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Culinary Table Restaurant, Deli & Bakery

Culinary Table Restaurant, Deli & Bakery
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Cost
R150
Ambience
Groups, Local cuisine, Special occasions
Food
Bistro fare, Café fare, Coffee, Health food, Light meals, Steak
Payment
Diners, Mastercard, Snapscan, Visa
Corkage
No BYO

Critic's review

Mokgadi Itsweng

Food
The Culinary Table is a family-run restaurant owned by father and daughter team Wehrner and Daniela Gutstadt. The seasonal farm-to-table menu is prepared fresh every day. Everything on the menu comes from the organic garden, the bakery or the butchery on the premises.

For breakfast, try the Big Breakfast with eggs, mushrooms, crispy bacon and sausage with toast. If this meat-filled dish isn’t for you, try the equally scrumptious vegetarian breakfast stack. The lunch menu is filled with grills, pastas, salads and sandwiches. Try the lamb burger with a spicy chunky tomato relish, served with hand-cut sweet potato chips. If you’re looking for something light but filling, go for the butternut and beetroot salad. This salad of roasted butternut and beetroot wedges, fresh goat’s cheese, home-grown lettuce, baby beetroot leaves and linseeds, herb and yoghurt dressing is both delicious and flavoursome. The three-course braai menu offers a great Saturday or Sunday lunch option.

The dessert menu is small with options to delight any sweet tooth. Try the orange and clove panna cotta, which is a creamy delight for the taste buds. If nothing on the dessert menu delights you, try choosing a dessert from the display of cakes, tarts and cupcakes on offer at the in-house bakery.

Drinks
Co-owner Wehrner Gutstadt curates the drinks menu at The Culinary Table. His large selection of wines, craft beers and ciders offers both local and international options. His selection of Dutchmonk and St Louis Kriek cherry beer on tap is noteworthy. Most wines are available per glass with the Lindhorst range available in value-for-money magnums. Wehrner also conducts food pairings with the wine and beer offered at the restaurant.

Service
The service is friendly but slow for such a busy restaurant. The waiters are well-versed on the menu and make good recommendations. They also recommend drinks to pair with your meal or dessert.

Ambience
The restaurant is tastefully decorated with wooden tables and plush dining chairs. The kitchen, butchery and bakery are all exposed, creating an open-plan feel that draws you into the hustle and bustle of the food preparation area. The outside dining area overlooks the organic food garden, from where most of the produce served at the restaurant comes.

And…
Do visit the deli section of the restaurant. It sells most of the meat, sausages,
vegetables and condiments served at the restaurant for takeaway.

(October 2017)

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

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  • Hennie Fisher

    Food
    Chef Daniela Guttstadt designs a new menu every day according to what was harvested from the garden – the result is that dishes change frequently. This harmonious synergy between the garden and the kitchen allows you to savour the freshness right there on the plate. White bean and kale bruschetta is an innovative new way of getting all of us to enjoy kale; the gnocchi gorgonzola should make many an Italian happy, and smoked duck salad is flavoursome and light.

    Main courses are generous and dishes such as the perfectly cooked fresh mussels and frites with mayo should satisfy anyone’s desire for this classic French dish. The lamb curry has flavoursome meat (on the bone) in a deep, rich and delicious curry sauce. The Chateaubriand with veggies and roast potatoes (for two to share) is grilled to perfection, and free-range chickens are roasted in the Josper oven with herb butter.

    Drinks
    Cocktails include a number of long-time favourites such as a bloody Mary, mimosa or margarita; Black Horse Brewery IPA and La Trappe beers are available on tap, and bottled beers include Copperlake and Boston Breweries. The wine list is carefully compiled and the small but unusual array of wines should offer something for everyone.

    Service
    The staff – all elegantly dressed in black trousers, grey shirts and burgundy aprons – are efficient, courteous and competent. The restaurant’s ‘family feast’ – which allows the head of the household to ceremoniously carve a roasted lamb shoulder served on large platters with gnocchi (or linguine Napoletana); mixed vegetables and green salad – represents great value for money.

    Ambience
    For those who love food and cooking, being able to enjoy a great meal and salivate about high-end cooking equipment should be heavenly. The restaurant forms an integral part of the Culinary Equipment Company store, meaning that you could dine and shop almost simultaneously.

    The restaurant is divided into four distinct areas: an arrivals area where the open view kitchen is situated, a further part where the beverage and liquor counter is, a beautiful veranda and the walled garden area. Comfortable wooden tables are simply set, while comfy chairs make one feel as if you have gone for lunch at a friend’s house.

    And…
    Although restaurants with their own kitchen gardens abound in the Cape, in Gauteng they are still somewhat of a rarity. The owners are particularly enthusiastic about their extensive garden, overlooked by the expansive veranda which can easily seat 40 or 50 guests. Looking out over the Magaliesberg in the distance, enjoying the soft scents drifting in from the garden, it's hard to remember imagine that you are basically inside a large industrial warehouse right on the edge of a busy airport.

    (September 2016)

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

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User reviews

  • My worst service experience of 2017! We had lunch there on a Friday and then bought some stuff to take with us on for the weekend. The yoghurt (at R51 for a small tub) and biscuits were well past their sell by date. Normally, I wouldn't have driven back all the way the next day to bring this to the attention of the manager but I did because this has become our regular stop for eats and some wine en route Harties for the weekend. Also, we'd bought some fois some time earlier and that was also expired. So I returned the next day with the expired goods. I got this from management: "oh. it happens sometimes with fresh produce" I said "should you not just apologize and find a way to compensate me for this mess?" Management and staff refused to apologize and eventually gave me a voucher to be used in their own store again! What a joke! So I should buy MORE frot stuff? Eventually they gave me cash back. I will never spend a cent there again. Shocking service.
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  • Culinary Table: Not With a Bang but With a Whimper My friend returns to the table looking a little harassed. ‘That lady at the till told me they prefer for customers not to take photos,’ she says. I’m mildly shocked because why wouldn’t they want customers to take photos of their wonderfully unique establishment? In an age of social media, customers posting photos of a restaurant online is a good thing, surely? Culinary Table makes quite an impact as soon as you walk through the doors. It’s a culinary equipment store / deli / farm-to-table style restaurant with plenty to feast your eyes (and stomach) upon. The huge, open-plan dining area has tables scattered about surrounded by a cookbook library, a gorgeous little imported and local food store and an admirable deli (you can get fantastic, free range meat and dairy, and freshly baked bread). Outside, there is a spacious patio where you can enjoy your meal in the sun and then take a stroll through the impressive vegetable and herb garden. Even in winter, everything is in full bloom and the scent of lavender wafts invitingly through the crisp morning air. There are two goats and a scattering of chickens pecking in the dust; the owner tells us that they do use the few eggs that the chickens produce but mainly the animals are there to amuse the younger patrons of the restaurant. Breakfast on a chilly Sunday morning is a quiet affair. Myself and two friends bravely ventured out, keen for a hike out near Magaliesburg, and decided to stop off for some sustenance beforehand. The menu promised homemade hollandaise sauce with their eggs benedict, so of course I had to order it. My ‘they said I can’t take photos’ friend opted for the savoury mince on toast topped with a fried egg. And my second dining companion, who had never before tasted hollandaise sauce (?!) also chose the eggs benedict with crispy bacon and mushrooms. We sipped on (very decent) coffee while we waited, and discussed all of the things we wanted to buy from the deli (fat pork sausages, streaky bacon, strong, hard Italian cheese and a loaf of rye for me). The food impressed upon first sight: generous portions and colourful, fresh ingredients will always make a good impression! And it tasted, for the most part, as good as it looked. The hollandaise, though there wasn’t much of it, was zesty and delicious, as was the crispy bacon, perfectly poached eggs and freshly baked sourdough bread. The spinach was a little cold but well-flavoured. The savoury mince on toast was full of flavour and satisfyingly warming for a winter’s day. ‘Why don’t we stop here on our way home for lunch, too?’ Dining companion 2 posited. He had been enamoured with his breakfast: another hollandaise devotee was born. We all agreed that this was a fantastic idea and booked right away with one of the many rather unenthusiastic waiters. To be honest, the service was passable at best. We had to do the ‘drowning man wave’ to get attention more than once, and the service we did receive was lukewarm and uninspired (much like the spinach that came with the eggs benedict). However, we were impressed enough by the food and atmosphere to want to give the lunch menu a go. And oh, how I wish we hadn’t. I’ve had lunch at Culinary Table once before and it was fantastic. I’d had one of the best bowls of gnocchi of my life, and some truly delicious roast chicken. So when we saw that the roast chicken was on the menu again (a Sunday staple here, I’m assuming) we immediately put it on our list of menu items to order. We also chose a plate of spaghetti vongole (pasta with clams cooked in white wine and garlic and served with blistered cherry tomatoes), the confit duck and the moules-frites (mussels cooked in a white wine and garlic sauce and served with parmesan fries). The pasta was a dream. Al dente, with delicately flavoured clams and tomatoes bursting with flavour. We lamented our choice to share one plate of it, but we eagerly awaited our main courses. In the meantime, we polished off two baskets of heavenly olive bread spread with herbed butter and earthy, homemade hummus, and sipped on a lovely, very affordable glass of Opstal rose. Once again, the service was lacking. We couldn’t find our waitress when we wanted her, and the other waiters were loath to assist us. It also took about an hour for our main courses to arrive. The restaurant was very busy, fair enough, but I try not to use that as an excuse, especially when, I assume, the chickens are roasted in advance and the mussels should take only a few minutes to steam. Anyway, the food finally arrived (luckily we had dulled our hiking-induced hunger with the pasta and bread) and then we almost wished we had left after that last bite of pasta passed our lips. From the start, problems abounded. For R160, I got a very scrawny leg and thigh of confit duck, sorely lacking in the signature crispy skin. The accompanying lentils were truly dreadful: dry and lacking in any flavour other than a faint aftertaste of dirty dishwater. The citrus and pomegranate sauce was so sour that my mouth puckered at just a drop of it. And please, don’t get me started on the sad, wilted green beans. The roast chicken was pleasant, but the creamy mushrooms that came with it were almost ice cold, and the other trimmings (roast potatoes, roast veg) were all mediocre at best. And finally, bringing up the rear of a race comprising of thoroughly unimpressive contenders, came the moules frites. The ‘sauce’ that the mussels came in was essentially water with a faint hint of garlic and vinegar. I brought this to the attention of a manager who informed me that ‘the sauce is supposed to be a creamy white wine sauce’. I looked at him in utter confusion and replied, ‘Yes, so where is the cream or white wine?’ He couldn’t reply. The parmesan fries that came with the mussels were fine. Yes, fine, and nothing more. We decided to give Culinary Table one last chance to blow us away, or at least to puff pleasantly in our general direction. We ordered a plate of assorted little pastries that apparently came with a cup of coffee. The plate of pastries arrived with no coffee in sight, but that was the least of our problems. Before us was, essentially, a variety of soils. All five of the pastries were dry, tasteless and had the consistency of the dirt that seemed to nourish the vegetables outside so well. ‘What is this supposed to be?’ Dining companion 1 asked in reference to a very sad madeleine. ‘You don’t even want to know,’ I replied as I did the ‘drowning man wave’ one last time in an effort to acquire the lacking and much needed coffee.
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  • The eating area is spacious, light and airy, inviting and gracious. There is something reassuring about sitting next to the garden where your food is coming from, and no detail is neglected. It is an art to present mince on toast with so much flair, and anyone should at least visit once for breakfast. It is an acceptable driving distance, and a good excuse to leave early for Lanseria airport. This has become my preferred mid-way meeting point for Joburg based business. It is easy to find, suited to all tastes, affordable with no disappointing eating experiences, a good kitchen shopping spot and the parking is safe.
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  • Our family had the worse dining experience on Sunday, 21 May at this restaurant. The food was just aweful. My daughter ordered the Mushroom Risotto, which was devoid of any mushrooms or a mushroom taste. Instead it was full of very strong gorgonzola cheese which overpowered and spoiled the whole dish. My wife ordered Osubuco, which had a sour and fatty taste. Nothing of the rich beefy taste one would expect. Clearly the chef was not in the kitchen today, as no chef would allow dishes like this to leave the kitchen. Such a pity as we have had good dining experiences here before. Not coming back soon.
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Menu

Set menu - Menu currently unavailable.

Facilities

  • Accepts credit cards
  • Alfresco
  • Beer served
  • Breakfast
  • Child friendly
  • Eat Out reviewed
  • Food
  • Functions
  • Licensed
  • Lunch
  • Parking
  • Serves food
  • Takeaways
  • WiFi

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