-braised pork neck steak with anise, pearl onions, raisins, sage, mustard mash and vegetables. The triple-roasted free-range duck with a Cointreau orange sauce, mashed potatoes and seasonal vegetables alone is worth the return visit.

    Space allowing, desserts are decadent homemade treats like dense chocolate slices with chocolate sauce, candied cashews and ice-cream, crème brûlée or homemade seasonal ice-creams.

    Drinks
    A small but balanced wine list is available as well as craft beers.

    Service
    This is alert and owner-driven, but a dirty side plate slipped through the net.

    Ambience
    This is a spacious, contemporary bistro with ample outdoor seating to capitalise on Durban’s warm weather, but also boasts gas heaters and an enclosed veranda for those cooler nights and rain-swept afternoons.

    And…
    They offer craft beers on tap and regularly host food and wine pairing evenings (booking essential).

    (September 2016)

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

    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Food

User reviews

  • Entertaining
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Food
  • Living in Durban, a trip to the Highway area is always something to look forward to - reminds me of the Welsh hills and on a sunny day, it's an awesome place to visit. Bellevue Café is one of my favourite places at which to restore energy levels - from the crunchy gravel driveway and great architecture on the campus, to the intriguing little boutiques and the always attractive table groaning with delectable cakes, it's an experience, usually filled with good food, to make me want to keep going back. Yesterday's meal, however, was a bit of a let-down. Coffee and a light lunch were our requirement, and the menu choices were great - hamburgers, chicken prego, quiche, fish and chips - all good, honest fare. Being a Durbanite means that Kloof seems somewhat chilly, so I opted for the soup of the day - creamy lentil. My lunch date went for the chicken prego. Really excellent Cappuccinos arrived quickly, and we waited for the food, happily observing the kitchen action and the many plates of good-looking food being produced. Both our meals were delivered at the same time, it was hot, looked appetizing. My soup was a vast soup plate of thick, creamy liquid, which I thought was mushroom soup. The surface of the soup had little piles of Parmesan cheese grains. I loath most Parmesan cheese and avoid it like the plague (the exception is the real thing, crumbling like sugar cake, and sweet and salty all at once, to be hacked into chunks with a broad blade and eaten sparingly with plain crackers and quince paste), so I pushed it all to one side and sampled the creamy soup. Sadly, it was not a pleasant taste - almost no lentil flavour, just an over-the-top cheesy creaminess, and the texture was thick double cream with slightly undercooked, partly puréed lentils lurking in every mouthful. the accompanying artisan bread had been lightly toasted but heavily compressed, so it was a bit on the stodgy side. Butter was wrapped in paper twists, which looked attractive, but for me, food and paper don't go, so no butter on my toast. The waitress could see I wasn't entirely happy, and immediately offered to replace the soup with a Parmesan-free version, which I declined: not much point as it wasn't just the Parmesan that wasn't to my taste. It's not really the chef's fault when a customer doesn't like the meal, and I didn't want to order something else and be charged for two meals, but the waitress did her best, so we will go back, hopefully for a more successful choice on my part. The chicken prego, by the way, was excellent, according to my other half, but could have been improved by not soaking the roll with mayo and sauce: they should just put the lettuce on the roll, then the tomato, then the sauce and chook, top it off with another lettuce leaf and the toasted bun stays lekker crispy! Conclusion: it's still a good cafe, and we'll be back, mostly courtesy of a pleasant waitress and everyone else's good looking food!
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    • Service
    • Food
  • I’ve been hearing great things about this café for years, but what really peaked my interest was that it shares the same owners with Lupa Osteria, one of my absolute favourite restaurants in Durban. Probably what took me so long to go and try it out was the fact that it was all the way up in Kloof and I’m never in that area for any other reason, so it was never top of mind when thinking of places to go for breakfast or lunch. But we eventually made it one stinking hot humid day a few weeks ago, after a trip to the Hillcrest pet shops (again – yes, I know). We had to use our GPS as it isn’t a restaurant that you’ll just notice off the side of the highway, but instead it’s nestled snuggly between Fat Tuesday (said to be Kloof’s best kept secret showcasing local artists, designers & photographer’s pieces) and the Delcairn Shopping Centre, at 5 Bellevue Rd, Kloof. There is ample shaded parking inside as well as on the street if that gets too packed. When we arrived, we were unaware of the parking inside, so we parked down the road outside, under the watchful eye of a very friendly car guard. We were greeted by a lovely garden setting under plenty of umbrellas and high trees. Just what we needed for such a scorching day. There were a few tables uncovered for those children of the sun, and a few more inside the restaurant if you haven’t yet acclimatized to the occasional rain forest, which is Durban. The garden is surrounded by bushes and flowers and really makes you feel like you are at a relaxed luncheon in a friend’s back garden, but here is your forewarning that as beautiful and serene as it is, if you have a tendency to attract mosquitoes, then do yourself a favour and take a peaceful sleep stick or alternatively some anti-itch cream for your ankles. Those buggers love the cover just as much as you will. While watching vintage cars and yellow beetles with surfboards drive by, we admired the inside area, which has much the same look as Lupa (see my review of Lupa) and checked out the Drinks Chalkboard which displayed various craft beers, assorted wines and much to my delight, the Dragon fiery ginger beer I discovered at Union Square (see my Union Square review). This was next to the Specials Chalkboard, which changes just before every meal. They were just starting to rub off breakfast and add the lunch specials, so in the meantime we perused the menu and enjoyed the fresh air. I’m going to be honest and say the food selection, even though extensive, won’t be everybody’s cup of tea, especially if you’re a “burger, pizza & wings only” kinda person. But it’s definitely my kind of place. Unusual and new and unique flavours combine to produce a beautiful variety of breakfasts, salads, sandwiches, pastas & classic dishes with a twist, that both look & taste the part. I don’t usually like to mention anything bad about restaurants, because I think that every place has their slow or understaffed days, but there was only one thing that annoyed us a little bit. The service was really slow and the Artisan Bread was not very impressive. We had about 5 different people serve us and we had to ask 2 people at a time for drinks, a wine list, food menus, a spoon and more bread. The artisan bread was toasted and very thinly sliced. Not very impressive when all you want to do is lap up your creamy bacon chicken liver sauce with some fresh, door stop bread. Our friend’s, Megan and Marc who frequent Bellevue, and also happened to be there at the time, said that both the service and the bread were usually much much better. So don’t let this stop you from visiting them. Other than that, it was a very pleasant experience ambience-wise, and the food, the most important part of course, was top notch. Craig ordered the Chicken livers peri-peri with bacon in a light cream sauce with toasted artisan bread and although he enjoyed them, said that he preferred the one’s from Harvey's because he was given the option to have them medium rare (see my review of Harvey’s), but I stole a taster of the livers and the sauce to compare for myself, and I loved it! Creamy, meaty and just a touch of heat & bacon-y goodness. I never order salads at restaurants because the gourmet ones are always too expensive when compared to a main meal OR the ingredients don’t sound complimentary enough, and adding the necessary extras (in my opinion) would mean breaking the bank anyway. But I was willing to pay R95 for a salad when this is what it contained: Roasted quinoa with grilled chorizo, spice dusted chicken, fennel, orange segments, cous cous, caramelised apple and toasted almonds. Now, I've never had quinoa before and I was dying to see what all the fuss was about. So I asked my husband what it was like and he said it was similar to budgie seed. Um..yum? Not quite the picture I had in my mind. But all those people who love it so much couldn't all possibly be wrong right? It was awesome! With everything else in the salad being so soft and juicy, the crunch that the roasted quinoa and the toasted almonds brought to the dish was exactly what it needed. Everything was just SO good: The generous portion of soft gently spiced chicken strips that must have been marinated overnight, the salty and rich chorizo, the sweet and citrusy orange segments, the caramelized and slightly cinnamon spiced apple with a tangy kick from the fennel mayo dressing. A really delicious and perfectly guilt-free dish. It was a huge portion too so I ended up taking half home for Monday's lunch. That's one way to make the first day back at work a little bit brighter! Worth a trip guys – breakfast, lunch or early dinners, but perhaps take along some extra time and a little bit of patience if they happen to be having a slow day. Believe me, the food and atmosphere will make up for it.
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Food

Facilities

  • Accepts credit cards
  • Alfresco
  • Breakfast
  • Child friendly
  • Dinner
  • Dog-friendly
  • Eat Out reviewed
  • Functions
  • Licensed
  • Lunch
  • Parking
  • Smoking
  • Takeaways
  • Vegetarian
  • Wheelchair
  • WiFi

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