THE ROAD TO LANSERIA AIRPORT OFFERS SOME CULINARY SURPRISES AS MELENEY CUNNIFF DISCOVERS
Culinary Table Restaurant, Deli & Bakery Kitchen Garden
Airport Road, Lanseria, Gauteng
Call: 083 701 2203
Open: Weekdays for breakfast from 8am to 11.30am; lunch 12pm – 3pm. Weekends for breakfast from 9am to 11.30am and lunch from 12pm to 2pm
Culinary Table Restaurant is not exactly on the way anywhere (except the airport) so you would need to make the effort to drive to Lanseria. But make the effort. It’s worth it. After all their website boasts they are a “ real food restaurant …” and “All our food is prepared from scratch.”
It goes on to say that their natural fermentation bread is baked fresh every day and free range and organic products feature wherever possible. “Our fresh produce is sourced from local small-scale purveyors, fresh herbs and vegetables come straight from our garden and specialty goods are imported from their rightful origin abroad.”
It sounds impressive and it is. But there is much more to this restaurant, a relatively new attraction to the Culinary Equipment Company, a store which has been selling upmarket kitchen equipment for 13 years and is legendary in the hospitality industry. I’ve been visiting the premises for years largely to drool over their magnificent kitchen equipment, which includes Cataplana copper pots, jam pans, fish kettles (for baking fish), egg white bowls, tangine and paella pots, crepe or blini pans, and all kinds of ceramic cookware. Culinary also sells cookbooks, new and secondhand, and gadgets (let me not get started on the gadgets!) and so much more. The fabulous Lacanche cookers (made in France since 1763) will make any self-respecting Nigella Lawson wannebe drool.
But I digress. I essentially went to have breakfast and spend within a predetermined budget at the deli.
The menus are simply printed on white A4 sheets and I suspect this is to accommodate an ever changing selection of seasonal produce. Breakfast options are varied with curried eggs; smoked haddock; and frittata with butternut, brinjal and pepper.
I settled for a savoury waffle with crispy bacon, grated goat’s milk cheddar and honey, while my dad chose the French toast made with two slices of homemade pain de mie (French bread) served with berry compote, whipped cream and honey. These were thoroughly enjoyed with Real hot chocolate (70% Belgian chocolate melted in steamed milk and topped with whipped cream).
Although the restaurant is in a warehouse the soft pastel walls, clever lighting and comfortable furniture manages to create a sense of intimacy. The space has been well designed with the deli sections and large open kitchen running along three walls and encompassing the seating area. The 4th wall is all glass doors, which lead onto a verandah overlooking the kitchen garden.
Food arrived promptly with a smile. Unfortunately not all staff members were knowledgeable about the items in the deli section but we spent a happy time trying to decipher some of the imported products from Colombia, Italy and Spain. We were very amused by the featured display which was a whole Spanish ham at just over R10,000. Sadly this was beyond our budget, but happily the fabulous handmade pork sausages and large bags or 00 flour were not. – August 2015