While the style of this Cape Town gem continues to evolve with the seasons, Hemelhuijs still pleases city bowl dwellers with its popular all-day breakfasts and innovative lunches.
Cost: R130 average main course
Parking: There’s no parking available outside the restaurant; park in Bree Street.
Best for: Breakfast, brunch and lunch.
Star ratings: Food and drinks: 4; Ambience: 5; Service: 5
Breakfast at Hemelhuijs is served all day and consists of seasonal poached fruit and mealie meal porridge served with butter and honey. The potato rosti served with poached eggs and Hollandaise is consistently featured on the menu and for good reason – the potato cake is the perfect vessel for soaking up the runny egg yolks and Hollandaise.
The lunch menu is divided into sections of botanical plates – which are different interpretations of carpaccio using fish, meat, veggies and even fruit. The lunch main courses are titled ‘From the sea and land’, which is aptly named to suit the proteins featured on the menu. The signature dish is the slow-cooked frikkadels wrapped in cabbage leaves.
The dessert selection is not featured on the menu, which is odd since there’s so much detail put into the descriptions of the savoury dishes on the menu. I suspect that the chef is not as concerned with desserts as with the other menu items. The dessert selection is displayed in a glass case at the till point and features a seasonal fruit tart as well as a classic milk tart. Other confections include a nutty meringue layered dessert.
The delicious freshly made juices come served in glass carafes. Coffees and teas are served with brown or white sugar cubes, giving you a feeling of old-world sophistication as you stir using a pearl teaspoon. There’s a small selection of 13 local wines on offer, sold by the glass or the bottle. There’s also the option to try the house red or white, which are served by the carafe. Cocktails and beers are on offer as well.
The space is an assault on the eyes – in a good way. Every inch of the restaurant, including the ceiling, is all but made for Instagram. Owner Jacques Erasmus takes care in designing and arranging the space to make it visually interesting and changes the décor as per the season. The ceiling is covered in dried hydrangeas and the feature wall is lined with floral prints, forming the backdrop for the homemade preserves on sale. Also on sale is a selection of crockery used at the restaurant.
Service is speedy and efficient.
The menu is beautifully designed and, like the décor, changes with the season. The current theme focuses on nature.
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