Hilton is a small town that lies on the brow of the escarpment above Pietermaritzburg and is home to a number of restaurants, eateries and coffee shops. One of those establishments is The Sticky Fig Coffee Shop and Bistro situated at the well-known Rotunda centre on the outskirts of the town. We decided to visit The Sticky Fig for lunch recently to see what they had to offer, and despite mixed feelings, we all agreed that this eatery has the potential to do really well.
The Sticky Fig Coffee Shop specialises in a variety of delicious hot and cold beverages such as coffees, lattés, cappuccinos, smoothies and fruit shakes, and their freshly baked cakes and muffins are reported to be some of the best in the area. I had a hot chocolate drink (R18), which was rich and tasty, while both Mary-Anne and my mom settled for an iced tea (R12).
After enjoying our refreshments we had a look at the food menu to see if we could find anything that tickled our fancy. There was certainly a lot to choose from in the form of trammezinis, homemade quiches, sandwiches, hamburgers, pancakes, salads and a number of main and light meal options, but we all decided to have one of the establishment’s daily specials, the Sunday roast (R80).
Comprising a roast leg of lamb served with potato, vegetables and gravy, the Sunday roast was rather good. The meat was tender and flavoursome, the potatoes most delicious and the vegetables, except for the spinach, reasonably tasty. However, had the dish not included a starter (a helping of French salad, coleslaw, bean soup and a slice of bread), it would not have represented value for money since a Sunday roast in this part of the world seldom exceeds R65. For dessert I had a huge helping of lemon meringue pie (R25), which was wonderfully good and well worth the money.
Mary-Anne was not as impressed with the Sunday roast as I was, remarking that although the quality and taste of the meal was “okay”, having it served on a cold plate was “disappointing”. Mary-Anne had a rather substantial helping of ice cream and chocolate sauce (R22) for dessert but, unfortunately, she disliked the offering, remarking that the ice cream “wasn’t at all creamy”, and that it “tasted more like sorbet than anything else”.
My mom, for the most part, “enjoyed the Sunday roast” and had it not been for the fact that her carrots were cold, she could not fault the dish in any way. Unfortunately, as was the case with Mary-Anne, she did not enjoy her helping of ice cream and chocolate sauce, citing exactly the same reasons.
In terms of overall value for money The Sticky Fig was definitely somewhat off the mark when compared with similar venues on the Midlands Meander. Although the food was generally good, the service was a little lacking, especially in terms of attention to detail, presentation and attentiveness to customer’s needs.
On a number of occasions we requested additional items of cutlery to replace those that had been used and it was only after repeated requests that we received what we asked for. Serving cold food items on a cold plate was also a little careless and indicative of a general lack of attentiveness, although our waitress did seem to be trying her best given that the restaurant appeared somewhat short of hands.
Despite some obvious shortcomings, The Sticky Fig has a lot going for it and the potential is there for it to blossom into a great venue on the Midlands Meander. Husband and wife team Anthony and Sherylene are some of the nicest people you are likely to meet anywhere, as was our waitress, Lungi, who was most apologetic whenever our requests were not attended to timeously. The atmosphere, too, was relaxed and pleasant, with most patrons seemingly enjoying their meals while engaging in friendly chatter.
The Sticky Fig is a reasonably well priced eatery that has a lot to offer customers in terms of menu selection, atmosphere and location, although it fell somewhat short in terms of service, attention to detail and customer attentiveness on the day. The venue also needs a general sprucing up, which I am sure, as with the correction of the aforementioned faults, would be easily achievable.
This venue is open from 8.15 am to 4.30 pm Monday to Friday and from 8.15 am to 5.30 pm on weekends and public holidays. The Sticky Fig is child-, wheelchair- and pet-friendly and can accommodate 50 people inside and 40 in the garden area, which has a secure children’s play space.
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Sticky Fig Contact details
- Telephone: +27 (0)33 343-3575
- Physical Address: 1 Cedara Road, Hilton, KwaZulu-Natal Midlands