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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, Diners Club, Mastercard, Visa
Corkage
R40 for the first bottle and R55 thereafter

Critic's review

Nicola Jenvey

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.

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 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.

Drinks
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
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.

Ambience
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.

And…
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.

(2018)

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

  • Ambience
  • Service
  • Food
  • 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

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!
    • Ambience
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    • 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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