Where: 5 Bellevue Road, Kloof
Open: Monday to Friday 7am to 10pm, Saturday 8am to 10pm, Sunday 8am to 4pm.
Call: 031 717 2780
I was visiting the Glass Guy in his new pad in Kloof and, of course, like all Durbanites forgot to take something warm. And it just got colder and colder. He suggested lunch at one of his favourites in the area and the whole family happily joined us.
I hadn’t been to Bellevue Café since before Covid. It had always been a reliable go-to place if you were in the Upper Highway area. I was happy to join them.
It’s humming and nice and warm inside. Yay, I can defrost. On a hot day the sheltered veranda is probably the place to be seen, but we were only too happy to get the last table inside. It’s a trendy modern bistro with wood-fired pizza oven on one side, and kitchen on the other. An upstairs seating arrangement has been added since my last visit and that looked full too. The staff were certainly on the hop, but still friendly and efficient. The whole atmosphere is convivial.
Somehow lunch didn’t suggest wine, so instead we went for coffees, which were as good as usual, a cappuccino for me and Patricia, a latte for the Glass Guy. Jordan relished her hot chocolate. They hit the spot.
Bellevue offers breakfast, lunch and dinner menus, their lunchtime treats taking in a number of staples, some pastas and pizzas, and light bistro classics. A specials menu adds interest. There are wraps including cajun chicken and Korean pork belly, toasties and open sandwiches on sourdough including roast veggies and Emmenthaler, or salmon and cream cheese. There are burgers including Wagyu beef or southern fried chicken, or vegetarian options. Salads take in Thai chicken and pineapple, or chicken and zucchini ribbon salad, or prawn Caesar. There are also options for kids.
Light meals include soup, quiche or pie of the day. Fish and chips or peri-peri calamari feature. And then for grills there are a selection of steaks, and ribs served with chips and corn. Cream of tomato soup served with a toasted cheese sandwich certainly appealed considering the weather.
Patricia looked no further than the house-made salmon fish cakes (R145) served with a generous side salad. These were large and decent and had plenty of fish in them, while the salad was interesting. They came with a side of tartar sauce.
Jordan’s pizza was with bacon, feta and avo (R150) and came with a nice crisp base and plenty of filling. She certainly enjoyed it – and took half of it home. Pizzas might include everything from the traditional Four Seasons or Siciliana to butter chicken, or chourico and peppadews.
I was tempted by the seafood risotto. Pastas may include prawns, or prawns and crispy calamari, or mixed seafood, or salsiccia – a very garlicky sausage with fennel from the south of Italy. I would give the broccoli and rocket pasta a wide berth. Instead I really enjoyed a special of calamari linguine (R175) in a simple garlic, olive oil, chilli and lemon sauce with a scattering of spring onions and rosa tomatoes. The flavours were good, the pasta perfectly al dente. It might have been a shade hotter.
The Glass Guy loved his cheesy feast from the specials menu. Burrata served with chargrilled grapes, basil vinaigrette and toasted ciabatta (R135). It’s an Ottolenghi-inspired dish, the savoury of the basil and the sweetness of the grapes adding contrast to that super rich creamy cheese that, once you cut it open, melts all over the plate.
Bellevue is known for their baking – a display of cakes sits under domes on a central table. The chalked-up menu advertised a pear and almond tart which tempted me, but sadly this had already sold out. And I didn’t feel like cake. Instead we settled for another of those lovely rich cappuccinos.
Food: 3 ½
Service: 3 ½
Ambience: 3 ½
The Bill: R751 for four
The Independent on Saturday