Arbour Café and Courtyard: The Secret Garden

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Noble Savage (he said):
Arbour Café and Courtyard is one of those places that was on our radar, and one of our “to do” restaurants. Bonus, then, when the wife won a voucher – the perfect excuse to go for a visit!

Arbour Café, Illovo, restaurant, Johannesburg, BoozyFoodie, #BoozyFoodieLikes,
Arbour Café menu

Arbour Café, itself is tucked away in the Wrenrose Centre; it might look like a tiny little eatery to go to for breakfast, but once you move past the kitchen, the space opens up into the lovely courtyard. The water feature is very calming, and the plants all around turns a regular apartment building courtyard (now used as offices) into a relaxing urban garden.

Arbour Café, Illovo, restaurant, Johannesburg, BoozyFoodie, #BoozyFoodieLikes,
Water feature – a calming indoor waterfall

From here, you are almost oblivious to the city just past the walls; closed off from the troubles and noise, you are able to focus on your food, drink, and company (not necessarily in that order).

Arbour Café, Illovo, restaurant, Johannesburg, BoozyFoodie, #BoozyFoodieLikes,
French-inspired seating

We were there at about 11h30, so the breakfast crowd was wrapping up and on their way. And the few breakfasts I saw looked fucking amazing! But we were there for lunch, and their lunch menu did not disappoint.

Arbour Café, Illovo, restaurant, Johannesburg, BoozyFoodie, #BoozyFoodieLikes,
Of course there will be craft beer!

My eyes were immediately drawn to the duck, served with a five spice cherry sauce. But, I thought, I haven’t had a decent steak in a while. So I decided to go for the aged ribeye steak, served with smoked paprika and garlic aioli, topped with rocked and rosa tomatoes.

Arbour Café, Illovo, restaurant, Johannesburg, BoozyFoodie, #BoozyFoodieLikes,

The meat was flawless! And something as simple as topping the steak with roasted tomatoes added a whole other dimension to the meat. The aioli with the steak worked perfectly (I would never have thought to have aioli with red meat, but I’m stupid that way). We washed down our plates of meat with an old favourite: Saronsberg Shiraz. This one is robust enough to hold its own against the red meat without overpowering it. And it reminds of that time we had a cheese platter at the estate…

Saronsberg Shiraz, Arbour Café, Illovo, restaurant, Johannesburg, BoozyFoodie, #BoozyFoodieLikes,
The perfect pairing

Next time we’ll have to try one of the breakfasts. Arbour Café also have traditional Galettes, which I would also love to try out. But then, anything French gets my motor running. So next time you’re in the neighbourhood, go give them a try – Arbour Café might appear to be a breakfast/brunch spot, but their lunches are incredible!

Boozy Foodie:

I was THRILLED when I was lucky enough to win a voucher for a meal at Arbour Café and Courtyard, with Zomato and Radio Today’s Tom London Show!  Yay!!  So much excitement, because this little gem has been on our ‘to do’ list for a while!  So, cheers – and thank you!

Arbour Café and Courtyard, Illovo, restaurant, Johannesburg, BoozyFoodie, #BoozyFoodieLikes,
Our Mini Me’s having a blast! Me: Why thank you, kind sir – don’t mind if I do!

Arbour Café became well known for their galettes, and I will definitely go back for that sometime soon!  (Check out their menu online – the breakfast items, sandwiches, etc looks absolutely delicious!  And they’ve got a great wine list and COCKTAILS!

Arbour Café and Courtyard, Illovo, restaurant, Johannesburg, BoozyFoodie, #BoozyFoodieLikes,
Pimms cup! And memories of summer – great to sip in the sun 🙂

But I was very keen to try out something different on the menu – and let me just state that I actually very seldom order steak at a restaurant – but the prime rib with herb butter just sounded like something I MUST try!

Arbour Café and Courtyard, Illovo, restaurant, Johannesburg, BoozyFoodie, #BoozyFoodieLikes,
Perfect Prime Rib with herb and delicious veggies!

Oh man!  What a winner!  This was absolutely mouthwatering!  Loved the veggies as well – normally your standard options at restaurants are mushy butternut and spinach (bleh!).

What they manage to create in a very small little kitchen is fabulous!

Arbour Café and Courtyard is such a beautiful and serene spot, it is just absolutely perfect for long and lazy breakfasts and leisurely lunches.  When the weather warms up again, they will be open for dinner again as well – and I can imagine it to be a magical and romantic experience, looking at all the fairy lights around.  I LOVE fairy lights 🙂

A special thank you to Larry and Annie Hodes for their hospitality.  The service was great and the food, as you could figure out, absolutely delectable!  We definitely will be back!

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