Venues

The Woodlands Eatery

The Woodlands Eatery
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Cost
R100 avg main meal
Ambience
Comfy & casual, Contemporary cool, Family friendly
Food
Bistro fare, Coffee, Health food, International, Italian, Light meals, Pizzas, Seafood, Vegan food, Vegetarian
Payment
Mastercard, Visa

Critic's review

Jody Theodore

Food
They have a lovely thought-out menu that caters for all – from the meat lover to the plant eater and even the ‘I don’t love carbs’ diner. The creativity of the pizzas presents itself in well-balanced flavours and offers a real challenge as to which one to settle on. If choosing a pizza is not hard enough, you are then given the option of a cauliflower base as well.

The fish goujons are evenly coated and is accompanied by a well-seasoned homemade mayo. With such a wide variety of good choices on the menu, one is constantly tussling on which specific item to order (or just be wise and go for the whole menu). Remember that it’s important to keep space in the tank for the chocolate fondant – it’s superb!

Drinks
This is not a large wine menu but it surely is well thought out to cater to everyone’s needs. The menu does show off some of the best local wines and craft beers. With a good selection of wines, it tempts one to try all of them – being available by the glass makes this a viable option. The drinks are reasonably priced and complement the food. If you don’t fancy wine or craft beers, there are cocktails that will surely meet your social drinking requirements.

Service
Friendly staff who make you feel welcome from the get-go. Swiftly getting your drinks order and making you feel settled sets the mood for the evening. Although once the restaurant gets busy, the service slows a bit and they seem to become scarce at times.

Ambience
The mismatched chairs and different styles of lighting in the restaurant give it a truly unique feel. The décor has a very definite feel of home to it, and you feel comfortable as soon as you are seated. A covered outside area allows for a different feel and would be great to take advantage of when the sun is out.

And...
It is strongly recommended to book in advance.

(September 2016)

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  • Raphaella Frame-Tolmie

    Food
    This popular neighbourhood eatery is best known for tasty and imaginative pizzas. Perennial favourites include the Tuscan-style slow roasted lamb with crème fraîche, and the ‘Big Gus’: caramelized pork with soy sauce, mango and coriander. The vegetarian options are enticing too – a zucchini and tenderstem broccoli pizza with red onion, peas and Ricotta, for example, is light and fresh. Other well-liked choices include Larry’s Cheeseburger, made with pasture-reared beef from Frankie Fenner Meat Merchants; or the mouth-watering peri-peri prawns. Based on the occasional nod to their ingredients’ provenance on the menu, it’s quite apparent that owners Larry and Sarah-May Steenkamp are passionate about showcasing the best of local produce. The consistency has in recent times become a little erratic (mostly when neither of the owners are on site), but not enough to be a deterrent. With a varied menu of sides and salads, it’s one of those ‘something for everyone’ eateries. Leave room for the panna cotta, or a scoop of homemade ice cream of the day (tempting flavours include Earl Grey tea and almond).

    Drinks
    A great selection of locally crafted beers, cider and wines, many of which are available by the glass.

    Service
    Staff are relaxed and friendly, although when the restaurant gets really busy they can sometimes seem a bit scarce. It’s advisable to book in advance, especially for dinner on the weekend.

    Ambiance
    The interior is quirky and ever so charming, with twinkly fairy lights creating an inviting atmosphere.

    And…
    For those with food allergies, gluten-free pizza bases are available, and there’s even a gluten-free beer on offer.

    (August 2015)

  • Ishay Govender-Ypma

    Food 
    Despite its small entrance and offbeat appearance, The Woodlands Eatery in Vredehoek, Cape Town, is well known for the consistently good food it delivers. They offer a relaxed menu with daily changing specials, and their focus of late is leaning distinctly in the direction of ethical meat and produce – you’ll spot Frankie Fenner Meat Merchant products prominently outlined on the menu.

    Those suffering from food allergies are well catered for: they offer gluten-free pizzas and go as far as to mention on the menu that carrots are used in the tomato sauce.

    The starters and antipasti can be ordered as tapas and the portions are generous. The salt and pepper squid and, when available, the arancini (fried risotto balls) are crowd pleasers. The slow-roast lamb pizza with rosemary and crème fraîche has been a favourite ever since Woodlands opened their doors three years ago, and deservedly so. All pizza crusts are thin, and available in a gluten-free option. The daily menu sometimes features hearty curries and interesting soups.

    Service 
    Service can be a bit lacklustre at times, but in general you will be well taken care of, and will never have to wait too long for your meal.

    Drinks 
    They offer a small but adequate craft beer and wine selection and a few inventive cocktails. Oddly, espressos are served in enormous shooter glasses with just a few teaspoons of brew.

    Ambience 
    The venue is very popular, so booking in advance is highly recommended. With its selection of mismatched chairs and quirky light fittings, the eatery looks like a pared down version of the Mad Hatter’s tearoom. Cosy and comfortable, it draws groups of friends celebrating birthdays or friends catching up. In summer the handful of outdoor tables get snapped up quickly.

    And...
    Do try the excellent peri-peri prawns served with a large garlic and feta bread – it makes the perfect sharing dish.

    (July 2014)

  • A warm, atmospheric neighborhood eatery with excellent, inventive food. Its fun vibe makes it great for birthday parties. There’s a regularly-changing menu, but the wood-fried pizzas are
    always outstanding. Try the slow-roasted lamb pizza, gourmet burger and the chocolate fondant.
  • Food
    Although the burgers and handful of daily specials always tempt, pizza has really become the thing to order at this charmingly bespoke bistro. Crispy thin-crust pies with toppings like slow-roasted Tuscan lamb or caramelised pork and mango are superb. Dishes like the caramelised pear and Gorgonzola salad showcase ingredient freshness. Simply delightful.

    Wine
    A smallish but well-chosen list is further complemented by one of the best craft beer selections in town, a few fabulous cocktails and a love of tequila.

    Service
    Friendly competent service is brought to you by cute hipsters. Can be shockingly difficult to get a table, so book in advance.

    Ambience
    With it’s beautifully eclectic array of lamps, mirrors and framed illustrations, this neighbourhood joint is all warm vintage charm without an ounce of pretence.

    And...
    If you can't get a table, try a spot at the bar. (LM, October 2012)"
    "Food
    Although the burgers and handful of daily specials always tempt, pizza has really become the thing to order at this charmingly bespoke bistro. Crispy thin-crust pies with toppings like slow-roasted Tuscan lamb or caramelised pork and mango are superb. Dishes like the caramelised pear and Gorgonzola salad showcase ingredient freshness. Simply delightful.

    Wine
    A smallish but well-chosen list is further complemented by one of the best craft beer selections in town, a few fabulous cocktails and a love of tequila.

    Service
    Friendly competent service is brought to you by cute hipsters. Can be shockingly difficult to get a table, so book in advance.

    Ambience
    With it’s beautifully eclectic array of lamps, mirrors and framed illustrations, this neighbourhood joint is all warm vintage charm without an ounce of pretence.

    And...
    If you can't get a table, try a spot at the bar. (LM, October 2012)

User reviews

  • Everything about this restaurant is wonderful - absolutely delicious food at such reasonable prices, super friendly staff, managers are from Italy and are just the best! And the ambience is relaxed and easy going. Love this place!
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  • Love this consistent place. And it's open on a Monday - always a bonus. The tacos (turn over to back page of menu) are a welcome addition to the menu since I was last at Woodside. I had the fish tacos - generous portion of perfectly battered and fried fish, served with 3 corn tortillas, and two different slaws and guacamole. The fish could do with a bit of seasoning, but other than that, it was delicious!
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  • Always love the setting of Woodlands, so quaint and inviting. Went with my family, and all five of us absolutely loved our meal! Tried the broccoli tempura as a starter- what a treat! I've been to Woodlands a couple of times before, and sadly this time the service was efficient but it wasn't t very friendly. As a waitress I know it's not very hard to put a smile on your face and welcome people to your restaurant when you give them menus and take their orders. But other than the lack of smiles (from only 2 of the 4 waiters) a great night was had by all, and I'll definitely be going back!
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  • My family and I visited the establishment for lunch today. We left bitterly dissapointed and sad. The food was generally good but the service was well below par. We were seated differently than was agreed on the phone when making the booking. At the time when we were to be seated it appeared that there was a mix up. My wife overheard a staff member say "It does not matter anymore so let's just seat them anywhere". It was Mother's day and the children and I wanted to treat my wife to Sunday lunch so my wife did not bring to my attention what she had heard. After all, it was not the end of the world. Later on we were served 2 x tea instead of 2 x decaf coffee as ordered. We waited quite a long time for a waitron to return to our table for us to report the problem. When I tried to get the attention of a waitress she in essence walked away bluntly ignoring me. When we eventually did get to speak to a waitron (I had to fetch him from the bar area) he did apologise but seemed to question what we were saying. I am going to excuse the long waiting times for a waiter to attend to us seeing that it was Mother's day and the staff complment was possibly slightly overwhelmed. When I showed my dissatisfaction by way of the tip that I left, the waiter was so rude (he basically threw my credit card into the container used to present the bill after processing the payment) we could not wait to leave. We could not help but feel extremely unwelcome. The quality of your food unfortunately does not make up for what your staff has undone in how they look after patrons. Again, I am deeply dissapointed in how we have been treated when we support business in our own city.
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  • Exceptionally bad service, with very bland pizza. A huge disappointment.
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  • One can never go wrong at Woodlands: consistently good food, delicious flavours, which always makes for a difficult meal choice. The peri-peri prawns are a personal favourite. Opted for a side salad instead of the garlic pizza and it was probably one of the tastiest side salads I've had at a restaurant in a while. Will be back again very soon
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  • We love Woodlands Eatery! The ambiance is usually wonderful but can be a bit noisy if you get an awkward table by the bar. The pizzas are wonderful and my boyfriend was only too happy when he realised his pork belly pizza came with huge chunks of perfectly juicy pork belly. My personal favourite is the Seafood Linguini. The prices are reasonable and value for money when compared to what other restaurants offer within the same price range. we didn't have too much or a problem with service. Our waiters have been friendly enough. The only downside is that you have to book in advance (not really a last-minute-decision kind of place).
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  • Typically good food and beer, pity that Woodlands now seems to suffer from waiters too cool to do their job. Ignored on arrival, table given away, slow drinks and 3o min wait to pay the bill while staff lingered at the bar. Used to be a favourite.
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  • Probably has one of the best atmospheres of any restaurant in Cape Town. Noisy at times, but that can be part of the charm. The food is delicious - simple ingredients, beautiful flavours and no pretense at all. I would recommend going with a fun group of friends for a midweek party.
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  • We arrived early - 6.30pm without a booking but even though they were fully booked we were seated with a promise to be out by 8.
    Staff were very attentive and pleasant. Menu is small, but then they obviously concentrate on quality and fusing unexpected ingredients.
    We had the special: a very thin crust pizza with figs, walnuts, honey & camembert topped with fresh rocket - YUM! The roasted butternut salad was equally delicious and very fresh!
    Delicious and very healthy too! We'll be back!
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  • Amazing! I ate at Woodlands Eatery for three Sundays in a row and I was never disappointed. Their prawn curry is my absolute favourite.

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  • Awful! They can't make a simple booking and staff come with severe attitude. Manager extremely rude and should not be in the service industry.

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  • Had a really amazing meal at Woodlands the other night. Every dish was great! Very impressed. The only small criticism I had was that our waitress could have been a little warmer.

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  • What an awesome evening our supper club had there. Pizzas were thin crust, wood fired perfection, and the chocolate fondant out of this world. Thank you for your great service too.

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  • Consistently amazing. The lamb pizza is to die for, and the rest of the menu is delicious too. Great service, friendly, relaxed atmosphere. Love this place so much!

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  • Definitely a firm favourite "neighbourhood eatery". Food is always delicious and service is attentive, including the quirkiness of the owner!

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  • Had a most superb meal last Saturday night. Wonderful vibe, excellent food. Good service. Great value and the chef'/owner chats to his patrons. Pretends to be French - just for a bit, but a nice touch.

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  • The owner's attitude sucks! Went there for lunch on Sunday and after waiting at the door for a few minutes and not being helped, we sat down at an open table on the porch. A few minutes later, the owner arrives scowling, slaps down menus on the table and says 'Next time, please wait to be seated. That's how restaurants work. This table could've been reserved.' And storms off.

    We order drinks and ask the waiter to send the owner over. He eventually arrives and, as we're trying to tell him we did actually wait at the door and nobody helped us, he keeps on interrupting and eventually points out 'Unfortunately this is my restaurant.' He slams down both hands on the table and storms off again.

    We paid for our drinks, leaving the friendly waiter a generous tip, and left.

    Thank you, owner of Woodlands Eatery, for granting us the oppportunity to not pay R90 for a pizza. We went to Posticino in Sea Point, paid R70 for a great pizza and got friendly service. Go Posticino!

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  • Normally one of my favourite restaurants, they let me down last night. I made a booking for 2 at 6.30pm and upon arrival the waiter showed me to a table in the passage way up against a wall. I asked to move to a table in the dining room which was open at the time and was ignored by him as he went back to the waiters' computer and lit candles. I was eventually moved to my table of choice by our waiter for the evening.

    Immediately he opened the bottle of wine that I had brought as it is a favourite of mine and is not on their list. I was still awaiting the arrival of my date and I had to tell him not to pour it while he was in mid flight with the bottle towards my glass as it seemed a little rude.

    Just after that, I was told by who I presume is the owner, that I had to be off that table by 7.30pm as they had another cover booked. I tried to reason with him that I had made a booking and that the table that had been initially reserved was unacceptable as I do not like dining in a passage way connecting the front door to the toilets. I asked him if he could make a plan because I did not want to be shuffled to another table halfway through my dinner. I was told that the 7.30 booking did not want that table either - So why have this table if 2 sets of people find it unacceptable? He just looked at me and turned away offering no assistance at all. He then had the audacity to talk to the waiter while offering the odd darting stare in my direction in front of me.

    Within 7 minutes of ordering our mains, it arrived at the table, served by the bartender. I got the distinct impression that we were no longer welcome. The chicken breast with thyme, served on rice was drier than sawdust and the rice undercooked. Neither me or my date completed our meals. We ordered dessert which was really good, and it took the taste of dry chicken and rice away. We decided to pay and leave to go to another bar and have a drink and there was absolutely no acknowledgement of our leaving. It saddens me because I have eaten there on a few occasions before and I really like it. I have never been treated like that in a restaurant in my life before and I don't think that I can eat there again.

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  • Amazing! Went for Valentine's dinner and had the most delicious peri peri prawns and chocolate fondant! Great experience, wonderful waitress! Will definitely be back!

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  • Another superb experience at Woodlands - my favourite eatery in Town. Thanks Larry and team for consistent quality.

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  • A wonderful meal. Yummy peri-peri prawns, and the best cheeseburgers in town. Great service too.

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  • Had my best pizza of 2011 on the 31st of December. Fresh, flavourful, warm and eclectic, definitely worth visiting again.

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  • 2 words, Plum Mojito's. Amazing! First time visit and thoroughly enjoyed it! I will definitely be back soon.

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  • The Yuppiechef team of 24 plus 9 partners hit the Woodlands Eatery for our year end function last night. Larry and his stellar team hosted us wonderfully, pulling off a delightful three course dinner (Mojitos, Mediterranean starter platters and any main course and dessert on their menu). Beautiful decor, great vibe and super place to spend an evening out in Cape Town (whether you're on your own or dining with your entire office team). High five.

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  • One has to congratulate the owners of The Woodlands Eatery on capturing the huge amount of local support they have, in a short space of time. One just questions the noise level - we were just a table of two (on a return visit) but could barely hear each other speak. Also questionable is the two-sitting policy of 6pm and 8pm for dinner to which we were subjected?

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  • What a hidden little gem! This restaurant has some of the best burgers and pizzas in town. Try the slow roasted lamb pizza! Ambience is great as is the service.

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  • What a spectacular experience!

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  • They make the most amazing burgers, fantastic mojitos, delicious lamb pizza and the chocolate fondant is divine. Great service, great vibe, great food - great place!

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  • The best chocolate fondant ever! The food is amazing, service is amazing! Seriously Yummy!

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  • Made a booking a week ago for dinner tonight (a tuesday night). I just called to confirm the booking and the booking has been lost and now they are fully booked. I am very irritated at now having to find somewhere else to go at the last minute. Very unprofessional.

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  • Went for lunch and was very impressed. Friendly service and nice to chat to the owner of the restaurant which is a very rare thing these days.
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  • Love love love. We go at least twice a month. Attentive but not over zealous service which I prefer; and love that the owner is always around making sure youre enjoying your food and yourself. My new favourite hang out spot for the weekend. Great salads and pizzas!
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  • Id heard such great things about this place but was disappointed. The burgers was way below average, the wine list is poor and the waiter was moody. Nice decor and the owner seems friendly, but overall our food was mediocre.
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  • What an absolute gem of a place. Have enjoyed two delightful dinners there. The food is delicious, and very well priced considering the quality of food. The atmosphere is charming, and friendly. We will certainly keep coming back for more!
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  • I love the atmosphere & decor. Staff are really friendly. Menu is quite low on vegetarian options though which is a pity as I struggle to find something to eat. But love the place apart from that!
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  • Had a great evening at this little gem of a restaurant. The food was absolutely top class (tastiest and thinnest crusted pizzas around), with a really relaxed, friendly atmosphere. Will definitely be going back.
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  • Woodlands never fails to impress! That damn lamb pizza is heavenly as is the parma ham & nectarine beauty. The decor is gorgeous & the vibe is lovely! The best part is that it wont cost you an arm and a leg and if it stays this way we will go back time after time.
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  • Do try the Lamb pizza and the garden salad with goats cheese and gooseberries. Its out of this world delicious!
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  • Love love love! Beautiful setting, well informed and friendly staff, relaxed, great food and reasonably priced, beautifully presented. Well worth the trip up the mountain to Deerpark!
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  • Fabulous, creative food with interesting combinations of flavours. Fantastic ambience and awesome decor. Great service, too, and good value for money. Cant wait to get back there!
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  • Great new addition to the CT restaurant scene. Delicious food, service with a smile and reasonably priced! Might just become my new favourite place.
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  • Such a pretty restaurant with delicious food. The staff were friendly and informative, the owners came to check that we were happy and the food was fresh, simple, perfectly seasoned and so good. Also very well priced. Will definitely be back.
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Facilities

  • Accepts credit cards
  • Booking required
  • Child friendly
  • Cocktails
  • Dinner
  • Dog-friendly
  • Eat Out reviewed
  • Food
  • Functions
  • Licensed
  • Lunch
  • Parking
  • Serves food
  • Takeaways
  • Vegetarian
  • Wheelchair
  • WiFi

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