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The Company’s Garden Restaurant

6 Reviews
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Burgers, Café fare, Cape Malay, Coffee, International, Light meals, Modern, Seafood, South African, Vegan food, Vegetarian
Phone Number 0214232919 Opening Hours Breakfast Lunch

Breakfast: Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri, Sat, Sun 8.00am - 11.30am

Lunch: Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri, Sat, Sun 11.30am - 5.00pm

Menu

PDF - Menu_Online

Details

Cost
R120 avg main meal
Food
Burgers, Café fare, Cape Malay, Coffee, International, Light meals, Modern, Seafood, South African, Vegan food, Vegetarian
Corkage
R50
Cost
R120 avg main meal
Ambience
Business meetings, Groups, Kids, Special occasions, Views
Payment
Amex, Diners, Diners Club, Mastercard, Snapscan, Visa
Facilities
Accepts credit cards, Alfresco, Beer served, Breakfast, Child friendly, Cocktails, Dog-friendly, Fireplace, Food, Functions, Licensed, Lunch, Parking, Serves food, Takeaways, Vegetarian, Wheelchair, WiFi

Location and contact

15 Queen Victoria Street, Cape Town

Critic's review

  • Ambience
  • Service
  • Food

Jeanne Calitz

Food
The Company’s Garden Restaurant is that rare find: a decades-old and beloved establishment received a much-needed and yet appropriate facelift, and has now comfortably settled into its new look and rhythm. If, however, you’re hankering after youthful forays into the city (even taking the train, perhaps?) and enjoying fish and chips at the Company Gardens Café while tossing stray crumbs at the ever-present pigeons, never fear, both the dish and the birds are still on the menu (so to speak).

There’s a nice breakfast menu, perfect for those days when you may have half an hour to spare before the first meeting. The lunch menu is quite straightforward and offers something for every taste (even a vegan option or two). Personally, I lean towards the dishes that celebrate our local heritage, like the bobotie roti under the starters, and the Cape Malay butter chicken curry, a very fragrant dish that is sure to chase all winter blues away. Next time I want to try the Cape Malay platter for sure, which includes beef samoosas, dhaaltjies, spicy vegetarian spring rolls and chutney.

There are also a couple of salads, the aforementioned fish and chips, a burger, and a chicken and mushroom pot pie that simply oozes invitation.

The dessert table – with a nice variety of cakes – is inviting. And then of course you can always go for that old Company’s Garden staple – scones with cheese, cream and jam. Lekker, man.

Drinks
The wine list is vaster than you would expect of a restaurant in a botanical garden, although the mark-up is on the steep end. On the plus side, given their urban setting and the fact that plenty of the clientele will be city workers, there’s plenty of choice by the glass. There’s also some craft beer, a small selection of cocktails (do try the Gardens Pimms) and some milkshakes for the kids to indulge in. Highly recommended are the fresh juices – my choice of apple, pear and mint went down a treat.

Service
Very friendly and accommodating. I’ve heard that it can be a touch slow on busy days, but the restaurant was hopping when I got there and I had no trouble. Besides which, you are eating in a botanical garden. Take your time for a change, and enjoy a slow meal.

Ambience
The restaurant really has a lovely vibe – the setting is peaceful without being sleepy, and busy without being too loud. The theme of the lush gardens outside is continued within, with plenty of greenery and green touches in the furniture, complemented by natural wooded textures. If you’re on your own or enjoying a working lunch, grab a seat by the window counter, which offers charging facilities and a pleasant view of the outside goings-on – particularly the pigeons doing their breadcrumb-hustle. And if you’re lucky (and quick), you may nab a spot in front of the indoor fireplace. The bathrooms are sparkling clean and offer wheelchair access and baby-changing facilities.

And…
The venue is available for functions (even at night), with several well-designed function menus to choose from. Given the family-friendly setting, it would also be the perfect choice for a birthday party.

(August 2017)

Eat Out critics dine unannounced and pay for their meals in full. Read our editorial policy here.

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User reviews

6 Reviews
    Six of us went for breakfast, We ordered 4 coffee's, a tea with cold milk and an orange juice. The coffees arrived with no teaspoons and the coffee had spilt onto the saucers. The tea arrived on a rectangular plate, cracked tea pot, chipped plate with tea all over it, no milk and no teaspoon. The orange juice never arrived! We asked the waiter where the orange juice is and he apologized and said they are out of stock. Asked for milk three times before we received it. As far as the breakfast is concerned. All six of us were disappointed. 2 plates were dirty, my sunny side eggs had obviously been under the heat lamp for a really long time as they looked like sunny side but the yolks were totally dry. I can go on and on about other problems but I don't have all day to type.

    This spot is so utterly lovely, surrounded by history and beautiful greenery, that it's hard to have a bad time here. But wow, the dish I had on Sunday really tested my resolve. Billed as a calamari salad with feta, grilled vegetables, greens and creme fraiche, it sounded delicious and full of texture and freshness. Boy, was I wrong. The calamari was tender enough, but I wasn't sure how it was cooked, it having no discernible flavour and lacking the scorch marks of a nice smoky baptism in the pan. The grilled veg were nowhere to be seen on initial inspection - halfway through I found scraps of some hard aubergine and zucchini, but not enough to warrant being mentioned on the menu. The 'greens' were just loads of frilly lettuce and there was no creme fraiche; instead, the lot was drenched in Greek salad dressing from a bottle. For ±R80, too! My friends' meals all looked - and tasted - delicious, so I had a major case of order envy. I will be back, but know better now and will stick to cake, scones or burgers. Hopefully it was just a bad day that they sent something out of the kitchen missing half its ingredients.

    Great restaurant for lunch under the trees. I had the calamari salad which was really good. Also their chips are the best so had to order a side of that with my salad. Its a pity the park itself is full of so many dodgy characters. They need to get people to pay R10 entry to the park and/or have security people around to keep the dodgy out.
    My mother and I had lunch in the new Company's Gardens Restaurant and was utterly disappointed in the food. I ordered Cajun grilled calamari and my mom opted for the Governor's Choice - a spicey chicken liver dish served with bread. When the food arrived, we smelt something off... I was hesitant to try the calamari put in front of me because it smelt really really bad, but it took one bite of a piece anyway, thinking it might be the spice I'm smelling... Bad idea. The calamari was completely rotten, and in the long time it took a waiter to realize we needed assistance and remove the plate from our table, the gentleman at the table next to ours had already gone to the bathroom because he felt like he was going to get sick from the smell (he told us later). The chicken livers my mother ordered, again, was bloody raw. We both love our meat done rare, so pink flesh or a bit of blood won't bother us, but the livers were still oozing blood into the cream sauce it's served in. NOT acceptable. I love the Company's Gardens, I think it's the restaurant with the coolest setting in the city... but I'm afraid they've lost a loyal customer. While I might have still excused the raw livers, serving people rotten food is out of the question.

    The ambience outdoors is beautiful, but things can get a little loud indoors, what with the clattering of the kitchen. Book well ahead if you'd like a seat in the jungly, sun-dappled area outside.

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