Monday, March 17, 2014

Parc Cafe, Glenwood

Two weeks ago we were enjoying breakfast at the excellent Glenwood Bakery when we realised that there are actually two amazing venues squeezed into the intriguingly named 'Oslo Building' on Esther Roberts Road. Like Glenwood Bakery, the adjacent parc café ( is surprisingly understated in announcing its presence. There are no signs outside, and initially I mistook them for an extension of the Bakery. After peering inside for several moments, however, I noticed their simple chalk drawn name on a black feature wall, largely given over to their extensive and tempting breakfast and lunch menus.

It turns out that parc café has been around since May last year, and is run by a brother and sister team, Brett and Lara Gentles (Brett was previously at 9th Avenue Bistro). I was excited to try them out, and we managed to get back to Glenwood last weekend for a Saturday morning breakfast.

On arrival, you can instantly feel an arty, hipster vibe which in true Durban style manages to remain completely unpretentious. The waiters are fun and friendly and the clientele range from young locals arriving on fixed gear bicycles to out-of-towners who park their hulking SUVs alongside the small tables which line the pavement.

Being Durban, it's already pretty warm by nine in the morning, and we ask our waitress if she can find us a couple of iced coffees.

'It's just espresso and milk over ice', she warns us. 'We don't crush it or anything'.

We assure her that we are fine with that - the coffees at Parc are made from beans supplied by Colombo Coffee (of Factory Café fame) and when they arrive they are delicious - cool, silky-smooth and full bodied.

We pick two of the breakfast options off the chalkboard and order. Reluctantly, we omit the 'Not-so-Benedict' (bacon and poached eggs with hollandaise on next door's rosemary potato bread) - I am still cherishing the memories of my last Eggs Benedict, and it would feel like a betrayal to be moving on so soon. Luckily there are plenty of other exciting sounding options, and before long we are presented with two plates - one holding a toasted scone topped with poached eggs, bacon, roast red peppers and wholegrain mustard cream, and the other piled high with corn and zucchini cakes, poached eggs, halloumi, lemon and olives with a tomato and vanilla relish.

In situations like this, the time honoured tradition of 'eat half and pass on' is enforced, and I can't decide whether to be happy or sad at half time, as each dish is wonderful, and both are so fresh and unusual. The 'eggs on scone' comes first - eggs are perfectly poached, bacon crispy and mushrooms joyfully sautéed. The mustard cream pulls the dish together, and the scone base is a great idea - plenty of room to soak up all of the juices. This particular scone is a little hard, but with the quality of the other ingredients I'm hoping that this was a once off error. 

Next arrives 'eggs on corn and zucchini cakes'. The cakes are basically a stack of fritters, lightly bound corn and zucchini just fried through - warm and moist. The lemon and olives are not the first things I would think of when it comes to breakfast, but they work together beautifully, in harmony with the eggs, the fritters and the halloumi (my only request here is for MORE halloumi).

Our waitress tells us that she doesn't have Tabasco sauce, but she does have chilli sauce. A simple bowl of blended chilies arrives - the perfect accompaniment to eggs, and one that leaves a warm glow after the table is expertly cleared and the bill promptly delivered.

On the way out, we popped into the Glenwood Bakery for a couple of bagels - heavenly!

1 comment:

  1. One of my favourite Durban spots for sure. Overdue for a visit! Great post.