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There’s an arty feel to Bellevue Café – a spacious, contemporary eatery with its industrial brick and ironwork that is consistently lively regardless of the time of day. Screens break up the large space, trees grow inside the restaurant for a touch of the organic and blackboards list the wine specials and craft beers on offer.
Chef-patron Chris Black has a well-earned reputation for creating food magic and in Bellevue Café that comes with a trendy vibe for breakfast, lunch and dinner – all-day food with soul.
Light nibble breakfasts range from simple croissants served with jam or cheese and Black Forest ham to a seasonal fruit bowl – an extravagance of muesli, seeds, oats, walnuts, cranberries, apricots and double cream chai pudding for a solid foundation to the day – or a banting option.
Lunches cater for the social crowd, with salads like classic Caesar; grilled chicken and zucchini ribbons; or a sublime combination of chicken, brown rice, quinoa, pickled ginger and various vegetables. Other classics are quiche Lorraine, peri-peri chicken livers, fish and chips or warm chilli coriander corncakes that embrace the regional love for spicy food.
Dinner main courses are hearty offerings that include the triple-roasted free-range duck with a Cointreau orange sauce, mashed potatoes and seasonal vegetables that are worth a return visit. The rich, creamy chicken-and-prawn curry encapsulates KwaZulu-Natal in each mouthful and the exotic flavours of the chimichurri-basted baby chicken are will make you clean the plate.
Desserts are decadent homemade treats like toasted banana bread and liquid-centred chocolate pudding, as well as classics like crème brûlée, baked cheesecake and homemade gelato. Those more inclined to savoury can indulge in a locally inspired cheese board with preserves and crackers while gently sipping an after-dinner brandy.
Blackboard lists of craft beers and the smaller wineries currently being offered adorn the wall above the kitchen hatch opening. Prices are steep but reflect the boutique value placed on products of this ilk. The printed wine list pays homage to treasures not usually seen in restaurants. Non-alcoholic drinks include the robot-coloured range of freshly crushed juices – red (beetroot, apple and ginger), green (apple, lemon and celery) or yellow (carrot, apple and pineapple) – or smoothies (peanut butter, mango and strawberry). There are also must-try milkshakes.
Service is alert and owner-driven, with staff aware of patrons without being intrusive. When busy, the wait between courses is acceptable and when there are issues, communication means patrons are not frustrated by being kept in the dark.
Bellevue Café remains a buzzy space, attracting the young and trendy with its touch of industrial brickwork, information delivered on blackboards and view into the kitchen. The décor matches the expectations – be that of a long casual lunch with good friends in the courtyard or cosiness indoors.
Bellevue Café is ideally suited to private functions, whether a wedding reception or club’s annual dinner or a smaller event like the monthly men’s poker school.
Eat Out critics dine unannounced and pay for their meals in full. Read our full editorial policy here.
Bellevue Cafe is literally one of my favourite places, from breakfasts to pastries to delicious food. We just about eat there once a day. The food is absolutely out of this world and the vibe is very relaxed and friendly, I would recommend Bellevue to anybody who enjoys a meal or coffee fit for a king. Cappuccinos that make you smile! Thumbs up Chris Black and Guy Cluver, we love you guys!