An old favourite

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Whether for breakfast, lunch or a leisurely cuppa, De Malle Meul in Philadelphia has long been a trusted meeting place. Not only for culinary sustenance, but also a visual fest of 200 original etchings by the celebrated Pieter van der Westhuizen in the art gallery.

In these countrified surroundings, the placid view transforms even a simple coffee-and-cake stopover into one filled with serenity.

Gone are the days of De Malle Meul’s belt-busting Sunday lunch buffets (Covid!). Instead, the offering now is a starter and a plate with two meats, veg, rice, spuds and salad at an attractive R170 pp.

Among the all-day breakfast highlights is the seriously generous savoury mince accompanied by a basket with stout slices of oven-fresh farm-style bread. Meanwhile, the French toast with crispy bacon balanced delightfully by a homemade tomato and ginger chutney makes one dribble unattractively.

Whopping toasted sandwiches with side salads are pretty much the mainstay on the lunch menu. But among the big-boned dishes for wintry days is a slow roasted lamb shoulder pie liberally drenched in a homemade gravy with depth and intent, while alongside a ruby-red roasted beetroot salad bounces pleasingly among the crispy potato wedges. For afters, the lofty fig tart tastes of care.

Alas, all too soon you’ll have to ease your way from this idyll back to the mean city streets.

Open Tue–Sun, 9h00 – 16h00, Cnr Meul/Main Rd, Philadelphia, 021 9721097.