Venues

Dear Me Food World

Dear Me Food World
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  • Location 021 422 4920
  • Phone Number 165 Longmarket Street CBD, Cape Town
  • email info@dearme.co.za
  • Website URL www.dearme.co.za
  • Opening Hours

    Breakfast: Monday to Friday 7am to 11am

    Lunch: Monday to Friday 12 noon to 3pm

    Dinner:

Cost
R110 - R130 avg main meal
Ambience
Classic elegance
Food
Bakery fare, Bistro fare, Deli fare, Health food, Modern, South African
Payment
Mastercard, Visa
500

Critic's review

Jeanne Calitz

Food
When it opened a few years ago, Dear Me set quite a benchmark for ethical dining in Cape Town, and for their accommodation of dietary preferences. Under the helm of the young gun Vanessa Marx, who later became Eat Out’s first Rising Star, the restaurant sent out plates of delicious, inventive food brimming with seasonal flavours and personality. And you could indulge without the guilt: combined with a health focus, they catered for all the ‘free froms’ – whether it be free from nuts, eggs, lactose, wheat, gluten, starch, and animal products – so that whatever your particular poison, you could be sure to find a meal here that did not contain it.

It’s good to know that even after Vanessa’s departure earlier in 2015, Dear Me is still continuing this tradition of catering for those less fortunate in their digestive capacity. (And our number seems to be growing by the day.) The menu is shortish but offers enough variety and the option to tweak certain dishes to suit your needs.

Light meals like wraps and sandwiches share the limelight with more substantial options like an exotic mushroom risotto with parmesan and truffle oil, and a Cajun chicken breast burger with chilli aioli and homemade chips.

I go for the pan-fried trout with lemon-and-herb cous cous and roasted cherry tomatoes, while my friend opts for the lamb rogan josh with cucumber raita, pineapple pickle, and tomato-and-onion salsa. After swopping a few bites to sample everything, we conclude that both dishes are good strong lunch options, if not exactly memorable.

Onwards to dessert: a portion of sticky toffee pudding with molasses ice cream turns into a bit of a disappointment; the pudding reveals itself to be quite dry, and is overpowered by the strong taste of the molasses. My friend’s order of coconut, mango and lime sorbet is the better choice, a silky and light treat bursting with bright tropical flavours.

All in all, the food is fine, though it lacks that zing, that lovely undertone of excitement and creativity that Marx brought to the table. Nevertheless, it remains a good breakfast or lunch choice, and will continue to be a strong go-to option for those with dietary limitations.

Drinks
All the main lunch items are accompanied by well-picked wine pairing suggestions. They offer some great juices (the ‘cool down’ version with apple, mint and cucumber is very refreshing) and some very on-trend smoothies. The breakfast cocktails – like the mimosa of Steenberg sparkling sauvignon blanc with orange juice, and the Gramosa with grapefruit juice – are a nice touch.

Service
They get the job done, but it has to be said that on the day of our visit, the single waitress doing the rounds was hardly welcoming and made no real effort to engage with the clientele. It wouldn’t hurt to crack a smile.

Ambience
It’s a crisp and fresh space, uncluttered, with touches of wood, green and white. Thanks to the deli-area being located in the back, you can still enjoy a conversation through the noise of the espresso machines. It’s a lovely venue that invites you to linger, especially at the counters fronting the big glass windows, a nice spot to watch the world go by.

And… 

Stock up on freshly baked goods and other artisanal treats at the deli, or get a coffee to go – they do a good brew here.

(October 2015)

  • Ambience
  • Service
  • Food
  • Ishay Govender-Ypma

    Food 
    Part of the urban revival in the Cape Town CBD, Dear Me is a casual diner on the ground floor of a small but delightful space by Eat Out Rising Star of 2013, chef Vanessa Marx, who specialises in preparing locally sourced produce and catering for a variety of dietary requirements and restrictions. Vegans and those who try to steer clear of gluten, lactose, carbs and eggs (amongst others) would do well here. While many restaurants adopt a take-it-or-leave-it attitude, Dear Me prides itself on adapting to the customer’s needs. The aim, they say, is that one should be able to dine here everyday and not be made to feel guilty about health, weight or wealth.

    With an array of options catering for various dietary restrictions, and the fact that the produce you’re consuming is also free-range, organic and locally sourced, eating here is certainly a healthful choice. For breakfast, go for the good eggs Benedict with smoked trout, or if you want a healthier option, the chia seed porridge with goji berries may take your fancy.

    Lunch menus change frequently and every dish comes with a suggested wine pairing, some main dishes are also available in starter portions, and vice versa. The confit tuna with broccoli, chilli, olives and almonds, for example, can be enjoyed in a large serving – a filling and fresh treat. The salad and sandwich options are usually large, if a little pricey.

    Drinks
    There is a wonderful selection of freshly pressed juices such as the unusual fig, apple and ginger. The smoothies are also inviting. Order the Holiday, with pineapple, papaya, coconut sorbet and lime, or something wholesome like almond milk with nutmeg. The wine selection is good and benefits from the appointment of a new sommelier at The White Room – the dinner offering upstairs.

    Service 
    Service is prompt and efficient, but could be a little more welcoming.

    Ambience
    A fresh, cosy space with lots of white, wood and splashes of green. A popular spot for casual business meetings, it’s frequented by professionals from the area.

    And… 
    The deli features specialist breads, cookies and preserves. Make a booking for the wonderfully creative multi-course dinner upstairs at The White Room, held weekly on Thursday evenings.

    (July 2014)

  • It has been called a beacon of hope. Healthy food that tastes bloody marvellous is the principle behind Dear Me, under the knife of chef Vanessa Marx (winner of the 2013 Rising Star Award). Menu items come with wine pairing suggestions, and there’s a strong ethical and local focus in terms of sourcing ingredients. The menu changes regularly, but try salmon salad with fresh greens; roasted butternut risotto; sweet melon and goat’s cheese salad with mint and pine nuts.
  • Food
    In this spot described as part brasserie and part pantry, head chef Vanessa Marx has catapulted a predominantly breakfast and lunch space as a haven for innovative dishes made with the freshest ingredients that have been grown sustainably. Vegans and others with dietary restrictions are welcomed. The freshly squeezed juices and the slow-roasted free-range smoky pork neck glazed in honey remain popular.

    Wine
    A neat, but good quality list of local wines.

    Service
    Friendly, but sometimes slow.

    Ambience
    Bright, open and fresh. Ideal for lunch meetings.

    And...
    Buy some bread and relish to take home. The majestic white room upstairs can be hired for private functions. (IGY, October 2012)

User reviews

  • Dear Me is my favorite breakfast/lunch spot in Cape Town. They serve the best Eggs Benedict in SA. They use only the freshest free range produce which makes a big difference. I would highly recommend going there for lunch as the menu is always filled with exciting, mouth watering dishes. The wine pairings are meticulously thought out for each individual dish and really adds something special to the dining experience. Otherwise be sure to ask Narsh for a flat white or try a freshly squeezed juice.
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  • Finding a Celiac friendly menu is difficult, especially one that offers a wide variety of choices, that all look interesting and tasty. The food was absolutely delicious and inuvative. The unique combinations offered a super taste experience and I truly look forward to trying many more of their dishes in future. I really enjoyed the entire dining experience!
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  • Absolutely loved my bacon Benedict at Dear Me! It was my first time there and I had heard that they make a great eggs benny. I was not disappointed
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  • Dear Me is definitely one of our most favourite morning haunts in Cape Town. The breakfasts they do are always incredible, whether you order Eggs Benedict, Shakshuka or muesli, the coffee is great (the biscotti on the side is always a winner!) and the service is sweet and efficient. It's a little hidden away on Longmarket Street so it's never crazy busy which is nice, and I would recommend it in a flash for anyone looking for a quirky and cool cafe with amazing food to begin the day in!
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  • Dear Me is my favourite breakfast venue. The food is always delicious and inspired. Its a challenge to decide what to try because everything on the menu looks good but as of yet I have never been disappointed. Today I had the truffled scrambled eggs. Amazing. I love their tea menu and even their basic English Breakfast tea is a loose leaf tea served in a beautiful tea pot and is delicious. High recommended.
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Facilities

  • Accepts credit cards
  • Breakfast
  • Food
  • Functions
  • Licensed
  • Lunch
  • Parking
  • Serves food
  • Takeaways
  • WiFi

Stores and Markets

Opening times: Monday to Friday 7am to 3pm

Simple honest food. This is what you will encounter at this diabetic, wheat/lactose intolerant, celiac friendly deli. The best of freshly baked breads, preserves, chutneys, oils and vinegars. Lessen your carbon footprint and pop into their deli.
Smart shoppers tip: They sell the most delightful preserves.

Store categories
Delis and farm stalls, Fruit, vegetables, preserves and nuts, Olives and oils

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