Diane de Beer
The trio (a brother, sister and wife/sister-in-law) from the already established Smaak and d.o.u.g.h Catering was approached by King Price Insurers to establish and run a canteen for their 600 plus employees but because of quality food and spectacular views, they decided to open their doors to the public.
The food has very specific goals in mind. There’s a captive audience who come through the doors more than once a day (usually breakfast and lunch), so the choice must be smart, with quantity and quality and at an appealing price. Freshness and health is important and there are many different options throughout the day. Breakfast includes all the egg options like a breakfast wrap with bacon, scrambled egg and tomato or a greenie egg with two eggs, fresh tomato and guacamole with two slices of toast. An omelette with bacon, mushrooms, tomato, cheese and a slice toast is unbeatable but you might prefer their Zulu offering with two hardboiled eggs, two slices of Hickory ham, cheddar, Romanita tomatoes and a panini. They also have grab and go, paninis and sandwiches, quick bites and sides and smoothies. Lunch has two distinct menus. There’s a traditional canteen section, a weekly menu that changes daily with hot dishes like lamb and sundried tomato pie, beef and tomato stew, citrus chicken pot or pork, chicken and white bean casserole at a price that has you smiling; or you could choose from the more café type menu with soft tacos, Tex Mex, wraps, grills with many burger variations and the list goes on. On Friday evenings when doors stay open until 9pm, the meals are more substantial but still more affordable than most. From
creamy peri peri chicken lives with pita or beef rissoles with garlic aioli to pork ramen with crispy veggies in a chilli and ginger noodle broth to their signature spit roasted lamb in a pita with cherry tomatoes, red onions, rocket and homemade sauces. It all started with their Hazelwood Market stall to promote their catering where they still do their spit roasts every Saturday. It’s unbeatable in the present climate.
All the basics are there from wines (Pierre Jordaan Rose and Brut to Haute Cabriere Chardonnay/Pinot Noir or unwooded Pinot Noir), shooters, beers on tap, ciders and a selection of hard tack but they claim to make the best coffee and it is good, hot chocolate, energy drinks as well as a still or sparkling water, smoothies and milkshakes are all part of the deal.
It’s a busy and hectic operation and the staff are on their toes. Because it is almost round the clock, they’re efficient and empowered to make all the right moves.
They have cleverly designed a contemporary canteen look but have kept it as clean and simple as possible because people are their main feature – and the view. Four stories up, there’s a 180 deg view of Pretoria with an outside deck which diners will be scrapping for on a summer’s night. The venue presents a blank canvas for functions.
Almost anything you wish for. Because they’re only open during the week, weekends have become hugely popular for office parties, year-end functions, weddings and special birthdays. You have basically a blank space to work with – and then the drop-dead view with the sky a strong feature.
Eat Out critics dine anonymously and pay for their meals in full. Read our editorial policy here.