A few weeks ago, we were invited to attend The Village Bistro in Durbanville, and what a hidden gem it is. It's situated on Pampoenkraal Street, parallel to Durban Road, and, because they have been doing building across the road, it is easy to miss it (like we did). But you'd be missing out (literally), because their food is great and really good value for money. They opened in September last year, but are continuously introducing new concepts as they go along.
Their aim is to offer a comfortable, relaxed eatery that is affordable to us locals, but that also does not compromise on quality. They hire local chefs (some already professional and some not) and train them in their own kitchens and really help to develope them into something special. I like that they try to maintain the individuality of those who work there and allow them to be creative - the chef even grows her own herbs in the courtyard at the back.
We opted to sit in the courtyard at the back (see below) because I love sitting outside. It's a quaint little area, with just four tables. We later moved inside though, because it was a very hot day and it was a bit cooler inside. The outside area is also unfortunately a smoking area, but inside, you can breathe in the fresh air coming in from the front.
If you are a regular reader, you'd know I love my Sauvignon Blanc, but instead, I opted for a cocktail as these were recommended by our waitress, Danica. I ordered a Margarita cocktail (see below left). It was really refreshing and tasty on what was a super hot day. I think their cocktails are still quite new, because they aren't on the menu.
If you aren't keen for anything alcoholic, you can order a milkshake. We shared the Chocolate Brownie milkshake (see below right) for R29. It is super rich and loaded with chocolate. I'd definitely recommend ordering one of those if you have a sweet tooth.
For a starter, we got to try out their homemade flatbread with three dips (see below). The one we had was very light and it tasted great. The bread costs R10 and you can choose to accompany it with a selection of dips, which range from R12 to R15.
We had three dips:
Basil Pesto R15 - fresh basil blended with garlic, parmesan cheese, roasted pine nuts and olive oil
Danish Feta R12 - marinated with olive oil, rosemary and roasted garlic
Lemon infused artichoke dip R12 - artichoke hearts creamed with cottage cheese and lemon juice
Although they were all really tasty, I preferred the first two. The basil pesto was exceptionally amazing - I would have bought some to take home if I could have!
For the main course, we opted to order two different ones so that we could share them both. Gary couldn't decide what burger to order because there were some great ones to choose from, so he opted for the slider option. Here, you order a Trio of Sliders for R75 (see below), which is a really reasonable price for what you get. You can choose your own three sliders out of six.
Gary choose the following three:
Tex Mex (R22 on its own) - Jalapeño, tomato and red onion salsa, guacamole, mature cheddar and butter lettuce
Moroccan Lamb (R26 on its own) - Tzatsiki, sweet dukkha, tomato, aoili and rocket
Pulled Pork (R30 on its own) - Slow-cooked pork belly, with spicy apple, mixed cabbage slaw and served with a mustard mayonnaise
They were all amazing and cooked to our requirements of medium-rare.
I opted for a pizza as they are known for making super tasty pizzas. The pizzas are hand-crafted and made with stone ground flour, and the bases are light and crispy. I thought they had quite unusual toppings, like Minted Baby Marrow, so I opted for a flavour combination that was new to me: a Pancetta Pizza (see below) for R65. The toppings included crispy pancetta strips, tomatoes and artichokes, topped with goat's cheese and drizzled with preserved ginger. It was really tasty, but I personally could have done with a bit less ginger. Pancetta and goat's cheese, however, is a cool combination.
Overall, we had a great time. The Bistro serves breakfasts too, and also offers specials evenings: On a Saturday, you can order any 5 tapas or starters for R250, and, on a Tuesday, it's only R22 for a slider.
OVERALL RATING: (Based on a Bistro): 83%
Food: 80% - The food really is good and it doesn't take forever for it to get to your table.
Wine Selection/Price: 80% - Although the wine selection is not great, the wines they do stock are good quality wines. They also have a range of ciders. As mentioned above, they offer cocktails. They also offer beers, and are apparently going to be serving beer on tap soon. So there really is something for everyone.
Service: 90% - This venue knew that we were coming, but still, Danica's service was great. She was super-friendly, helpful and efficient, without being overbearing. The service from the rest of the staff was also great - everyone was very professional.
Ambiance: 80% - The restaurant has done a great job with the décor in such a small space. It's earthy and modern and makes great use of light. I do wish that the outside area was non-smoking, but the non-smokers can have an equally good time inside (especially if you sit at the bar counter which faces the street at the front of the restaurant).
Would I go back? Yes, definitely. I think it would be a great social outing with friends where we can order some beers, tapas and sliders. It's affordable, and close to home, if you're a local, like me.
Contact: +27 21 976 1206
Address: 5 Pampoenkraal Street, Durbanville, 7551
Website: Not available, but here is their Facebook Page (there are two, but I think this is the right one): https://www.facebook.com/ThevillagebistroDV/
Side note: The Village Bistro is closed on a Sunday.