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The Company’s Garden Restaurant

The Company’s Garden Restaurant
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Cost
R80 avg main meal
Ambience
Comfy & casual, Family friendly
Food
South African
Payment
Mastercard, Visa
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Critic's review

Eat Out

Food
Madame Zingara has breathed new life into a historical Cape Town, but they’ve managed to retain the comfortable, somewhat enchanting, feel of its iconic predecessor. While regulars of the old tea room can still enjoy hearty breakfasts and teatime favourites like toasted sandwiches, burgers and buttery scones, the revamped menu shows evidence of Zingara’s magic touch. Paying homage to authentic South African fare, the menu gives Cape cuisine a gourmet twist in dishes like the bobotie roti starter, which arrives fragrant and full of flavour with homemade sambals and chutney. The beer-battered camembert fritters with parmesan and tomato and basil coulis are a real highlight – the batter extraordinarily delicate and crispy with very little greasiness. Main meals arrive in generous portions and range from the very tasty beer-battered hake and chips to farmhouse cheese platters, and sticky mustard and marmalade spatchcocked chicken. The grilled organic sirloin is the most expensive main on the menu, but the large portion and overall quality offers true value for money. The two prime cuts of sirloin are beautifully complemented by a creamy béarnaise sauce, sharp chimichurri, fresh asparagus and a helping of hand-cut potato chips. Cakes and desserts are attractively displayed, encouraging you to have a look before placing your order. The red velvet baked cheesecake served with berry coulis and fresh raspberries was heavenly, and a huge slice of lemon meringue won us over with its creamy, subtle sweetness and marvellous texture.

Drinks
The extensive wine menu is best suited to those with a bigger budget, but offers a superior selection of local wines, ranging from Haute Cabrière Chardonnay Pinot Noir to Groot Constantia Shiraz. An interesting addition is ‘The Big Five’ featuring five select bottles from iconic South African estates like Nederburg, Rust en Vrede and Simonsig. There’s an exotic selection of seven speciality teas with herbal infusions like rose hip, blackberry leaves, peppermint and hibiscus. A small selection of craft beer is also on offer.

Service
Friendly and professional, even in the midst of the chaotic Sunday lunch rush.

Ambience
The vibe is casual and family orientated, but the neutral colour scheme and use of natural materials like wood and stone gives the restaurant an air of understated elegance. Alfresco tables – the two-seaters featuring beautiful mosaic details – are placed under the shade of the old trees, while fascinating nest-like baskets by a local designer hang at the entrance. It’s also fast becoming a favourite among parents: it’s one of the CBD’s most child-friendly restaurants.

And…
This spot buzzes from morning to late afternoon, so be sure to book at least three days in advance.

  • Ambience
  • Service
  • Food
  • Tamsin Green

    Madame Zingara has breathed new life into a historical Cape Town setting with the opening of The Company’s Garden Restaurant. The new restaurant, which was briefly known as Haarlem & Hope, took the place of the landmark garden tea room in November 2014 as part of a larger project aimed at revitalising areas of the CBD. However, while it’s clearly new and improved, the restaurant has managed to retain the comfortable, somewhat enchanting, feel of its iconic predecessor.

    Food
    While regulars of the old tea room can still enjoy hearty breakfasts and teatime favourites like toasted sandwiches, burgers and buttery scones, the revamped menu shows evidence of Zingara’s magic touch. Paying homage to authentic South African fare, the menu gives Cape cuisine a gourmet twist in dishes like the bobotie roti starter, which arrives fragrant and full of flavour with homemade sambals and chutney. The beer-battered camembert fritters with parmesan and tomato and basil coulis are a real highlight – the batter extraordinarily delicate and crispy with very little greasiness.

    Main meals arrive in generous portions and range from the very tasty beer-battered hake and chips to farmhouse cheese platters, and sticky mustard and marmalade spatchcocked chicken. The grilled organic sirloin is the most expensive main on the menu, but the large portion and overall quality offers true value for money. The two prime cuts of sirloin are beautifully complemented by a creamy béarnaise sauce, sharp chimichurri, fresh asparagus and a helping of hand-cut potato chips. Cakes and desserts are attractively displayed, encouraging you to have a look before placing your order. The red velvet baked cheesecake served with berry coulis and fresh raspberries was heavenly, and a huge slice of lemon meringue won us over with its creamy, subtle sweetness and marvellous texture.

    Drinks
    The extensive wine menu is best suited to those with a bigger budget, but offers a superior selection of local wines ranging from Haute Cabrière Chardonnay Pinot Noir to Groot Constantia Shiraz. An interesting addition is ‘The Big Five’ featuring five select bottles from iconic South African estates like Nederburg, Rust en Vrede and Simonsig. There’s an exotic selection of seven speciality teas with herbal infusions like rose hip, blackberry leaves, peppermint and hibiscus. A small selection of craft beer is also on offer.

    Service
    Friendly and professional, even in the midst of the chaotic Sunday lunch rush.

    Ambience
    The vibe is casual and family orientated, but the neutral colour scheme and use of natural materials like wood and stone gives the restaurant an air of understated elegance. Alfresco tables – the two-seaters featuring beautiful mosaic details – gather under the shade of the old trees, while fascinating nest-like baskets by a local designer hang at the entrance. It's also fast becoming a favourite among parents: it's one of the CBD's most child-friendly restaurants.

    And…
    This spot buzzes from morning to late afternoon, so be sure to book at least three days in advance.

    (February 2015)

User reviews

  • Great restaurant for lunch under the trees. I had the calamari salad which was really good. Also their chips are the best so had to order a side of that with my salad. Its a pity the park itself is full of so many dodgy characters. They need to get people to pay R10 entry to the park and/or have security people around to keep the dodgy out.
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Food
  • My mother and I had lunch in the new Company's Gardens Restaurant and was utterly disappointed in the food. I ordered Cajun grilled calamari and my mom opted for the Governor's Choice - a spicey chicken liver dish served with bread. When the food arrived, we smelt something off... I was hesitant to try the calamari put in front of me because it smelt really really bad, but it took one bite of a piece anyway, thinking it might be the spice I'm smelling... Bad idea. The calamari was completely rotten, and in the long time it took a waiter to realize we needed assistance and remove the plate from our table, the gentleman at the table next to ours had already gone to the bathroom because he felt like he was going to get sick from the smell (he told us later). The chicken livers my mother ordered, again, was bloody raw. We both love our meat done rare, so pink flesh or a bit of blood won't bother us, but the livers were still oozing blood into the cream sauce it's served in. NOT acceptable. I love the Company's Gardens, I think it's the restaurant with the coolest setting in the city... but I'm afraid they've lost a loyal customer. While I might have still excused the raw livers, serving people rotten food is out of the question.
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  • The ambience outdoors is beautiful, but things can get a little loud indoors, what with the clattering of the kitchen. Book well ahead if you'd like a seat in the jungly, sun-dappled area outside.

    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Food
  • A gastronomical experience, wonderful service & pleasant environment. The cajun calamari starter, fresh pear juice, chicken burger and red velvet cheesecake surpassed our expectations and satisfied our taste buds.
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    • Food
  • The new Company Gardens restaurant is a great place to meet for lunch. The service is friendly, quick and efficient and you can be in and out within an hour. They have kept many of the old favourites and I can recommend the fish'n chips and even more so the Calamari salad. Keepin mind that they are quite busy and you might have to wait a few minutes for your table or book in advance.
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Food

Facilities

  • Accepts credit cards
  • Alfresco
  • Beer served
  • Breakfast
  • Child friendly
  • Cocktails
  • Food
  • Functions
  • Halaal friendly
  • Licensed
  • Lunch
  • Parking
  • Serves food
  • Takeaways
  • WiFi

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