Tables at Nitida is a relatively new eatery on the Durbanville wine route, opening its doors in November last year. Since then, it has had a fantastic start, perhaps in part due to the success of Nitida’s Cassia, which is renowned for its stylish food. Tables is much smaller than Cassia, and it is down below the cellar with a large out door seating area. Tables espouses the idea that “food should be natural, healthy and delicious” and aims to cater “for those who care about food” and serves seasonal and environmentally conscious food.
The path up to the door is lined with a herb garden, pretty purple and green basil, rosemary, chives, and mint – bunches of which are picked and placed in the centre of the tables. The large outdoor seating area is shaded by white umbrellas, creating a shady spot where you can have breakfast or lunch. There are only eleven tables inside, making this very much a summer venue, but as the sun was gloriously shining, a table outside was just what was needed.
The table next to me was celebrating Granny’s birthday, and two granddaughters, decked out in pink were running around on the lawn and having fun on the jungle gym. As I sat down, I was warmly welcomed by a Jack Russell, who sniffed my toes, and then curled up in the shade of my umbrella. Apparently no one owns him, but he frequents the restaurant daily. He has breakfast over at Cassia, before heading over to take up his role as maître’d at Tables where he warmly welcomes guests.
Photographs – Left: Herb gardens line the path leading to Tables at Nitida / Right: Tables’ unofficial Maitre ‘d
As the day was warm, and I felt I needed waking up, I had the iced latte, which was nice and refreshing with a hit of coffee. I then considered what I should order. Tables has a light menu with delicious light dishes, such as a herb tartlet with a tomato salsa and a baby leaf salad; or a chicken salad with avocado and silvers of moist smoked chicken dressed in a French vinaigrette and dusted with dukkah. However, I was intrigued by the twice baked cheese soufflé. I was pleasantly surprised when it came. It was a delicate lunch – soft cheesy “egginess,” which was perfectly offset by the crisp steamed vegetables. The sauce was rich against the soufflé with cream and mustard, as well as beautiful hits of whole coriander that gave off a gentle fragrance. Other options for mains included roast chicken or rib eye steak, or a Ruben’s sandwich – a three tier toasty filled with pastrami, sauerkraut, gherkins and gruyere cheese. There is also a kiddies section to the menu serving macaroni and cheese, pizza, and ham and cheese toasty’s. Just the stuff to tempt kids who are getting hungry and tiresome.
When it came to desserts, I was intrigued by the coconut lime verrine, which I was informed was like a mousse in a glass. My waiter however emphatically told me that the only option was the summer crumble of apple and mixed berries. So crumble it was. It came looking like a jar of compote, with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream perched on top. I dug in to find a crisp biscuit topping on top of cold fresh berries and apple. The pudding had a great tart acidity that was a great refreshing end to lunch.
Photographs – Left: The delicious twice-baked Cheese Souffle / Right: Apple and summer berries with ice cream
As I was driving I had to give the delicious wines on offer a miss, but have had Ntida’s wines in the past and been very impressed. If you want to go and sample their wines, consider ordering a tasting platter to have with them. The platters make a wonderful tapas style lunch.
Tables is situated on the Durbanville wine route. There is plenty of space for the kids to run around, and the café has a very family friendly ethos. The food is great, and the menu light and refreshing for summer, with a great mix of old favorites and a couple of dishes that would interest those who want to try new things.
Address & Contact Details:
Tables at Nitida is situated on Nitida Wine Estate, Tygerbergvalley Road (R13), Durbanville.
They are open Tuesdays through to Sunday.
Contact them on 021 975 9357
The cost for drinks, main course and dessert is around R 120 a head.