Food: We will rock you ****
Wine list: We don’t really know, but they have interesting teas J
Service: Bohemian Rhapsody ***** (with the proviso that the owner know our birthday girl)
Decor: We will rock you **** (suits the target audience of the restaurant)
Ambience (incl music): The show must go on ***
Value for money: We will rock you **** (Keeping in mind the restaurant is in Illovo)
Pepper: So a week ago I was invited to a real girly Sunday brunch for one of my friends 30th birthday party and since one of our avid fans, who will be known as Long Island Ice Tea for this review, was with me we decided to do a review for all the ladies out there. So I will let my guest reviewer tell you a little more about herself…
Long Island Ice Tea: I am by no means a restaurateur, nor am I a Michelin-star chef. But, as you can tell from my pseudonym, I am an avid cocktail drinker! I live by the adage, “will try anything once”. So while Pepper might be concentrating on the food, I’ll tell you all about the champagne part of the “Champagne Breakfast”. So, Pepper where do we start?
Pepper: At the beginning. First impressions?
Long Island Ice Tea: Well, I guess we should ask first impression after actually finding the place. Although there is a board, it is not very prominently placed (on a wall). I drove right past the place and had to back track. But once you arrive…fashionistas beware! If you get there late, and need to park far away, DO NOT WEAR high heels…can anybody say “Gravel trap”?
Pepper: Very true and well spotted. The décor and lay out fits the name perfectly. For those of you not into French jazz, La Vie en Rose is one of Edith Piaf’s most famous songs.
Long Island Ice Tea: I never knew that! You learn something new every day.
Pepper: A restaurant review and a little music education all in one. So you can understand my shock and horror when I heard more than one Michael Buble song during our brunch and maybe one Edith Piaf. Luckily, the birthday girl openly declared her love for Michael so I guess to each his (or her) own.
Long Island Ice Tea: In keeping with the French theme it has to be said that they did play Celine Dion.
Pepper: So more French Canadian theme then?? Anyway, enough about the music. The restaurant is in old house with more than one business on the property (Long Island Ice Tea: So don’t be alarmed when you see women with foil in their hair coming down the stairs towards you.) The restaurant open ups into a lovely garden (think English garden more than French Provincial) with as could be expected a lot of rose bushes. Which actually translates to the menu, since every dish is named after a rose e.g. I had the magic medley which is a pink blend rose cultivated in 1995. Of course there are some exceptions to the rule as I have never heard of a rose called “Anchovy Toast”.
Long Island Ice tea: In amongst the breakfast favorites, like your salmon and scrambled eggs, and omelettes, there was some variety. I ordered something called a Spanish Rhapsody (in keeping with the theme, this is a Pink blend cultivated in 1984). First time I’d seen something like this on a menu…although I have to ask myself if spinach for breakfast is actually a good idea…being a bacon and eggs kinda girl myself. But I tried to be zhoosh and go for something different. The dish is a lot of spinach and rosa tomatoes, covered in eggs and mozzarella cheese and baked in an oven. I suppose its meant to resemble a baked pasta…but for breakies that was a bit much for me. It does come with toast on the side…and like Pepper said, they do take their toast seriously! It was like biting into a rock…not a hard rock but a crumbly rock. What it missed for me was the ultimate companion to spinach, which for me is feta. And yes I am a true believer that you cannot have too much cheese…so feta and mozzarella would have been fine with me!
Pepper: My kinda girl!! Cheese is French and both feta and mozzarella come from the Mediterranean so it would not have been that bizarre. I had to be different, what’s new, and ordered a light lunch for breakfast. The magic medley is three phyllo pastry parcels with different goodies inside. When my plate came I saw a few disguised looks of jealousy cast my way from the more conservative scrambled eggs and salmon brigade, but if you don’t dare you don’t win. The first parcel had butternut, potato and tomato inside and after the first bite I was wondering if I shouldn’t have joined the scrambled egg brigade as the filling needed seasoning and tasted pretty much like butternut, potato and tomato…
Long Island Ice Tea: What else were you expecting?
Pepper: A herb of some form would have been nice or even just a little bit more salt. Or cheese… since it seems to be the secondary theme of this review. Which actually brings me to the second of our magic medley. Blue cheese, onion and mushrooms. YUM! I was glad that I did not let the butternut stop me as the parcel was punched full of flavor. The last parcel was a basic creamed spinach filling which was very nice and a little bit calming after the strong flavor of the blue cheese parcel. I wonder if it would be possible to pick which filling you would like, so I can let the butternut go and have an extra blue cheese instead…
Long Island Ice Tea: So even though the scrambled egg brigade looked over with jealousy in their eyes, I’m sure they would stick to their choice. They reported that the eggs were really well done…and let’s face it, scrambled eggs and salmon is a winner 9 times out of 10. I mean, how can you get that wrong…right?
Pepper: I agree 100%. One of our brunch companions also mentioned that she loved the fact that the food was served very hot, as sometimes, with bigger tables some of the food gets to the table a little cold. And for the boys that might be dragged along to La Vie en Rose the portions are huge. I don’t think anyone finished their whole meal except one member of our party who opted for the anchovy toast.
Long Island Ice Tea: Drinks! (my favourite part) I know Pepper is a believer in freshly-squeezed fruit juice…and I tend to agree…to a certain degree. Our champagne was served with freshly-squeezed orange juice…which is not a bad thing except if it has all the pulp still in it. I did not fancy that at all! I guess I don’t like wading through obstructions in my alcohol!
Pepper: Then you should have manned up and skipped the mimosa option and had your Pongraz straight up!
Long Island Ice Tea: But see I come from the other side of the “boerewors gordyn” and still had a long drive home…not to mention a Formula 1 GP to watch!
Pepper: They also have a lovely selection of teas and the cappuccinos are also nice and not too small. So all and all an interesting menu, beautiful venue and a great place to meet the girls for a spot of brunch or a coffee and a chat.
Long Island Ice Tea: As my last word, THANK YOU to Pepper for inviting me to do this review. I thoroughly enjoyed it…maybe we’ll do this over coffee next time J
Pepper: You’re on!