Before 11am, the breakfast/brunch menu offers an imaginative list of six Benedicts. Other inspired options include the popular avo with biltong dust on toast. The lunch menu has items good to share, such as the tapas trio: a rich and robust red pepper dip, fresh and yoghurty tzatziki, tasty smoked olives and excellent chewy Glenwood Bakery rye toast. The crispy melt-in-the-mouth creamy zucchini fries with house-made mayo are a popular nibble and have good textural contrasts.
For the hungry, the Sri Lankan lamb bowl (with tender, lean chunks) over coconut rice – mildly spiced and tasty with the accompanying pico de gallo – is a light yet filling choice. The pulled pork slow-cooked in “cola” has, as one might expect, a distinctive sweetish flavour. Succulent and delicious with fresh avo, black beans and wild brown rice. In both these dishes, tomato chilli jam gives the taste buds reason to applaud. Visually they do a nice job with pea-sprout greenery.
Among the beef burger options the one with mayo and kimchi stands out. Expect a plump, juicy meat patty (good with the chewy kimchi) and a minimalist bun.
Leave room for dessert or just go there for the Affogato Bar section of the menu. Why resist something called “Paradise”? Vanilla ice cream, bubbly bursts of chia seeds, a contrasting bite of granadilla and a pouring of bitter espresso...
The tongue-in-cheek “Boozed” drinks menu invites indulgence, especially the “Wheel Out the Gin Trolley” section with its domestic and imported choices. There are creative cocktails and some carefully chosen wines by the glass or bottle.
Erratic. A mix of friendly and helpful and preoccupied. A bit like a lucky dip.
You won’t stumble upon Freedom Café, tucked away in the courtyard of The Concierge boutique hotel. In good weather, enjoy alfresco deck dining under a tree. Colourful, fun, stylish vibe.
Expect to find fresh ingredients, flavourful food, a creative menu and a relaxed vibe. In good weather people spill out to tables on the wooden deck under the trees. Inclement weather? Sharing tables feels right probably because the glass and colour features of the expanded containers make for an informal feel that’s fun and friendly.
Eat Out critics dine unannounced and pay for their meals in full. Read our full editorial policy here.
Neil Roake conceptualised this inspired eatery and designed the menu originally meant to serve the hotel guests at the adjacent Concierge Boutique Bungalows. It became a stalwart on the breakfast and lunch scene over the last few years under Lucy Marcewicz, but now it’s back under Neil’s control and, along with a stylish revamp and updated menu, it’s cementing itself as the place to enjoy a long lazy meal, or a quick coffee date with friends.
Some menu favourites have been retained, but overall it’s had a major overhaul, with the addition of a few Benedict toppings for breakfast, like chakalaka, and some delicious toasted bread options, including the ABC: toasted artisan bread topped with avo, biltong dust, cucumber, sesame seeds, rosa tomatoes and yoghurt curd. Health nuts will appreciate the steel-cut oats, ancient granola or fresh fruit and yoghurt, as well as freshly squeezed ‘robot’ juices – red, orange and green.
The lunch menu is comprised of salads, burgers, wraps, soups and sandwiches, but there’s nothing pedestrian about their iterations. Think kimchi mayo beef burger with furikake fries, or a falafel burger served with tomato chilli jam. The KFC is nothing like the name suggests, rather offering a delicious bowl of twice-fried Korean chicken wings smothered in a spicy gochujang sauce (red chilli, rice, soybeans and salt) – extremely moreish. Vietnamese summer rolls are a crowd pleaser, filled with beetroot, feta, avo, coriander with nuoc cham dipping sauce and you can add plump prawns for a more substantial meal. The pulled pork burrito bowl is delicious, cooked in cola and served with avo, pico di gallo, black beans and wild brown rice with tomato chilli jam on the side.
A small dessert menu includes a sublime koeksister ice cream, which will have you licking the bowl.
The drinks menu will have you smacking your lips, with a boozy selection of vermouth and gin mixes garnished with ingredients like juniper berries and rosemary, or a tequila sunrise served with chargrilled orange. Local and international distilleries are represented, along with a small selection of red and white wines offered by the glass or bottle.
Servers are friendly and efficient in their brightly coloured traditional African print shirts, but service can be haphazard during busy periods.
The perfect place to sip on a negroni or Aperol spritz cocktail and while away the day under the leafy courtyard trees. Or sit inside the red shipping container and admire the clever décor touches.
The space is available for private functions, with a variety of flexible options to accommodate small intimate occasions, or a party for up to 80 people.
Eat Out reviewers dine anonymously and pay for their meals in full. Click here to read our editorial policy.