Located on a plot off the Boschkop Road to the east of Pretoria, Tin Roof Café is not the kind of place that you just accidentally stumble across – you kind of have to know where you’re going to get there. And that’s part of the magic. Tin Roof isn’t just an eatery, but a destination in its own right. It’s a place to shake off your worries, kick back and enjoy some exceptionally good food in a gorgeous farm-style setting. Owner Jenny Foulis’s warm and attentive welcome sets the tone for a consistently enjoyable dining experience.
Starters often lack flair and imagination, but not so at Tin Roof. The mussels en papilotte is a wondrous creation that requires the diner to unfurl the crisp, slightly browned parchment paper to reveal a pocket of shiny mussels, bathing in an exquisite sauce of coconut cream, coriander, chilli and celery. The lamb croquette is an equally attractive alternative. Served with a pea purée, sweet potato crisps and a red wine reduction, the croquettes are unexpectedly delicate and intensely flavoursome. Other options include homemade gnocchi and a Parma ham, pear and haloumi salad.
The mains offering is richly varied. Carnivores are well catered for, and particularly eye-catching options include the lamb cutlets with polenta and a pomegranate salsa, or the pork belly that comes with an eisbein spring roll, crackling, and a bacon-and-cider jus. There are also several chicken options, and a wild mushroom risotto on the vegetarian front. The specials menu changes frequently, but if it’s available, you’d do well to order the kabeljou – an exquisitely crafted portion of fish steamed with wild rice and almonds. The pizza menu is relatively short, but the options are all customisable with a wide variety of extras. They’re made in a wood-fired oven, and are served on a thin base with gloriously crisp edges.
Choosing a dessert is no easy task. Try the pavlova with Chantilly cream and mixed berries, or dial up the decadence with the velvety chocolate crémeux. It comes with nuggets of crunchy honeycomb which, after a few chews, reduce to a deliciously sticky toffee.
The wine list offers a concise but satisfying selection with some unusual options. The Springfield Miss Lucy white blend is a fine companion to a fish dish. On a warm summer afternoon or evening, the delicately fizzy Satori prosecco makes for a pleasant aperitif.
Service slows down ever-so-slightly during the busy moments, but the wait staff are consistently cheerful, efficient and attentive.
It’s all understated, country-style elegance without being uppity about it. The garden is an enchanting backdrop for al fresco night-time dining, while the fireplace is a big drawcard in the colder months.
It’s ideal for a family lunch on the weekend, with plenty of space for kids to run around.
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