la Belle Bistro and Bakery in Constantia feels like the grown up sibling of the Camps Bay bistro of the same name, but just with a bit more maturity.
Of course it doesn’t boast the sea views of its Camps Bay counterpart, but it offers a bumper menu that will leave you spoilt for choice.
The bistro and bakery elements are all there but with a fully licenced bar and the look and feel of that is very homely and doesn’t have the “touristy” feel of being on the Camps Bay strip.
First impressions of la Belle is positive and the layout of the restaurant is similar to it’s next door neighbour Blanko. The soft lighting and roaring fireplace makes it feel like a cosy shelter from the last lashes of the Cape winter and the whirling winds of Alphen, Constantia.
Signature cocktails at la Belle are worth checking out, the Strawberry Gin Smash goes down a treat and is filled with strawberries, mint and Tanqueray Gin topped with tonic water.
There is also a range of non-alcoholic drinks on the menu which appear to be jam packed with fruit and perfect for a summer’s evening.
la Belle might have a spruced up menu but it remains true to it’s bistro roots and offer a range of sandwiches and burgers.
The sandwiches are made with stone and wood fired oven breads and options are for a health, pan de mie, sourdough or rye bread.
But it’s on it’s main meal options that la Belle really shines because there are quite a few foodie treasures tucked away that diners would not expect from a bistro.
The theme is seafood and there is more than enough options on the plate, so much so that you almost look twice to check once again that you’re not really sitting besides the sea.
There are crispy garlic prawns which was perfectly prepared and the garlic was on your palate but not overpowering.
Other seafood options include a grilled kingklip and grilled hake as well as a pomegrante glazed salmon trout.
I opted for the grilled rump which was a very generous piece of meat and if there wasn’t any sides it would actually be a bit dry on it’s own.
The meat dish was the right choice though because with a Mussel Pot as an appetizer I wasn’t going to go any deeper into the seafood menu.
The combination of shallots, garlic, thyme, parsley, lemon, white wine and cream is a real treat especially as it was like a little throw forward to the balmy summer does that awaits in Cape Town.
But I had my eye on the prize the entire evening and it was the dessert menu because there was apple crumble on the horizon.
Aptly named Sugar & Spice, the apple crumble, cranberries, and vanilla pod ice cream was the hero of the night for me.
It was balanced between sweet and spicy and if I had to sum up la Belle with one dish it would be this one.
It felt like being at a friends place and you’ve just been given a warm dessert that was made with love and passion.
la Belle succeeds with its new menu because it’s not pretentious and the flavours and ingredients are clean and simple and like the venue makes you feel right at home.