There’s an arty feel to Bellevue Café – a spacious, contemporary eatery with its industrial brick and ironwork that is consistently lively regardless of the time of day. Screens break up the large space, trees grow inside the restaurant for a touch of the organic and blackboards list the wine specials and craft beers on offer.
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 simple croissants served with jam or cheese and Black Forest ham to a seasonal fruit bowl – an extravagance of muesli, seeds, oats, walnuts, cranberries, apricots and double cream chai pudding for a solid foundation to the day – or a banting option.
Lunches cater for the social crowd, with salads like classic Caesar; grilled chicken and zucchini ribbons; or a sublime combination of chicken, brown rice, quinoa, pickled ginger and various vegetables. Other classics are quiche Lorraine, peri-peri chicken livers, fish and chips or warm chilli coriander corncakes that embrace the regional love for spicy food.
Dinner main courses are hearty offerings that include the triple-roasted free-range duck with a Cointreau orange sauce, mashed potatoes and seasonal vegetables that are worth a return visit. The rich, creamy chicken-and-prawn curry encapsulates KwaZulu-Natal in each mouthful and the exotic flavours of the chimichurri-basted baby chicken are will make you clean the plate.
Desserts are decadent homemade treats like toasted banana bread and liquid-centred chocolate pudding, as well as classics like crème brûlée, baked cheesecake and homemade gelato. Those more inclined to savoury can indulge in a locally inspired cheese board with preserves and crackers while gently sipping an after-dinner brandy.
Blackboard lists of craft beers and the smaller wineries currently being offered adorn the wall above the kitchen hatch opening. Prices are steep but reflect the boutique value placed on products of this ilk. The printed wine list pays homage to treasures not usually seen in restaurants. Non-alcoholic drinks include the robot-coloured range of freshly crushed juices – red (beetroot, apple and ginger), green (apple, lemon and celery) or yellow (carrot, apple and pineapple) – or smoothies (peanut butter, mango and strawberry). There are also must-try milkshakes.
Service is alert and owner-driven, with staff aware of patrons without being intrusive. When busy, the wait between courses is acceptable and when there are issues, communication means patrons are not frustrated by being kept in the dark.
Bellevue Café remains a buzzy space, attracting the young and trendy with its touch of industrial brickwork, information delivered on blackboards and view into the kitchen. The décor matches the expectations – be that of a long casual lunch with good friends in the courtyard or cosiness indoors.
Bellevue Café is ideally suited to private functions, whether a wedding reception or club’s annual dinner or a smaller event like the monthly men’s poker school.
Eat Out critics dine unannounced and pay for their meals in full. Read our full editorial policy here.
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.
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.
Friendly and swift.
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.
The cosy upstairs section is available to hire for private events and celebrations.
Eat Out critics dine unannounced and pay for their meals in full. Read our editorial policy here.