Sunday is a day of rest. It’s when we allow ourselves to take a breather at the end of a busy week and spend quality time with our loved ones – and those traditional comfort foods, of course. But for many apron wearers, Sunday is a different day. It’s the day they get up early to peel potatoes, slave over the hot stove and have to prepare the pudding too. Dad’s favourite roast leg of lamb and mom’s saucy baked malva won’t make themselves. Luckily, you can go out and get someone else to do it for you. To ensure the family cook gets their day of rest too, here’s a list of restaurants offering carvery lunches, buffet tables and hearty one-pot dishes for the whole family.
33 High Street
Families gather under the huge tree at lunchtime on Sundays. The à la carte menu offers peri-peri half chicken; espetada; some old-fashioned traditional Portuguese dishes such as rabbit stew, venison stew, or oxtail served with mash or cous cous. Sweet endings to try are lemon meringue and their famous Modderfontein Mud Slice, which is richly decadent and made from pure Lindt chocolate.
This eatery is a must for traditional Portuguese lunches on Sundays, including cozido à Portuguesa (a rich stew); bacalhau à braz (shreds of bacalhau, onions and matchstick fried potatoes with scrambled eggs, black olives and fresh parsley); feijoada (a stew of beans with beef and pork); leitão (spit-roasted suckling pig basted with a paste of garlic, pepper, salt, bay leaves and pig fat); and arroz de marisco (a Portuguese seafood rice).
It’s no wonder that queues form early on a Sunday: you can get a plate of good, old-fashioned Sunday lunch and dessert for only R110 per person. There’s a choice of roast beef, lamb or pork, served plated with baby carrots, green beans, Yorkshire pudding, a jug of gravy and a choice of condiments (apple sauce, horseradish or mint jelly). Dessert options may be Malva pudding, chocolate brownies, cheesecake or crème brûlée.
This Italian-style institution celebrates the family on Sundays with a set lunch at R290 per person (including filter coffee or tea). Home-baked bread and a lovely garden salad are served upon arrival. To begin, choose from dishes like gnocchi with four-cheese sauce, carpaccio alla Romano or a simple chicken liver starter. Main course options include items like lamb shank with risotto and vegetables; beef fillet with roast potatoes and vegetables; or, for vegetarian guests, lasagna al pesto. On Sundays the dessert table may feature their famous pavlova, lemon meringue pie or a decadent chocolate cake.
This trendy gastro pub may not at first appear to be suitable for visiting en famille, but they specifically cater for this on Sundays. The main roast choices range between R110 and R120, and include chicken with sage-and-onion stuffing, served with pigs in a blanket and bread sauce; a lemon, garlic and rosemary-infused roast leg of lamb with homemade mint jelly; thyme-mustard roast rib of beef with Yorkshire pudding and horseradish cream; and deboned pork belly with buttered Savoy cabbage, pancetta, apple sauce and crackling. All roast options are served with potatoes roasted in duck fat, seasonal vegetables and gravy.
This is the ideal Sunday lunch spot where kiddies can roam while their parents shop for plants, followed by a family lunch. Gia’s has a lovely list of dishes served on Sundays only, including chicken curry with rice, salad, sambals, poppadoms and chutney; cottage, mutton or chicken pie with salad or fries; grilled calamari and lemon-butter sauce; grilled chicken breast with baby marrow and broccoli in a honey-mustard sauce; rump on a spinach and butternut tower with pepper sauce; penne Neapolitan; and grilled salmon with stir-fried vegetables and lemon butter sauce.
Hodges serves a Sunday lunch at a budget price of R100 per person, which includes roast lamb, pork (with crisp crackling, of course) and roast chicken. (They do not offer beef since they cannot accommodate individual preferences for doneness.) Portions are plated and served with Yorkshire pudding, roast potatoes, peas, roast vegetables and rice.
Leafy Greens Café
There should also be a vegan restaurant to cater to families with slightly divergent requirements for Sunday lunch. The food at Leafy Greens is all hand-crafted, straight from the garden, and always seasonal and local – honest farm-to-table produce. Sundays sees them preparing a massive buffet with home-made curries, croquettes, vegan and gluten-free breads, soups, salads, rice paper rolls and two large pizzas, one of which is raw. Prices range between R85 and R125 per person.
This restaurant and its adjacent little diner, RTG (Ready To Go), offers something unusual for Sunday lunch: a fish braai. Options range from R96 to R180 and include salmon, hake, line fish, and Portuguese-style sardines (when in season), with a range of sauces such as teriyaki, Bangladeshi tikka sauce, green or red Thai sauce, or cashew and coriander pesto. Accompaniments include options like basmati rice, sushi rice, roasted vegetables, rocket salad and herbed tagliatelle. Kids can indulge in an interactive marshmallow braai.
Roots at Forum Homini
Sunday lunch is a treat at this restaurant on a private game reserve. The six-course Sunday lunch menu changes from month to month and is priced at R350 per person. Typical menu options include cured quail breast and leg with quince, crayfish, soft-boiled quail egg, ginger and beetroot or luxurious venison with apple, tonka beans and pickled red cabbage.
Situated on the gorgeous Irene Dairy Farm, The Barn restaurant is a calming retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city. Their Sunday lunch buffet at R165 per person offers salads and freshly baked bread, roast beef with gravy; roast chicken, creamy baked hake and traditional vegetables like creamed spinach, butternut and steamed mixed vegetables, rice and potatoes. To finish the meal, they offer a baked pudding with custard, fresh fruit salad with their own Irene Dairy Farm cream.
Along with their recent revamp, Blue Crane has also given their menu a facelift. The Sunday lunch buffet at R140 per person has received special attention and offers all the old carvery favourites like lamb and beef roasts as well as osso bucco, venison pie and an array of wonderful vegetable dishes. They also have a grill where chefs prepare meat to order, a fresher take on traditional carvery. To top it all off, the restaurant is situated in the beautiful Austin Roberts bird sanctuary and overlooks the tranquil lake.
This is a great spot if you’re looking for traditional carvery-style food and plaas kos at R109 per person. There are always five meat dishes and five vegetables on offer depending on what the chef gets from the market, along with rice, potato dishes and traditional desserts like malva pudding, ice cream and chocolate sauce and fruit salad.
Granita @ Kievits Kroon
For something more along the lines of fine dining, Granita’s five-course Sunday lunch at R185 per person won’t disappoint. The amuse-bouche of melon and prosciutto is followed by the chef’s choice of soup and a grilled scallop dish. Lamb rack with fondant potatoes, Mediterranean vegetables and onion mash is on offer as a main course and your meal will be finished with a decadent chocolate cake and chocolate mousse dessert.
Restaurant Mosaic at The Orient
Situated at the beautiful Orient Private Hotel, Restaurant Mosaic is a Sunday lunch venue for when you’re celebrating a special birthday or family milestone. Enjoy dishes off the grande degustation menu at R875 per person. You can look forward to dishes like quail with wholegrain mustard or veal loin with red wine jus.
Square Time Café
Look forward to a traditional three-course carvery at R129 per person at Square Time. A selection of roast meats including beef and lamb are served with gravies and sauces as accompaniments. Fresh salads, meat on the grill and a selection of vegetable dishes are also available. The chefs are constantly changing the menu but pampoen koekies, creamed spinach with feta and roast potatoes are a few favourites.
This Sunday lunch buffet offers something for everyone. Their traditional carvery includes lamb, beef, pork and chicken options and an array of vegetables from creamed spinach and sweet butternut to vegetable pie. They also offer a stir-fry section and a sushi bar. The dessert section includes malva pudding, tipsy tart with custard, freshly made waffles, ice cream with sauces and jelly and custard. Cost is R175 for adults, R160 for pensioners, R85 for kids under ten and R30 for those under five.
The Royal Natal Yacht Club
Try the yacht club for a dose of nostalgia and brilliant value for money. The buffet at R165 per person features starters of seafood (prawns, mussels, calamari and smoked salmon), cold meats and salads, while mains include curries and three roasts served with vegetables. A selection of desserts, cheese and biscuits plus tea or coffee is also included. The Britannia room requires an informal dress code and offers views of the marina, city and harbour.
This is for those who want their eat-as-much-as-you-can experience to be five star. In the plush Sugar Club, guests sink into armchairs and relish the fine dining atmosphere as a musician tinkles away on the piano. For R250 per person, make your way through the three-course buffet with main course offerings of roasts with mandatory accompaniments and a good curry.
This retro hotel has been offering its legendary Sunday buffet for decades. Currently going for R165 per person, it’s served in the swish-sounding Versailles restaurant with its elegant armchairs, chandeliers and sea views. Main course options are the true highlight, including roasts with the usual accompaniments, lamb curry, pasta dishes and, if you’re lucky, pork ribs.
Abingdon Wine Estate
Abingdon produces KZN’s only estate wines, so Sunday lunches are best kicked off with a tasting. The interior is cosy and homely and the menu showcases comfort food at its best. Mains are R110 to R130 and could include pork belly slow-roasted with cider, apples, onions and sherry, an Asian chicken curry, or local trout served on a bed of leeks and courgettes with a phyllo and almond topping. Bookings are essential and no children under 12 are allowed.
Every Sunday a well-priced roast at R69 per person is served up. It’s mostly deboned lamb (or else regulars would riot) served with rice, creamed spinach, and butternut and roast potatoes. Your lunch is best enjoyed alfresco in a spot of warm winter sun overlooking the pretty gardens. There is a kids’ play area and expansive lawns to keep young diners entertained.
This casual, vibey restaurant is always packed with locals due to the delicious, unpretentious food and efficient service. One or two roasts are served every Sunday (ranging from R98 to R105) along with two vegetables, roast potatoes and a Yorkshire pudding. Press Club is well known in curry circles so look out for what’s on special.
Granny Mouse Bistro
This country-style bistro is the perfect Midlands stopover for a family lunch. Old-fashioned classics are superbly prepared and delivered by hospitable staff. Think bangers and mash with onion gravy and tomato jam; pan-fried ox liver with sautéed potatoes, bacon and rosemary gravy; or lamb chops with carrot and cannellini bean stew. (The cost of an average main course is R85.) The wine list is outstanding and there is a great children’s menu.
Serving elegant bistro cuisine, Sixteen82’s menu offers hearty dishes (R120 on average) that are perfect for a big family lunch. Dishes range from ricotta gnocchi and roast pork loin to beef fillet served with red wine sauce and a plate of charcuterie that is perfect for the table – and don’t miss chef Brad Ball’s famous pork belly. The large, airy space is welcoming to the whole family.
Café Paradiso (closed for winter break until 21 July)
Families who gather to enjoy the homely atmosphere might opt for hearty meals (ranging from R75 to R155) like belly-filling pasta and risotto, or something like the bacon-wrapped kudu loin or free-range rosemary chicken. The meat antipasti makes a good starter option to share (R230 for four people).
Families love this spot with its indoor and outdoor play areas and convenient seating for parents to watch them. The courtyard setting is particularly appealing on a sunny winter’s day. Kids have a whole menu dedicated to them and the main menu features pasta of the day (R82), a Cape Malay roti (R73) and nourishing burgers (R75-R85).
The Conservatory (Cellars-Hohenort)
The Cellars Sunday roast at R125 per person is a special treat, where guests can experience a selection of Mrs McGrath’s own tasty recipes. The carvery includes dishes like roast beef loin, Yorkshire pudding and seasonal vegetables in delicious roasting juices.
Striking an easy balance between rustic and smart, this bistro has a comfortable and welcoming farm-style atmosphere that’s great for the family. Tuck into a Karoo lamb and kidney pot pie with red wine and shallots (R118) or the winter risotto with butternut, pumpkin seeds and sage (R106).
The Grand Café and Beach (Closed for a winter break until 31 July)
The setting in summertime at this beach spot could not be better, while the views of Signal Hill and Table Mountain make a family outing setup like no other. The winter feast menu is a two- (R165) or three-course (R195) menu containing pork belly with lentil risotto, chicken curry and fried calamari as main options and coconut and peach kernel milk tart or chocolate brownies for dessert.
Harbour House in Kalk Bay
Harbour House is the perfect place for stylish long lunches accompanied by good friends and cold bubbly. The beautiful sea views by day make this a popular spot, so make a booking in advance. The chalkboard menu offers the line fish of the day (SQ) while sautéed paprika calamari and grilled beef fillet with fondant potato, fine green beans, mushroom ragout and truffle cream sauce are staples on the menu. The average mail meal will cost R160.
Kitima (Hout Bay)
This is the place to embark on a lengthy Asian-style Sunday lunch buffet at R250 per person. The feast of delicacies is freshly prepared in front of your eyes; presentation is excellent and flavours are simply sensational. Start with and share dim sum and sushi, while mains offer everything from curries to duck dishes and seafood.
They offer daily blackboard specials and on the weekend these usually include steaks, roast chicken and other hearty dishes. The Italian Feast is a good option for families of six or more: you pay R165 per person and can enjoy antipasti, side salads and unlimited pizza. There’s also the pasta and pizza feast for R140 per person, available for groups of six or more adults: share three different pasta bowls (meaty and vegetarian), followed by a green salad and unlimited pizza (shared slice by slice).
The historic venue has views of the Atlantic coast and a sophisticated ambience. Their four-course winter menu includes items like slow-roasted pork neck, slow-cooked oxtail potjie, Malay-spiced chicken curry and Asian-glazed sticky pork. (Mains range from R65 to R120.)
Tables @ Nitida
This spot is great for family lunch with local wines from the Durbanville wine valley. Indulge in South African comfort food with a twist, such as biltong and sweet potato risotto or waterblommetjie bredie. Their burgers are also a great option for the kids in the family. An average main course will cost R80.
Take a stroll as a family before lunch to explore the incredible estate gardens and architecture. After you’ve worked up an appetite, order the slow-cooked leg of lamb or the variety of delicious vegetables, charcuterie and artisan bread. An average main meal will cost you R150.
Foliage focuses on forest-to-table comfort food with an innovative flair. Dishes showcase Chris Erasmus’s foraging, pickling and preserving skills, but you can anticipate culinary adventures like slow-roasted pork shoulder with anise-glazed baby carrots, nettle-crushed potatoes, whey-pickled onions and a port glaze.
Harvest at Laborie
Settle your family next to a fireplace in winter or on the terrace watching the view in summer. Order the share-worthy fresh West Coast mussels (R115), tomato tagliarini (R110) and a range of hearty steaks (R110-R135).
A country-style favourite with unpretentious service and seasonal menus, Marianas offers an outstanding setting for a slow lunch with the family. The ever-changing menu offers dishes like Mariana’s lamb and grandma’s chicken pie. The average main meal will cost R110.
Sunday lunch at Overture with family and friends is a real bucket-list item to tick off. The current menu includes garlic soup with red wine snails, croutons and garlic chips for starters and spice-rubbed Sweetwell pork fillet with gem squash purée and pumpkin seeds for mains. A six-course tasting menu is available at R540 per person.
Winner of the 2013 Eat Out DStv Food Network Restaurant Award for best country-style restaurant, Towerbosch is the cream of the lazy Sunday lunch crop. The meal starts with artisan bread and moves onto starters (think soups or soufflés) and mains of slow-roasted lamb, chicken or wild-mushroom casserole. End off your meal with the likes of dark Valrhona truffle tart with salted caramel or rose-water-poached seasonal fruit. The country feast is served on Sundays only at R200 per person.
If you know of a great Sunday lunch spot that we’ve missed, please let us know in the comments and we’ll investigate.