Finding Bizerca can be a bit of a mission.
Trudge through windswept open squares amidst modern office blocks, use SARS HQ as an aiming point, and eventually you’ll get there.
Set in a budget sort of hotel, next door to a raucous pub, you get into the restaurant by nipping in through the lobby, turning right past the bored receptionist.
But as soon as the Bizerca doors swing open you are given a warm welcome by waitstaff that will add value to your dining experience throughout the evening.
I don’t mind admitting that I have eaten there a few times and the architecture and location of the place has never failed to impress me with its confidence. It seems to say, “Come to us, despite our weird decor and location, and our food will make it all worthwhile”. And the food does. But first a line on the decor, as it deserves a mention.
Let’s just say it feels as if a car rental company vacated the premises rapidly, and a kitchen and some tables and chairs were substituted in an afternoon.
Now to the food. It’s what Bizerca is all about. French bistro meets South African meets some Aussie Asian influences.
I know someone who goes there just for the Granny Smith Apple Sorbet with Calvados. The braised pigs trotters are legendary. Veal shoulder with rosemary and Karoo lamb stew a la Provencal with vegetable and gremolata set the tone. But there is plenty of fresh fish, and a board of specials that changes daily, which Laurent Deslandes wife Cyrilla will hoick to manfully to the table and run through.
I’ve never had a bad meal there. The food is consistently good. Laurent Deslandes is always there.
The pace can get a little frenetic and warm, especially if you are at a table up near the kitchen, which is exactly where I love to sit.
Laurent’s food is my favourite kind. Simple and bursting with flavour.
Mains average R105, Desserts R45.
Jetty Street, Foreshore,
021 418 0001