There’s nothing quite as enjoyable as Sunday lunch with friends, and Flavour Café in Pietermaritzburg certainly delivered the goods when we visited them recently. Situated in the attractive surroundings of the colourful Dunrobin Nursery in the upmarket suburb of Oak Park, Flavour Café has to be one of Pietermaritzburg’s best-kept secrets.
The beautifully decorated menu offers everything you would expect to find at a café, and more. A variety of cooked breakfast dishes, including omelettes, are served throughout day while a selection of croissants, muffins and ‘health breakfasts’ are available for those who would prefer something lighter.
‘Old favourites’ include offerings such as tramezzini, melts, ciabatta, and a selection of curries, while ‘light and tasty’ options come in the form of quiche of the day, avocado on toast and the honey mustard chicken salad to mention but a few. The comprehensive menu also includes a selection of burgers, wraps, pastas and tea-time treats such as toasted sandwiches, as well as a number of dessert options.
Spoilt for choice, none of us had an easy time deciding what to have but I eventually selected the gourmet beef burger, which sounded like a good deal at R60. Crowned with a trio of tasty looking onion rings and accompanied by a number of thick potato wedges, the gourmet burger resembled a mini-skyscraper and for a moment I felt I was about to bite off more than I could chew.
However, I was up for the challenge, eventually managing to finish my meal, which was thoroughly delicious (the onion rings were lovely, the wedges even better and the patty itself rather tasty). The dish also included a choice of five sauces (mushroom, garlic, monkey gland, pepper or cheese) at no extra cost and even when I requested an extra helping of mushroom sauce (always my first choice) I was not charged for it.
Mary-Anne opted for the flavour chicken bun (a home-made chicken schnitzel on a toasted bun with bacon, avocado, cheese and mayonnaise), while Olive settled for one of the specials of the day, a helping of fish and chips at R55. Mary-Anne raved about the chicken bun (R65), remarking that it was “lovely and tender”, and that the “flavours complemented one other superbly well”. Olive was equally impressed with the fish and chips, which she simply described as being “very tasty”.
Paul selected the curry of the day (R70), which was served with rice, sambals and poppadums. He loved the dish, remarking that it was “absolutely delicious”, and the portion “most generous”. Indeed, the portion certainly was substantial, as was the case with all of our dishes.
With no room for dessert I had to pass that up, but my friends, who had obviously eaten less, treated themselves to a helping of apple crumble and ice cream. They all loved it and understandably so. It looked absolutely wonderful!
I really liked Flavour Café. The quality of the service and the food was of a high standard and the relaxing ambience and elegant decor proved to be the perfect setting for a fantastic Sunday lunch. Owner Lee Hankey (who does a lot of the cooking himself) is a good example of why a hands-on approach is essential to the success of any business, and with friendly and professional staff members such as Slindo (our waitress for the afternoon) on board it’s easy to see why this restaurant is doing so well.
Flavour Café is a superb little eatery that offers affordable, value-for-money meals in a beautiful and picturesque setting and is a refreshing alternative to the norm of franchised restaurants in these modern times. The establishment is fully licensed and is open from Mondays to Saturdays from 08h00 to 16h30 and on Sundays and public holidays from 08h00 to 16h00.
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Flavour Café Contact details
Telephone: +27 (0)33 347-0142
Physical address: Oak Hill Estate, 31 Warwick Road, Oak Park, Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal