Promising good food, coffee and cocktails from day to night, Mary + Joe opened on the Umhlanga Village strip recently and has been buzzing ever since. Mary + Joe is an all-day eatery and bakery located on the premises formerly occupied by Vovo Telo and owned by the same couple who managed that franchise.
Cost: R200 average main meal
Parking: Plenty available
Food type: Mediterranean-inspired cuisine
Star ratings: Food and drinks: 5; Service: 5; Ambience: 5
The usual iteration of eggs Benedict hits all the right notes, but it’s a vegetarian version that leaves a lasting impression – steamed asparagus and long-stem broccoli sit atop toasted ciabatta, loaded with a slab of melted buffalo mozzarella, a poached egg and Parmesan shavings, drizzled with hollandaise. It’s next-level breakfast goals.
Health breakfasts include fresh fruit, oat and porridge bowls. Enjoy paw paw and yoghurt topped with toasted sesame seed brittle, or the vegan quinoa porridge bowl soaked in coconut milk and layered with berries, seeds and fresh fruit.
Other options include make-your-own omelettes; creamy chicken livers or mushrooms with poached egg and Parmesan on ciabatta; and flapjacks with bacon, strawberries and butterscotch sauce. For larger meals, the focus is on simple ingredients combined and presented with flair. The chicken sandwich is delicious, featuring pulled roast chicken, baby spinach leaves, green mayo, avo and fresh herbs. Salmon fish cakes with a dill potato salad and aïoli are tasty, as is sweet melon, prosciutto and buffalo mozzarella topped with crunchy croutons.
Intoxicating smells waft in from the bakery, producing a tempting repertoire of breads, croissants, pastries and cakes, with gluten-free options usually available. Children can perch at the counter and watch the bakers fold and knead away, or join in to make a creation of their own – a rather delectable crocodile bread loaf emerged from the oven the day we dined, and the little baker looked super chuffed at his effort.
Good coffee keeps the morning crowd satisfied, while the evening Village-goers will enjoy sipping on one of the pretty gin cocktails with iterations like the Passion Fruit Fizz with Hendrick’s gin, passion fruit, lemon, white wine and soda; or the It’s Tea Time with Hendrick’s gin, lemon juice, rooibos tea and pineapple juice.
Friendly and efficient even at the busiest times.
Natural light, pale wood and pink neon signage make this space Instagram heaven.
Pretty breakfasts, sushi, pizza and cocktails.
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