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Cheese Gourmet

Cheese Gourmet
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Cost
R70 avg main meal
Ambience
Comfy & casual, Contemporary cool
Food
Bakery fare, Bistro fare, Deli fare, Vegetarian
Payment
Amex, Mastercard, Visa

Critic's review

Marie-Lais Emond

Food
Essentially the most wonderful cheese shop in South Africa where advice and knowledge are a smile away, the add-on Cheese Café is a homely place in which to muse over your cheese purchases or meet friends for breakfasts, lunches or in-betweens. It needn’t always be cheese-food. There are enviably fluffy scones and lovely cakes. OK so there are always cheesecakes too. But all-day breakfast or brunch could be a more creamy version of Eggs Benedict, for instance, or a saucy flapjacks stack layered with good bacon, mushrooms and tomato. The frittatas are excellent and here it would be pity to forego one of the delicious cheese options like the perfectly molten brie one or the yummy gruyere plus mozzarella version.

Lunches feature fresh salads, with tikka chicken, tuna but the power chicken salad with cheese and all the accompaniments is a satisfier. So it is with the burgers, with or without cheeses and also platters for one or to share. They are ideal for tasting cheeses too. However, two of the nicest things require just a little forward planning, an hour while you cheese- and gift-browse next door with a friend (because you need to be at least two), for a real and excellent raclette meal or a just-right traditional cheese fondue pig-out.

Vegetarians and Banters have their meal dreams come true here too but we all find our delicious reasons to return.

Drinks
The Cheese Café is not licensed but you are welcome to bring your wine or beer. All the more exciting soft drinks are available, a wide range of teas and mighty fine coffee. A treat is one of the fresh frulattas.

Service
The café’s staff are capable and knowledgeable, assured in the knowledge that what they transport from the kitchen is good. The service is comfortably paced and easy. Relevant glasses are produced for the BYOs.

Ambience
There’s nothing madly chic or designery about it but the ambience is the easy sort. The pictures are of cheese or dairy locations, bright and cheerful and the café is generally quite full of happy customers no matter what time it is.

And…
The inter-leading shop purveying hundreds of handmade South African cheeses, many of them international and national prize winners, is the main attraction, naturally, but so are the wonderfully interesting pickles and accompaniments, chocolates, breads, biscuits of a very high standard. There are frozen meals in the fridges and a great new service is the ordering and monthly delivery of Skoonfontein Karoo lamb.

(September 2016)

Eat Out reviewers dine unannounced and pay their own way. Read our full editorial policy here.

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  • Mokgadi Itshweng

    Food
    This banting-friendly cheese shop is the perfect place to catch up with friends over delicious deli style fare. Their breakfast menu, which is served all day, is vast, with lots of variety. Their brie frittata topped with pitted olives and melted brie is a definite winner. Also try their Roma café platter, comprising of a selection of prosciutto, salmon pate, two cheeses, marinated aubergine and roasted tomatoes, served with a choice of normal or banting bread, for a light simple lunch. The lunch menu has a great selection of sandwiches, salads, cheese inspired dishes like raclette and fondue. The shop also has the best cheese in Johannesburg. They stock over 140 local and international cheeses, and will let you taste the cheese before buying.

    Drinks
    The eatery does not have a liquor license but they do allow patrons to bring their own wine; they gladly will supply wine glasses.

    Service
    The service is efficient and fast. The owner/manager is friendly and welcoming and will answer all questions regarding the cheeses. The servers understand the menu very well and are very knowledgeable. They are helpful without being overbearing.

    Ambience
    Warm and cosy, like a that real neighbourhood café (where everybody knows your name). The décor is simple, homely and welcoming.

    And...
    Do try their vast range of pickles, jams and delicious dried sausages. They also offer a wide range of cakes, including banting cakes.

  • Food
    Breakfast options are served all day and are cooked to order. Be sure to try the salmon frittata, which will keep you going the whole day. All ingredients are sourced from small producers and include charcuterie, bacon, sausages, jams, pickles and over 120 cheeses. Sharing a platter amongst a group of friends is an excellent option. Be sure to try the Ploughman’s platter for the fabulous pork pies.

    Wine
    They are not licenced and therefore keep no liquor on the premises, so feel free to bring your own. The coffees and other beverages on offer are made with the same care and attention as the food, and could be combined with a yummy chocolate brownie to end the meal.

    Service
    Owners Jo and Brian Dick are hands-on in every aspect of their business, from sourcing to slicing. Staff training happens on a continuous basis, but they are quite happy to jump in themselves if need be. Staff are friendly and helpful and happy to offer eloquent advice on any question you might pose.

    Ambience
    An informal corner café with large windows, this is a bright, airy venue. Entering through the deli section to the seating area at the back offers all sorts of temptations along the way.

    And...
    This is the kind of place where one can have some fun and learn something new. Subscribe to a newsletter jam-packed with useful information, and join their e-mail list for tasting evenings, or just sample the best of South African gourmet cheeses and meats. The venue may be booked for private functions. (HF, October 2012)

User reviews

  • This is one of our favourite places to shop for interesting and delicious fare as well as to have a leisurely Saturday brunch
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  • Cheese Shop Linden is amazing!!!!! Firstly, on the one side they have these amazing cheeses on display! And shelves filled with jams, preserves, sweets, biscuits ... I personally think the decor can be a bit more cosy, but the service was great and the food!!!!! Cheese Shop embraces the Banting Diet, except for desserts. I have asked them to please try and make something amazing for my friends' next visit. One of us had the Salmon Frittata served with capers, cream cheese and flaxseed bread. Although the portion was a bit small, especially for a man, he enjoyed it. Also for R59, a tad expensive. Another friend had the special - pumpkin and cauliflower dehydrated wraps! Filled with haloumi and veg. Oh my gosh! It looked amazing and I had a taste of the wrap - deeelish!!!! I think this was R60, but it was a generous portion, it was different and yum. Mine was salmon trout on a panini roll, with wasabi cream cheese (couldn't really taste the wasabi), pickled ginger (pure heaven) and crunchy lettuce and juice baby tomatoes. Mine for R46 was pure heaven on a plate! They have a few gorgeous-looking cakes on display - Baklava cheesecake, chocolate cake, apple pie, pineapple-carrot cake, etc. This is really a fantastic place for breakfast or lunch!!
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  • I emailed them about getting some buffalo mozzarella and had a response within minutes! I am so excited to go and try all the different cheeses! The menu looks incredible!

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  • Had an awesome Bastille Day dinner with French wines matched to each course. Well done Jo and Brian and Phillipe who added just enough French joi de vivre...great night out!

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  • Absolutely great place! Fresh food, good prices and amazingly friendly staff! Will definitely come back again!

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  • A most fantastic Edif Piaf evening with cheese from heaven!
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  • The Cheese Gourmet in Linden is a foodie treasure trove. Owners Brian and Jo Dick are not only deeply passionate about cheese but in fact about all truly exceptional South African artisan food products. You would be able to pick up great breads (try their Scandinavian flat bread!), some of the worlds finest olives (go for the ones in red wine vinaigrette and pink peppercorns- sublime) and out of this world preserves (beautiful black fig preserve I am addicted to...) as well as a whole host of other gourmet delicacies.On the cheese front, the selection is staggering. But not only that, Brian and Jo have personally visited almost every farm/producer whose goods they stock. Therefore, they will tell you exactly who produced the cheese/food, where it was made and exactly what is in it. Now that my friends is rare. 95% of all their products are home grown South African delicacies although they do also stock famous cheeses like real English Stilton for the connoisseur...Some of the other goodies to be found at Cheese Gourmet include Peter-James Smith sausages, home made lasagnas, chutneys, jams, beautiful pork pies, a selection of high quality sweet treats and selected books. Cheese Gourmet is an institution in the leafy suburb of Linden and well worth a visit.
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Facilities

  • Accepts credit cards
  • Breakfast
  • Child friendly
  • Dog-friendly
  • Food
  • Functions
  • Lunch
  • Parking
  • Serves food
  • Takeaways
  • Vegetarian

Stores and Markets

Owner: Jo and Brian Dick

Opening times: Monday to Friday 8am to 5pm; Saturday 8am to 3pm

Joburg foodies make a beeline to this boutique store to fulfil all their cheese cravings. They stock all the best farm-made cheeses such as Huguenot and Ficksburger, as well as some great gouda and strong cheddars. They also stock local preserves and chutneys to go with the cheese and have recently starting selling ciabatta, pies, rolls and breads. You can buy an impressive stacked cheese for a dinner party.

Ethical shopper tip: 99% of their stock is local, farm-produced South African cheese.

Store categories
Cheese and dairy products

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