Chef Robyn Timson has opened the cafe and courtyard, Arbour, which is giving foodies a quaint taste of France in Johannesburg.
Inspired by the crêperies of Paris and sipping cappuccinos at European street-side cafes, Chef Robyn Timson has opened the cafe and courtyard, Arbour, which is giving foodies a quaint taste of France in Johannesburg.
Situated in the pretty suburb of Birdhaven, within a small, stylish complex of boutiques, apartments, cafes and salons, Arbour is a wonderful new addition. Filled with pots of flowers, aloes and greenery (as the name suggests); the restaurant gives fresh life to the courtyard and serves simple cuisine, cooked beautifully.
For breakfast or lunch you can choose delicate filled crêpes – the traditional French sweet pancakes – in a variety of flavours. Cooked to perfection, the crêpes are served piping hot and are light, fluffy and golden, with a nice crisp edge. You can enjoy the classic cinnamon, sugar and lemon with vanilla ice cream, or the more decadent Nutella and brandy flambéed banana with hazelnut ice cream, to name just two of the choices.
For something savoury and more substantial, the galettes are a wonderful choice. Arbour is possibly the only restaurant in Jo’burg to serve galettes, which are essentially buckwheat pancakes (naturally gluten-free) and filled with savoury ingredients.
The chorizo, rosa tomato, mozzarella and basil galette is a divine option, and the sweeter streaky bacon, maple syrup and brie variety is great for an American-style twist to your French breakfast.
Arbour is only open for dinner once a week, on a Thursday, and I suggest you book a table, as Jo’burg diners are flocking to Arbour to enjoy goblets of merlot or French cider by the fire, before tucking into the warm and comforting dishes such as the oxtail, lamb shank or the Arbour speciality – cassoulet – which is a rich, slow-cooked casserole with confit duck legs, pork sausages and white beans.
While there are salads, open sandwiches and other dishes on the menu, it is the crêpes, galettes, and slow-cooked speciality dishes, that make Arbour a unique foodie find.
Casual, breezy cafe