Venues

Parc

Parc
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  • Phone Number 031 205 7285
  • Location Shop 2A, Oslo Buildings, 394 Esther Roberts Road, Glenwood, Durban
  • email hello@parc-cafe.co.za
  • Website URL www.parc-cafe.co.za
  • Opening Hours

    Tuesday to Friday 7.30am - 4pm; Saturday to Sunday and Public Holidays 8am - 2pm

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Cost
R90
Ambience
Comfy & casual
Food
Modern
Payment
Mastercard, Visa
Corkage
R35

Critic's review

Shirley Berko

Food

The wall is the menu, and it’s an expression of owner and chef Brett Gentle’s affinity for simple, casual food prepared lovingly and well. Salads, open sandwiches, quiches, soups and all day breakfasts are available. Parc was put on the map by their intriguingly named Eggs Not-so-Benedict, poached eggs on bacon or fried mushrooms, smothered in a lemon hollandaise and resting on a slice of Glenwood Bakery’s much loved rosemary and potato bread. But the rest of the menu holds its own.

The chicken liver paté is a soft, moussey legend amongst regulars. The Parc Caesar salad is just a slight twist on the traditional, with iceberg lettuce, watercress, caramelised red onion, crispy pancetta and a soft, gloriously oozing poached egg on top. The shavings of parmesan and garlic croutons seal the flavour deal.

There are vegan options available, such as the lentil and sugar bean patty burger, served with a vegan mayo and a sprinkle of Americana, with the “beet and carrot slaw” side.

The breads come from the bakery next door, and where possible, ingredients are sourced from the area or provincially, including local cheeses and cured meats.

Drinks

Local and national craft beers are available, as well as wine. The list, like the food, is on the wall. Coffees are excellent, but the real treat here are the milkshakes. Served simply, without ceremony or literal over the top garnish, they are made without synthetic syrup flavourings, using real ingredients with a bit of a twist. Free’s Shake is Parc’s avocado milkshake. Named after the customer who requested it, this is an avocado and vanilla combination, made with a double shot of rooibos red espresso and blended with a home-made chocolate brownie. Further varieties of unusual and inspired mixes are on offer, all made with locally produced ice cream.

Service

As you frequent more often, you become familiar to staff, who are friendly and attentive. Things can be a little slow when it gets busy, so relax with a coffee or beer while you wait.

Ambience

It’s a creative, vibrant space, full of regulars and locals, who pop in for a bite and conversation. The air is filled with the buzz of chatter, the hum of coffee machines and blenders and the clatter of food prep, lending it an energetic studio-style feel.

And...

Keep an eye out for the wine pairing evenings. They happen every two or three months or so, and the food is modern and imaginative, earning Parc and Brett a solid reputation with both local diners and chefs.

(September 2016)

Eat Out reviewers dine anonymously and pay for their meals in full. Click here to read our editorial policy.

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  • Eat Out

    Food
    The creative, artsy all-day breakfasts offers here is really appreciated by locals.

    To get you started, the bircher muesli is a great option, consisting of fresh apple, yogurt and honey, with toasted seeds. If you’re after something light, the freshly baked, toasted bread with preserves (including lemon curd, reason enough to venture here) will suffice. The menu changes regularly but the ‘not so benedict’ with bacon on a scone, lemon hollandaise and a poached egg is a firm favourite, and absolutely delicious. The banana bread with toasted cashew nuts is a great alternative if you not a huge egg fan. The lunch menu is also interesting and offers a wide variety of options. The ingredients are all seasonal and sourced locally. There are some classics, like the BLT sandwich with roasted tomatoes, bacon, cheese and iceberg lettuce, finished off with a homemade mustard aioli. It’s worth dining here just for the chicken liver pate, which is served with fresh bread and a fresh apple relish, which is just so satisfying. The soup of the day is always hearty and served with fresh bread. There is also a quiche of the day, which offers some clever flavour combinations.

    Drinks
    A concise and well-priced wine list, which showcases the owner’s relationships, is listed on a black board and changes often. The coffee is delicious, and made by a great barrista. They offer freshly squeezed juices, and the milkshakes are delicious.

    Service
    Very good. They’ve regular waiters who get to know after a while.

    Ambience
    This is very sociable dining, mostly locals catching up with friends, walking their dogs, or picking up bread from the bakery next door. It’s a funky space with a blackboard menu taking up the entire wall, small tables and old chairs that have been given a new life with a splash of colour. Parc is always busy, so be prepared to wait for a table.

    And …
    Once a month Parc hosts a wine dinner – space is very limited so jump at it. The food and wine pairings are clever and well executed, so it’s worth booking.

    (October 2015)

  • Tracy Gielink

    The food
    The unpretentious setting at Parc Café belies its serious foodie roots. Brett Gentles, who owns it with sister Lara, is a qualified chef and, prior to opening Parc, worked as sous chef at 9th Avenue.

    What you’ll find here is clever café food that plays with textures and fresh flavours. For breakfast it’s hard to look past the Not-So-Benedict, which is re-interpreted to entice with potato-and-rosemary bread, lemon Hollandaise and capers. Or try the decadent parmesan polenta with sautéed mushrooms and spinach, tomato concasse, poached eggs and truffle oil.
    Cleaner flavours abound for lunch, with the likes of Vietnamese chicken and ribbon vegetable salad. Or sample the interesting red-wine-poached pear salad with blue cheese, flaked almonds, pickled ginger and a rocket salad. There’s also a range of gourmet sandwiches and soup and quiche of the day.

    The drinks
    There are six affordable wines (mostly white) on the list and all are available by the glass. The cappuccinos are awesome, and there is a range of inspired freshly squeezed juices.

    The service
    Happy is the watchword here. Waiters exude warmth and there’s a sense of camaraderie that makes it feel like you’ve popped in to a friend’s house. If you’re floundering in indecision, ask one of the well-versed waiters for a personal endorsement off the menu. Despite prompt service from the kitchen, diners are not expected to speedily vacate tables.

    The ambience
    Pop in and park off. This casual eatery is a vibey neighbourhood hangout. Like the food, the space is fun and fresh with a down-to-earth honesty. White tiles and large naked light bulbs suspended from red cords are reminiscent of a canteen, and modest pine-topped tables are teamed with grey plastic chairs and a smattering of vibrantly painted wooden stools that provide small explosions of colour.

    And…
    Reservations are required for weekends.

    (August 2014)
  • This tucked away neighbourhood gem has a chef with serious credentials, but they’ve chosen to offer a relaxed daytime eatery. Local is lekker: bread from the next-door bakery, coffee from a roastery nearby and they’re looking to grow their own vegetables in future. Lunch options change regularly, but expect the likes of sandwiches with roasted garlic chicken, onion pickle, fresh tomato and herb and garlic mayo, served with a carrot and beet slaw. Stand-out dishes: outstanding version of eggs Benedict on potato and rosemary bread with streaky bacon, lemon hollandaise and capers; and banana bread French toast with fresh banana, cashews and honey. (EO mag 2014)
  • Tracy Gielink

    Pop in, hang out or park off. Further south than the well-known Davenport Road strip is a little alternative foodie nucleus in Glenwood. Parc opened here in June 2013 and patrons have already made themselves at home in the small, vibey restaurant owned by brother-sister team Brett and Lara Gentles.

    People
    “It’s always been something we wanted to do and we finally got to the point we could achieve it. We have been planning it for about 10 years and waiting for the proper opportunity,” says Brett.

    Brett is a qualified chef whose experience spans working under Richard Carstens at Lynton Hall, at Paranga in Cape Town and, most recently, as sous chef at the highly regarded Durban restaurant, 9th Avenue Bistro.

    The two are passionate about Glenwood, and when other premises fell through, serendipity arrived in the form of Adam Robinson from the Glenwood Bakery, who told them the shop next door to his was available.

    Food
    Parc’s menu evolves at random according to seasonality, and they’re also in the process of establishing a community project down the south coast where women will grow fresh produce. Collaborations are very important to Brett and Lara: they buy all their bread from the neighbouring Glenwood Bakery, use coffee beans from the nearby Colombo Tea and Coffee, and source delicious goodies from Lucy’s Cake shop.

    All day breakfast is undoubtedly a sign of civilised society and Parc’s eggs Benedict is fast earning a reputation as the best in town. Perfectly cooked poached eggs are perched atop potato and rosemary bread and streaky bacon and then draped in a textbook-perfect lemon hollandaise. Finally, in a flash of brilliance, it’s topped with finely chopped capers that counter the rich sauce.

    Other breakfasts are equally appealing and include sweet potato cakes with tomato relish, mushrooms, rocket, poached eggs, crème fraîche and toasted pumpkin seeds; or pork sausage with eggs, mixed greens, apple chilli chutney, toast and onion pickle. Diners who are at the mercy of a sweet tooth will succumb to one of Brett’s favourite dishes – the banana bread French toast with fresh banana, cashews and honey.

    Lunch options segue from light and fresh (like a salad of grilled aubergine, baby spinach, cucumber, roast butternut, fresh grapes, mint, coriander, basil and toasted seeds with a cumin and yoghurt dressing) to heart-warming comfort food. Seek solace in a sandwich of French roast garlic chicken, onion pickle, herb and garlic mayo and fresh tomato served with a carrot and beet slaw; or a caramelised onion, beetroot and goat’s cheese quiche served with tomato relish, mixed greens and a brown butter vinaigrette.

    Food is fresh and seasonal with intelligent combinations that people might not have thought about before, like winter melon and coconut gazpacho with ginger and chocolate, or the avo and vanilla shake. “We send out tasters of milkshakes and soups when the restaurant is full so people get to taste before they order. We like to interact with our clients,” explains Brett.

    Wine
    A liquor licence is in the process of being approved, but diners are welcome to bring their own wine in the interim. There is a selection of teas and caffeine in all the guises you could wish for.
    Service

    If you have become accustomed to waiters offering a cursory smile and perfunctory service as they operate on autopilot, Parc is a revelation. Here you can expect genuine warmth, heartfelt hospitality and big smiles that leave you feeling like you’ve been welcomed into a friend’s home. They really are happy to serve, and with the quality of food that comes out of the kitchen with Germanic efficiency, why should they not be? In fact, happy seems to be the watchword here.

    Ambience
    The space, like the food, is fun and fresh with a down-to-earth honesty. It has a vaguely canteen-like feel with white tiles, baskets displaying baked goods and large naked light bulbs suspended from red cords. Modest pine-topped tables are teamed with grey plastic chairs and a smattering of vibrantly painted wooden ones that provide small explosions of colour. An entire wall is a chalkboard dedicated to displaying a daytime-only menu, which, despite being compact, doesn’t compromise on variety.

    And…
    There is a sense of camaraderie as people talk animatedly over the noise of coffee being brewed and, before leaving, locals seek Brett out to thank him for opening Parc in their ‘hood.

User reviews

  • Another favourite for breakfast/brunch especially on a Saturday when they have some live although subdued music which makes you feel like you just want to sit there all day. I love their not-so-benedict breakfast and there are so many other delicious options.

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  • The breakfasts here are sensational. Grab a spot on the sidewalk on a Saturday and listen to live music, a weekend win!

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  • SELF RITEOUS & UNREPENTANT
    Since when does a salad of a 'Waldorf / Roast Chicken theme' deserve to contain a large piece (4 x 5cm) of translucent, fatty, gelatinous chicken skin, with visble tufts out the follicles? Well, according to Parc managment, this is the way to go.
    With the eating experience ruined and hardly a morsel tpuched, we requested the plate be removed by a rather unapologetic manageress.
    I opted to order & pay for a Choc Brownie instead.
    Upon presentation of the bill, the chicken salad was still included. After enquiring why, we were lectured in no uncertain terms that that is how the salad is prepared - after all, the menu description was 'roast chicken' salad - nothing wrong with it & we must pay. Asking for the manageress to engage & discuss with me proved futile, nor did the owner care to come over & discuss at the time, rather opting to send a message that the offensive salad would be taken off the bill. By now a poor atmosphere + vibe had developed, with other patrons now aware of the furlore.
    With manageress hovering & muttering under her breath, the owner made a cameo appearance, also toatally unapologetic & in fact darn right rude in his entire demeanor in front of my family, telling us unrepentantly that "the customer's not always right" and that's the way they present chichen in this salad, and that best we leave his restaurant & never return.
    Success in the food industry requires ATD and a Customer Centric approach, with a dash of humility, grace & above all manners - something this owner + staff clearly lack.
    I hasten to warn anyone intending patronising this venue dare not question the quality, integrity or interpretation of their food for obvious. . reasons.

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  • Best breakfast I have ever eaten! had the Polenta toast with poached eggs! And we go out allot for breakfast as we have a toddler so lunch is out of the question during sleep time.
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  • Food is fresh and delicious! All the flavours just dance around on your pallet :)
    The service was fantastic, the waitrons were friendly.
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  • An all round great experience.
    A great way to spend a Sunday morning. They have live music and a menu that is constantly evolving. I had the "not so eggs benedict' which now my favorite breakfast dish. I also had their homemade lemonade, very refreshing (especially in the Durban heat).
    The service was fantastic, always a pleasure.
    I would recommend this to anyone wanting to try new takes on traditional favorites.


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  • We stumbled on Parc on its opening morning, and were most impressed with the buzz and flavour. Will be back soon.

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Menu

Set menu - Parc - Menu - updated September 2017

Facilities

  • Accepts credit cards
  • Alfresco
  • Breakfast
  • Child friendly
  • Food
  • Functions
  • Lunch
  • Parking
  • Serves food
  • Takeaways
  • Vegetarian
  • WiFi

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