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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

Zola Nene

Food
The breakfast menu is small, offering popular staples such as eggs Benedict, French toast, home-made muesli and omelettes. Lunch is served from 12pm; choose from a selection of sandwiches with toppings such as coronation chicken, smoorsnoek and bobotie. Starters on the lunch menu include chicken livers deglazed with brandy and sherry, and served with toasted bread. There’s a variety of seafood and meat on the menu, too, ranging from Cajun calamari to spatch-cock chicken and grilled sirloin. The fisherman’s and ploughman’s platters are ideal for a light lunch for two, featuring homemade preserves, pâté, cheeses and cured meats. Much of the fresh herbs are harvested from the recently planted garden. To satisfy your sweet tooth, sample from the selection of cakes and bakes of the day, including scones and most notably, the koeksisters, which are perfect with a cup of tea from the speciality tea menu.

Drinks
The wine list is extensive, offering a wide selection of local wines by the glass and bottle. Also on offer are classic cocktails such as Pimms and whiskey-spiked Lynchburg lemonade, as well as craft beers. Non-alcoholic beverages include soft drinks and a selection of gourmet shakes. The speciality tea menu features uniquely blended floral and fruity teas of different varietals.

Service
Service tends to be slow and relaxed, but if you mention that you’re in a rush, they will accommodate you.

Ambience
This warm, quaint restaurant, situated in a stunning setting in the middle of the historic Company's Garden, is as tranquil as you can get dining in the city. Surrounded by foliage and chirping birds, you feel like you've left the city far behind and are in a quiet lodge in the woods. Beautiful leather and wood chairs echo the natural surrounds of the gardens.

And…
The kids' play area, with oversized nests and massive log jungle gyms, is charming.

(September 2016)

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

  • Ambience
  • Service
  • Food
  • 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.

  • 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

  • This spot is so utterly lovely, surrounded by history and beautiful greenery, that it's hard to have a bad time here. But wow, the dish I had on Sunday really tested my resolve. Billed as a calamari salad with feta, grilled vegetables, greens and creme fraiche, it sounded delicious and full of texture and freshness. Boy, was I wrong. The calamari was tender enough, but I wasn't sure how it was cooked, it having no discernible flavour and lacking the scorch marks of a nice smoky baptism in the pan. The grilled veg were nowhere to be seen on initial inspection - halfway through I found scraps of some hard aubergine and zucchini, but not enough to warrant being mentioned on the menu. The 'greens' were just loads of frilly lettuce and there was no creme fraiche; instead, the lot was drenched in Greek salad dressing from a bottle. For ±R80, too! My friends' meals all looked - and tasted - delicious, so I had a major case of order envy. I will be back, but know better now and will stick to cake, scones or burgers. Hopefully it was just a bad day that they sent something out of the kitchen missing half its ingredients.

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  • 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.
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  • 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.

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  • 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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  • 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.
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  • Was told to meet my partner and friends there and remembered what it use to look like, was amazed with the turn around of the restaurant. wow well done food is amazing and service was great. Love the Nests and the desets are to die for...what a great place
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  • Ater dropping my car at the panelbeaters i suggested to my ' driver' to try Haarlem and Hope. It was a glorious day, the sun was shining and we got parking right outside the gate! On entering the restaurant we were amazed at the decor, which blended with the magnificent outside scenery.the seating colour, the chairs couches and outside furniture all blended well and we took an inside table and were couteously greeted by trained staff with the comprehensive menus offered. I only ordered a delicious cappucino, but my friends toasted sandwich which I encouraged him to order got a 'wow' as it was placed in front of him, the cheese was oozing out the toast, there was a made to order lettuce tomato and cuke garnish with homemade dressing and the 'OMG!' Fries done to a perfect toast colour that he couldnt stop raving about, as well as the bill only being R71 without a tip!! Lunchtime I returned with a different party, we waited 5 minutes for a table as they were busy but in control, all the food which comprised the soup of the day, delicious asparagus and spinach with homemade melba toast, the bobotie roti was rated lekka by a USA friend, the dhaltjie were ordered by the 2 vegetarians in the party and the toasted cheese was immediately removed to be toasted when it arrived untoasted.very reasonably priced, very busy, but Richard griffen has waved his wand over a tired boring tearoom and transformed it into a go- to , take overseas guests to - proudly south african place provided the excellent food and good service standards which he has been know for are well maintained. I take my hat off to you Mr Griffin for an execution well done!! I shall return....
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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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