outside at Oasis Bistro
Breakfast buffet prepared and served at Oasis Bistro

Oasis Bistro

Cost
Breakfast Buffet: R365 per person; Lunch buffet: R380 per person; A la carte: R140 avg main meal
Ambience
Comfy & casual
Food
Bakery fare, Bistro fare, Buffet, Burgers, Mediterranean, Pizzas, South African, Vegetarian
Payment
Amex, Mastercard, Visa
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Critic's review

Food
A fresh and light space overlooking the pool at the iconic Belmont Mount Nelson hotel, Oasis Bistro is exactly that – a serene hideaway. Stepping out of the hum of traffic and into the tranquil surrounds is the just the thing for a peaceful breakfast or lunch in season (the restaurant is closed over winter).

Breakfasts vary from quick and easy to hearty and filling. Lunch menus change frequently and, as can be expected from head chef Rudi Liebenberg, local produce and free-range and organic ingredients dominate. Fresh, wholesome and predominately Mediterranean-inspired meals can be enjoyed in a leisurely fashion alfresco, and children are also welcome.

Breakfast can be enjoyed from the buffet spread, a selection from the à la carte menu including a rib-eye steak with fries and grilled kippers with a poached egg, or a combination of both.

For lunch, indulge in platters of charcuterie and farm cheeses served with homemade pickles, preserves and breads. Or go the traditional route: starters include ceviche with lime and avocado, spicy calamari with baby marrows, or a warm tomato and aubergine tart. Mains range from a Cape Malay chicken curry with a variety of accompaniments to steak tartare with frites, grilled meats and salads.

Service 
Service is polished and efficient.

Drinks 
There is a good selection of wines, bubbly and alcoholic drinks, including well-made cocktails. Try the homemade ice tea for a non-alcoholic option.

Ambience
This is an informal, cheerful space. Opt to sit outdoors if it isn’t too hot. The hotel's spa is situated next door, so this is a good spot to enjoy a meal after a treatment.

And… 
You can also order lighter fare like wraps from the pool menu. (The pool itself is only available to guests staying at the hotel.)

(July 2014)

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  • Order the slow-braised lamb shoulder, infused with lemon and rosemary and served with sweet pickled onions and creamy polenta; or the fragrant Cape Malay chicken curry.
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  • Food
    Expect well-executed, tasty bistro food at this newly refurbished restaurant at the Mount Nelson Hotel. The old buffet menu has given way for fresh, considered dishes. A tomato and burrata salad is light, luscious and just right with a crack of black pepper and sea salt. The ceviche with avocado and coriander and the spicy calamari and marinated baby marrow salad are other good options for starters. For mains, opt for the slow-braised lamb shoulder, infused with rich flavours of lemon and rosemary, and served with sweet, soft, pickled onions and creamy polenta. A great option for a slightly lighter meal is the pan-fried trout, done to a turn, with new potatoes and a lemon butter sauce. Other signature dishes include the fragrant Cape Malay chicken curry and the beef burger made with 100% pasture-reared beef from Farmer Angus’s Pasture Reared Foods, one of the winners at this year’s Eat Out DStv Food Network Produce Awards. All produce has been carefully sourced. The menu also features Farmer Angus’s free-range lamb and eggs, as well as organic veg from Magic Herbs and marmalade from Karma Jams, all of which won awards at the Eat Out DStv Food Network Produce Awards last month. There’s also a focus on green-listed fish, oysters from Luderitz, Port Elizabeth, and Saldanha Big Bay, and an incredible range of cheeses from small producers around SA. Bread and desserts are freshly made on site. Dishes are slightly pricier than some Cape Town lunch spots, with most mains around the R140–R150 mark.

    Wine
    A very comprehensive list, put together by top sommelier Carl Habel.

    Service
    Friendly and eager to please, rather than slick and starchy.

    Ambience
    With views out over the hotel’s crystal blue pool, surrounded by palms, the veranda is indeed something of an oasis on hot summer days. The inside area is cosy for chillier days.

    And...
    We’re particularly impressed with the ice cream flavours that change daily.(Katharine Jacobs, March 2013)
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User reviews

  • Enjoyed lunch at Oasis Bistro at Mount Nelson on its first day open for the season. Thankfully fresh decor, a lighter and more interesting buffet complemented by a concise a la carte menu. Good food and service. Hope they decide to open it in the evenings too.

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  • We went to the apparently newly renovated Oasis Bistro for a Saturday afternoon lunch, and were bitterly disappointed.

    After reading some of the reviews I was really looking forward to delicious food, in a beautiful, relaxed setting. However, I found it to be the exact opposite.

    The waiters weren't able to answer any of our questions regarding the menu, and the food was totally overpriced, unappetizing and unappealing.

    I expected so much more, and will in future stick to the Planet Restaurant.

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  • Bistro Oasis, nice place for an easy lunch but the kitchen is not able to serve a starter Cevice as a main portion but serve the Tartare as a main in a starter portion? And it was hardly seasoned for R150?
    Do they belong to a 5* Hotel?

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  • I have been to the Mount Nelson several times for both their morning and afternoon high teas, as well as their excellent Planet Restaurant, however my last afternoon high tea experience will be the last time I ever set foot in the hotel.

    What should be a five-star setting involved unset tables, sulky waitrons, non-existent service, chipped tea apparatus, general disorganisation, and a snake of a queue that stretched right around the buffet table almost the entire afternoon.

    I took my mother-in-law here and was so embarrassed by the experience that I felt I should complain. After contacting both the reservations line and the food and beverages manager, I am yet to hear a response (and this was three weeks ago now).

    Appalling from a hotel I once held in such high esteem. My only conclusion is that the foreigners keep them afloat in the summer months. Best of luck come the off-peak season next year! They clearly aren't worried about losing out on business.

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  • My husband and I firmly believe that the Sunday brunch that they have to offer is well worth the weekly two hour drive.
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  • I wanted to book today for Christmas Eve for my father who is 88 years old. As this special runs from 7 Dec to 15 January 2010 for R225, I would expect to be able to book for Christmas. However Christmas is actually R450 per head, which is not in the advert.I know the hotel boasts an international clientele and does not cater for plebs like me who live here. R225 is not out of reach for a yearly treat. R450 however, is far beyond that.Bad advertising, bad organisation or just plain bad.
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Facilities

  • Accepts credit cards
  • Accommodation
  • Booking required
  • Child friendly
  • Cocktails
  • Functions
  • Licensed
  • Parking
  • Wheelchair

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