The heart of this popular bakery and bistro chain, La Belle is always buzzing with patrons tucking into hearty breakfasts and excellent pastries. Lunchtime sees fellow patrons tucking in with obvious satisfaction to the delicious-looking salads, soups and sandwiches on the menu. Some dishes are sublimes, others less so.
The mushroom tortellini is an excellent option: the pasta fresh and light and cooked al dente; the mushroom filling savoury and intensely-flavoured; the beurre noisette and truffle oil adding just the right background extras. On the other end of the scale is the salmon and kingklip fishcake dish, which was disappointing. The fishcakes were too dry and bland and there were too many ingredients in the broth in which they drowned. Too much sweetcorn and Asian greens and not enough of the ginger and chilli that might have given the dish some lift.
It’s a usual suspect wine list with a steep mark-up. It would be nice to see more wines from the Constantia valley available by the glass.
The service is first class: personable and highly efficient. Their reaction to dealing with any problems is unsurpassed. The reaction to my expressed disappointment about the fish cake dish was perfect. I was asked, first by a very efficient waiter, and then very cordially by a manager, what the problem was. No excuses, just an apology and no charge for the dish, even though I’d eaten more than half of it. That made me want to go back again, and perhaps order less ambitiously.
The Alphen is a historic building and the epitome of leafy graciousness. The patio under the centuries-old oaks outside La Belle is a perfect place to meet friends for conversation and light bistro fare.
Don't leave without a macaron, part of a very tempting array of pastries on display inside the restaurant.
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Generous portions of delicious favourites without any tricky edges keep the patrons here very happy. Try the garlic mussels with white wine, cream and crusty bread, or the sautéed chicken livers with bacon, mushrooms, red wine and garlic toast for filling starters. Go on to meatballs and tagliatelle with parmesan and a rustic chunky tomato sauce, or the deconstructed roast chicken pie with mushrooms and leeks, served with creamy mash. The crispy skin Norwegian salmon (tell them how you want it done) with new potatoes, cauliflower purée and olive tapenade to set off the richness of the fish, is perfectly done. Go back to before you had ever heard of Banting with a deliciously rich banana and peanut butter milkshake, or go for broke with a slice of one of their superb cakes – remember this is a bakery after all.
A wide choice of many local gems, some with a hefty mark up, some by the glass, including their own Kove Collection. Try one of the fun cocktails, just the thing for summer.
Smooth and friendly.
Sitting outside, soaking up the famous Alphen ambience on the terrace is prize number one, while you watch the Maseratis drive up to their fancy sister restaurant, 5 Rooms. The ancient trees around the quadrangle remind one of leisurely times gone by. Inside is delightfully cosy when the wind is pumping or during the chilly winter afternoons.
If you don’t take home some of their delicious home baked goodies you will be sorry. Try the macarons.
Wonderful place to enjoy a relaxed breakfast or lunch with friends. The service is always on top form and the food is simply perfect. But make sure you make a booking!
Really nice to have such a classy place on our doorstep. Lovely vibe and child-friendly. Of course the food is divine too!
Had a spicy chicken salad - the lettuce was sandy, tomatoes not fresh, no dressing, no spice on the chicken. Pathetic for R80.
Second trip to La Belle. Excellent chicken dish. Food enjoyed by all.