Venues

Bistrot Bizerca

Bistrot Bizerca
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  • Location 021 423 8888
  • Phone Number Heritage Square, 98 Shortmarket Street, Cape Town
  • email bizercareservations@gmail.com
  • Website URL http://www.bizerca.com
  • Opening Hours

    Lunch: Monday to Friday 12 noon to 3pm, Afternoon Bites: 2.30pm to 6pm

    Dinner: Monday to Friday 6.30pm to10pm, Late night bites: 9.30pm – 10.30pm

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Cost
R170 avg main meal
Ambience
Comfy & casual, Contemporary cool
Food
Bistro fare, French
Payment
Amex, Mastercard, Visa
500
EatOut_500_Web

Critic's review

Richard Holmes

Food
The blending of classical European techniques and global influences by skilled chef Laurent Deslandes ensures this charming restaurant remains one of the more exciting bistro-chic options in the city. Deslandes puts plenty of effort into provenance, and his strong focus on artisanal and local produce stretches to a striking vertical garden in the courtyard. The offering is presented in a compact menu of starters and main courses that change with the seasons, complemented by an exciting daily chalkboard menu.
That could include the Asian cabbage salad with crisp cubes of pork belly and prawns – plenty of acidity and spice to offset the rich meat – while the tender confit duck leg with Savoy cabbage will melt the heart of any homesick Frenchman. Desserts similarly celebrate all things Continental, with the crêpe suzette being a standout. Some dishes are available in small, medium or large portions, allowing you to mix and match your starters and mains.

Drinks
A compact, well-priced list of mostly boutique estates. There’s a good choice available by the glass, which are served in generous carafes. You’ll also find a selection of French wines and Champagnes on offer.

Service
Friendly and attentive, with excellent knowledge of the menu.

Ambience
A restaurant with two faces. By day the charming Heritage Square courtyard is first prize for seating, with rustic wooden tables and casual country-style table settings. Come evening the courtyard takes on a magical candlelit feel, while the main restaurant is the more elegant choice with its exposed brick walls and stylish décor.

And…
If nothing else on the menu takes your fancy, the salad of Norwegian salmon with goat’s cheese and a soya-ginger dressing is a signature dish here, and always superb.

(August 2015)

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  • Graham Howe

    Food
    Experienced chef Laurent Deslandes demonstrates a mastery of classic French cooking techniques, expressing the natural flavours and textures of top-quality ingredients sourced from local, artisanal suppliers. A small bistro menu focuses on six starters, mains and desserts, which change from season to season, lunch to dinner. The accent is on combining simple flavours in classic combinations with oodles of flavour. Standouts on the chalkboard bistro menu tempt with down-to-earth fare such as bouillabaisse, acorn-fed farm pork, honey-glazed duck confit and crispy pork belly. The regulars return for authentic French offal dishes like beef cheeks, ox tongue and sweetbreads. No-one will mind if you mop up the rich sauces and reductions with the freshly-baked breads. And don’t miss the divine desserts, which are famously French.

    Drinks 
    There's an excellent selection of some of the Cape’s cutting-edge wine cellars with a particularly fine choice of champagne and local sparkling wines to match afternoon and late-night canapés, and brandy and cognac for digestifs.

    Service
    Expect attentive service from this hands-on chef and his team, with advice from well-informed staff on composition of signature dishes and origin of ingredients.

    Ambience
    This is casual, laid-back bistro-style dining in a balmy courtyard with a water fountain in summer, or at smart, linen-laid tables in the raw-brick interior in winter.

    And…
    Relish the fresh micro-greens and salad leaves picked daily from vertical wall gardens in the courtyard and restaurant. And don’t forget to admire one of the oldest vines around in the Cape in Heritage Square.

    (July 2014)

  • Sublime style in the heart of the city. The bistro’s consistently high standards walk the line between unpretentious bistro and fine dining. A chalkboard of daily specials showcase the skill of chef Laurent Deslandes. The courtyard is the place to be in summer. Stand-out dishes: Norwegian salmon with ginger and goat’s cheese; steak tartare; glazed crispy pork belly and pineapple with Asian veg salad; and home-cured salmon. (EO mag 2014)
  • Sublime style in the heart of the city. The bistro’s consistently high standards walk the line between unpretentious bistro and fine dining. A chalkboard of daily specials showcase the skill of chef Laurent Deslandes. The courtyard is the place to be in summer. Stand-out dishes: Norwegian salmon with ginger and goat’s cheese; steak tartare; glazed crispy pork belly and pineapple with Asian veg salad; and home-cured salmon.
  • Food
    Arguably the ultimate inner-city eatery, Bistrot Bizerca is one of Cape Town’s culinary gems. Owner and chef Laurent Deslandes has an innovative approach to classic French cooking, which walks a fine line between fine dining and unpretentious bistro fare. The menu is small and consists of a few tried and tested favourites, supplement by a blackboard of seasonally driven specials. Starters are magnificent and might include French onion soup, salmon, oysters with gooseberries, and steak tartare. Mains include offal and interesting meat options, such as braised pork trotters, rabbit, veal tongue, beef cheeks, slow-roasted venison shoulder, glazed crispy pork belly and more. And dessert? Don’t bother looking further than the apple tart tatin. It’s beyond delectable.

    Wine
    The list is excellent, with a variety of both French and South African wines.

    Service
    Unfortunately, reports of the service vary. Some people love it; some not so much. If you’re a regular, you’ll quickly be on a first-name basis, and will be a fan of the swift lunch-time service. The staff also get bonus points for always telling you when you need to order things in advance (like the delectable apple tart) because they take time to make.

    Ambience
    Bizerca is set inside a handsome heritage building. The décor is slick without being too stuffy; it’s the perfect place to seal an important deal over lunch. In summer, make sure to sit in the courtyard, which is buzzy and beautiful and perfect for long, lazy lunches. The vertical garden is magical.

    And...
    Make sure you book in advance. Tables are very scarce.(Anelde Greeff, September 2013)
  • Bianca Coleman

    A tiny menu of tried and tested favourites is supplemented by an extensive chalkboard of daily specials, which showcase chef Laurent Deslandes's skill. Sublime French style in the heart of the city. The courtyard is the place to be in summer, at any time of the day since the addition of their ‘between-meals’ lighter dishes. A multiple Eat Out award winner with consistently high standards, Bizerca walks a very thin line between unpretentious bistro and fine dining. Recommended for a romantic date. Order the Norwegian salmon with ginger and goat's cheese or the steak tartare. (July 2013)

User reviews

  • Lunch on a Thursday : we, 4 of us, were the only ones in the restaurant. Ordered 4 x special of the day : seared sword fish ; not seared, period. Chef, seen in kitchen drinking red wine, did not bother to come and comment ; waiter advised that it was not seared because generally patrons don't like it seared. Go figure ? No relief on bill. Makes sense that we were on our own ....
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  • If ever there was a perfect night out for dinner, this was it. I am no stranger to Bizerca and I have always only eaten really good food at this wonderful French restaurant. This evening however everything was wonderful, especially the food (which is what it is all about after all..) I decided to go with the chef's specials for the evening and ordered the beef tongue as a starter, which melted in my month! For the main course I had the pork prepared two-ways - pork loin as well as pork trotters - which was cooked off the bone and transformed into the most delicious, most flavourful phyllo pocket. A real treat for the tastebuds! Dessert was freshly baked tarte tatin and so worth the wait. I can really recommend this restaurant to any food lover out there!
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  • We went to Bizerca last night for the first time. The reception was warm and friendly. Service was great and the food fantastic! Very interesting interior and a well thought through wine list. The safe parking is a huge advantage. We will definitely go back.
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  • Absolutely terrible!!!
    Arrived for a table of 6 to be informed once seated etc that they had no meat on the menu - they had run out!! And we arrived for a 7:30pm booking, its not as if we walked in at 10pm! We left and went next door to HQ. We were not the only table that left and management couldn't care less. Expect you to book so far in advance just to be dissapointed like that. I hope they get their act together! I felt terrible for our host who invited us.

    John
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  • Dissapointing experience. Food certainly not up to par with expectations. Although quail prepared well. Management not to be seen. Service lacking. In fact patrons were having to get up and serve their own wines.

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Facilities

  • Accepts credit cards
  • Alfresco
  • Booking required
  • Dinner
  • Eat Out reviewed
  • Food
  • Licensed
  • Lunch
  • Parking
  • Serves food
  • StreetSmart affliated
  • Vegetarian
  • Wheelchair

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