REVIEW Friday lunch at re-opened Dutch

I was thrilled to hear that a favourite vividly orange haunt in De Waterkant has finally re-opened in the Chelsea section of Wynberg. It’s taken a couple of years for Stephan van de Ven to figure out what to do, but good things are usually worth the wait.

Approached by fellow Netherlander Tin Korver (whose businesscard says Chair-Man of Twiice international) to share a space in a renovated Victorian building, Van de Ven didn’t hesitate. His neighbours are a vibrant florist, and a baby boutique selling those overpriced imported and cutely packaged clothing items geared at Bishops Court and Constantia young mothers (I’m not joking, a vest was over R300…).

The new space is fresh and inviting. The small menu has familiar Dutch favourites plus a few new options. It feels like Van de Ven just picked up where he left off. He even recruited his old kitchen and service team, including Marizka du Toit in front. The space feels more upmarket, thanks to dark grey walls, wood shelving details and orange only as accents - the original orange-framed photos are on the new walls. The team already seems very comfortable in the new open-plan kitchen.


The Merry Muncher was delighted with a new menu addition, a duck and chicken liver parfait (R60) served with nicely caramelised onion marmalade and a quality slice of brioche from Knead. Wild mushroom tart (R65) served on a puffy pastry disc hit the spot, a port-infused creamy mushroom sauce drizzled over, with rocket on the side. The old menu favourite deserves its place here.

Nasi goreng served with chicken satay, peanut sauce and Indonesian prawn crackers (R65) looked good, going to another table. Our shared main of two salmon trout fishcakes (R65) in crumbs was fried past its best, but decent enough with fresh dill mustard sauce. We drank Joostenberg Chenin/Viognier 2009 (R105) which is also served by the glass. The list includes a couple of whites, reds and MCCs, more than acceptable considering that this is more café than restaurant.

Vying with the old apple crumble with custard is a new item: chocolate cake with orange curd (R40). The description of the latter doesn’t do the pudding justice. It was thick, dark-chocolate-ish and chilled a little too firm in a mousse style. Served in a cappucino cup, liquid fresh orange curd on top. Excellent coffees arrived alongside, but then we could see a shiny stainless steel structure at work from our table, so knew they would be.

Tables in Dutch were already buzzing with young ladies in search of a nibble while catching up on gossip. Why they would be is quite understandable.

Noteable features: Patio tables out back facing a garden and picket fences. Trendy yet comfortable vibe with a good supply of current magazines. Child-friendly. Breakfast, lunch or in between. Private dining space for small functions too.

Spend: R39 to R55 for breakfast (uitsmijter to spicy baked beans on toast or pancakes).
R39 to R65 for lunch (uitsmijter to organic beef kroketten on rye to pasta or fishcakes).
Desserts around R40.

Value: Good. Flavour rating: High.

DUTCH, 51 Waterloo Road, Chelsea Village. Tel 021 797 5838. Mon to Fri 8am – 5pm, Sat 9am – 2pm.
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