It is always exciting when a new restaurant opens.
Van Der Linde has recently opened
on the corner of 4th Ave and 8th Street in Linden.
Just a few years ago this corner was a bottle store
and home to a group of vagrants.
Then developers moved in and restored the building
using the original architectural plans from the 1950's.
When this building was renovated,
so was the adjacent run down apartment block.
Now, risen like a Phoenix from the ashes, this building
has become one of the show piece buildings in our suburb.
To welcome to both the restaurant and the staff,
my wife and I recently visited for lunch.
A courtyard at the rear of the restaurant
can be accessed by both the tenants
in the adjoining apartments as well as diners.
Against the back wall, this cabinet houses tools
and equipment that are on sale
to enable you to care for and cultivate bonsai trees.
That being said,
you can also purchase the trees here.
There is a wide variety on display,
but if you are looking for something special,
I am certain that that could be arranged.
I have a fascination with old machinery.
This is a wonderful example of a re-purposed item.
Now garden decoration , it looks like it used
to be in a workshop of some description.
Back in 2014, I was on a coach tour of Portugal and Spain
when I discovered THIS delicacy in the latter country.
Acorn fed Black pigs produce the most delicious
Jamon Iberico de Bellota ham.
In the intervening 4 years since that trip I have not been able
to find this product in South Africa.
Now I have!
The cutlery is beautiful and is imported from France.
The napkins might look like linen but they are in fact heavy duty paper.
Larger and more absorbent than a regular paper serviette.
An eating experience needs to involve all 5 senses,
and Van Der Linde certainly does that...
The premises are tastefully laid out, the music is not too loud
and the furniture is comfortable and welcoming.
Ultimately however, it comes down to the food.
We ordered the beef burger,
and it came with a portion of large cut chips.
No salad, but there was a generous helping of lettuce and tomato in the bun.
Before tucking into both the meat and the starch,
I took a moment to admire the crockery.
The logo almost looked like that of the Dutch East India Company
from back in the 1600's.
Beautiful simplicity and it adds another layer to the visual offering
A nice char on the outside, but juicy on the inside.
We had asked for medium, and we got exactly that.
The bun, tomato and onion relish as well as the garlic infused aeoli
are all made in-house.
If I did have a complaint,
it would be the fact that I would have liked the chips to be just a little crisper.
But that is a subjective comment.
To each his own and had I polled the other diners,
I would probably have got a 50/50% split.
No harm, no foul and something that can be easily rectified
should Chef Amore feel it necessary to do so.
Although there is a dessert menu,
we chose to forego that and end off the meal
with a small cappuccino.
A good decision as the coffee was delicious and
it was served with cube sugar, an old-school touch.
Once again, it is all about the visual presentation.
At the end of the day, it all comes down to these factors for me
1] Ambience...relaxed and inviting
2] Menu choices...enough
3] Visual...all four areas (deli/bakery, mixology bar, dining area and veranda)
are beautifully decorated and are welcoming spaces.
4] Staff...very friendly, but not intrusive.
5] Food quality and quantity...delicious and good value for money
(again a subjective opinion)
6] Connectivity...There is high speed fibre Wi-Fi available.
There are also plenty of plug points for recharging purposes.
7] Would I return? YES! There is a Creme Brulee with my name on it.
I have to state we paid for this meal
and this a critique of our experience only.
Others might have a different experience,
but what has to be borne in mind is the fact that
this restaurant only opened recently.
There might be teething issues,
and if YOU experience those,
then please chat to a manager
instead of taking to social media immediately.
To find out about opening times etc,
use either of these platforms: