At odds with many of Eat Out’s award-winning eateries in bustling cities, Café Bloom, named the Best Country-Style Restaurant at the 2014 Eat Out Mercedes-Benz Restaurant Awards, enjoys a quiet, idyllic setting in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands.
Michael (Mick) Haigh, also a celebrated potter who runs Café Bloom with his wife, Sally, told us that he was “overwhelmed, honoured and weak at the knees – all at the same time” when their restaurant’s name was announced at the awards. Their mission will remain the same after 10 years, however: to deliver organically grown authentic flavour that ensures and promotes good food. “This vision drives our menu.”
Mick says honesty of ingredients and integrity of the dish is vital, and for that you need absolute freshness: “Grow your own everything; it tastes better and is better for you.”
Visitors to Café Bloom in the coming months can expect some new additions like wood-fired food, and Mick and Sally are looking at doing vegetarian event catering, too.
The judge for the ‘best of’ category, Caro de Waal, was enthusiastic about the 100% seasonal menu, and the fact that they make the dishes with ingredients from the garden. “The innovation here lies in the complete freshness of their produce. They use spice and some interesting combinations, but mostly classic flavours make up these platters of fresh vegetarian fare.”
Now that your mouth is watering, here’s the full review.
Expect a feast of wholesome, vibrant plates showcasing fresh ingredients just picked from the garden. Gourmet baking awaits, with great sandwiches created from fresh ingredients slathered over a selection of fine breads. Start your visit with a serious smoothie from a range of interesting vegetable combinations – like the beetroot, pineapple and ginger brew, for example. Allow yourself to be tempted by the home baked pies, or just stop in for a great cappuccino and cheesecake. The harvest table groans with a delightful and interesting array of salads freshly picked from the garden.
It’s a limited offering, but there are some interesting organics and Midlands wines (yes, they produce wine in KZN).
Homely and comfortable in style; they get the job done. It can get very busy on weekends.
This charming eatery is located in an old shed that’s been revamped. On fair days everything spills out onto the manicured garden. On a cold day, hunker around the heaters and relax in an armchair while perusing a recipe book.
An antique shop, rug shop and gift shop add to the attraction for day-trippers.