For a long time Carlyle’s was the only decent place to eat in Vredehoek. But now, Sidewalk Cafe has become popular since it was taken over by Madame Zingara and there is also another awesome spot, Woodlands Eatery. It is where Yum used to be, on Deer Park Drive. Yum was a double space, but the lower section is now a pizza place that I can’t recall the name of and Woodlands is in the top space. So it’s cosy and you need to book otherwise you will struggle to get a table.
I’ve eaten there twice and have to admit I had pizza both times (boring I know, but they were so good!) but I did taste other dishes. On the first occasion, three of us shared the peri peri prawns starter (R78) which is definitely enough for a main or for two people to share as a starter (which is what I would recommend because you don’t want to miss the mains). The six prawns come in the tastiest sauce which you mop up with bread until the plate is so clean it can go straight back onto the shelf.
For mains on my first visit I had the anchovy & olive pizza (R65). I love anchovies and was worried they would use the fake anchovies (salted sliced pilchards), but they were good quality anchovies and the pizza was delicious. The base was nice and thin, the way I like it. Someone gave me a taste of the lamb pizza (R70) which was also very good. On my second visit, I changed my order slightly to the mushroom & artichoke pizza (R58) but I couldn’t resist and asked them to add anchovies to it. Delish!
I tasted some of the other mains ordered by my dining partners. The (vegetarian) chickpea & lentil burger (R40) was tasty but I found the patty quite dry. I suppose that is what happens when there is no fat in it. It can also come on a gluten free roll for R10 extra. The battered fish (it just didn’t listen!) comes with greens and roasted baby potatoes (R70), so good!
I’ve always been too full to have dessert but the chocolate fondant (R38) is apparently amazing.
They sell Darling beer which I was excited about so had that on both visits but the wine list is short and inexpensive. They way you would expect it to be at a casual eatery like Woodlands. It’s casual in every way, with mismatched chairs and antique light fittings contributing to an eclectic decor. There are some tables outside which must be perfect for lunch on a sunny day. The staff are friendly and casual in manner, but efficient and helpful at the same time.
It almost feels like you’re eating at a friend’s place, which I suspect might be the vibe they are going for. The food is simple but tasty, the prices are reasonable and the vibe is warm and welcoming. Woodlands Eatery is a perfect local.
Shop 1, 2 Deer Park Drive
Tel: 021 801 5799