Bizerca Bistro

 
 
98 Shortmarket Street
Heritage Square

Cape Town
Western Cape
 
021 423 8888
Email:
Website: http://www.bizerca.com/
 
Cyrillia and Laurent owned and ran prestigious award-winning fine dining establishments in Australia for many years, but a yearning for the unpretentiousness of a bistro drew them back to Cape Town where they opened the original Bizerca Bistro on the Foreshore in 2007.

Laurent grew up and trained classically as a chef in France, where there is a bistro on every corner serving traditional, comforting food which never compromises on flavour or quality, in a relaxed environment. This is why they wanted to recreate in Cape Town.

You will find classic French dishes and traditional cooking methods at work at Bistrot Bizerca, but also many new dishes created with the influences picked up during their years in Australia.

Among its accolades, Bistrot Bizerca counts the 2011 Eat Out DStv Food Network Restaurant Awards’ title of best bistro. Bistro Bizerca also won this category in 2009, and was a top 10 nominee in 2008 and 2012 for what are widely considered this country’s foodie Oscars; Rossouw’s Restaurants awarded it three stars, and it is in the Fleur du Cap Restaurant Awards top 10.

Twitter: @BIZERCAbistro

Open:
Lunch: Mondays - Fridays 12:00 - 14:30
Dinner: Mondays - Saturdays 18:30 - 21:30
Afternoon bites: Monday - Saturday: 2:30 - 18:00 and 21:30 - 22:30

For the Bizerca Bistro menu please click on the menu tab above.
 
 

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Bistro
     
    3 reviews
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Bizerca Bistro 3out of 5 based on 3 ratings. 3 user reviews.
 
Price Range: Mid
Seating: 30+
 
  • Licensed
  • WheelChair Access
  • Child Friendly
  • Accept Credit Cards
  • Booking Required
  • Parking
 

Recent reviews

 
 
No need
Monday, March 24, 2014
Worst place ever ....Never will I recommend this place to my colleagues or friends.
1 Bizerca Bistro
 
Girl with a Teacup
Tuesday, November 12, 2013
Delish new summer menu! Book a table in the courtyard. It's a treat. Pork belly salad FTW :)
3 Bizerca Bistro
 
Kimhelenelyon
Monday, May 20, 2013
The best meal I have had in Cape Town in the last 4 years was at Bizerca – so it had a great memory to live up to, as I gaily pirouetted in with the girls for a birthday supper. It has a very trendy minimal vibe with lots of stone walls and vertical greenery to add interest; and a cautionary warning, some wet spots to your trendy well thought out outfit if you venture too. We got a somewhat lack lustre spot on a long table in an alley front of the kitchen, which doubled as a thoroughfare for the waiters,; but once I had established a safe distance from the greenery and downed a mouthful of perfectly chilled Villieria Sparkling (R180/bottle) served in magnificent stem free champagne tumblers, I was heady and ready to tackle the hand written chalk board of mouthwatering options. I chose two starters in an effort to avoid oft experienced food envy – perfectly chewy and soft rabbit ravioli with greenery and feta (R72) and a somewhat lackluster tongue with capers and cauliflower (R68). Fortunately I knew most of the rest of the table, and forked my way through an exceptional lamb and fruit tagine (R125) and off menu veggie compilation of butternut gnocchi with mushrooms sauce and greenery (R115). The gnocchi was fabulous and nicely balanced but the mushroom sauce felt a bit unfinished in comparison; though maybe it’s because the tagine was the nights serious winner with a real fruit, meaty, spicy punch. Dessert wise the white chocolate crème brulee, with saucy chocolate tart and tangy raspberry ice-cream (R55) was worth every penny. The food was very good; some of it was even great, though some of it was overpriced and forgetful. It’s a busy spot, with lots of beautiful people, and if you choose well, some exceptional fare.
4 Bizerca Bistro
 
 
 
These reviews reflect the opinions of only those Internet users who have chosen to participate. The comments cannot be assumed to represent the opinions of 24.com, Media24, Internet users in general or the public as a whole. Food24 actively encourages restaurant owners to exercise their right to reply.
 
 

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Bizerca Bistro

 
No need
24/03/2014 04:33
Worst place ever ....Never will I recommend this place to my colleagues or friends.
1 Bizerca Bistro
 
Girl with a Teacup
12/11/2013 04:05
Delish new summer menu! Book a table in the courtyard. It's a treat. Pork belly salad FTW :)
3 Bizerca Bistro
 
Kimhelenelyon
20/05/2013 03:15
The best meal I have had in Cape Town in the last 4 years was at Bizerca – so it had a great memory to live up to, as I gaily pirouetted in with the girls for a birthday supper. It has a very trendy minimal vibe with lots of stone walls and vertical greenery to add interest; and a cautionary warning, some wet spots to your trendy well thought out outfit if you venture too. We got a somewhat lack lustre spot on a long table in an alley front of the kitchen, which doubled as a thoroughfare for the waiters,; but once I had established a safe distance from the greenery and downed a mouthful of perfectly chilled Villieria Sparkling (R180/bottle) served in magnificent stem free champagne tumblers, I was heady and ready to tackle the hand written chalk board of mouthwatering options. I chose two starters in an effort to avoid oft experienced food envy – perfectly chewy and soft rabbit ravioli with greenery and feta (R72) and a somewhat lackluster tongue with capers and cauliflower (R68). Fortunately I knew most of the rest of the table, and forked my way through an exceptional lamb and fruit tagine (R125) and off menu veggie compilation of butternut gnocchi with mushrooms sauce and greenery (R115). The gnocchi was fabulous and nicely balanced but the mushroom sauce felt a bit unfinished in comparison; though maybe it’s because the tagine was the nights serious winner with a real fruit, meaty, spicy punch. Dessert wise the white chocolate crème brulee, with saucy chocolate tart and tangy raspberry ice-cream (R55) was worth every penny. The food was very good; some of it was even great, though some of it was overpriced and forgetful. It’s a busy spot, with lots of beautiful people, and if you choose well, some exceptional fare.
4 Bizerca Bistro
 
 
 
 
These reviews reflect the opinions of only those Internet users who have chosen to participate. The comments cannot be assumed to represent the opinions of 24.com, Media24, Internet users in general or the public as a whole. Food24 actively encourages restaurant owners to exercise their right to reply.
 
 

 

Food24 eats at Bizerca...

by: Like Father Like Son
 
 

 

What makes a restaurant great?

On a recent weekend in Cape Town, I chanced on a piece in the weekend paper written by Tony Jackman, who posed the same question. There were no direct answers given, although longevity seemed to come into the reckoning. Jackman observes that restaurants come and go almost as fast as you can corrupt a government official.

Longevity may be a factor, but how adequate are the traditional criteria of food, service and ambience? Is price a factor? Rossouw’s, the Platter of the restaurant trade, seems to suggest that price is relevant – stars appear to be awarded on the basis of performance within a restaurant’s price category.

I’m not sure that this is valid – does one expect a lower level of service at a Wimpy because breakfast comes in at R19.95? Conversely, is one entitled legitimately to expect Architectural Digest finishes just because the flown-in-yesterday never-been-frozen hand-dived by nimble-fingered children scallops will set you back a couple of hundred bucks?

How important is greatness? Do we always want greatness when we eat out? What about the local establishments that we frequent by habit, predictable and mediocre as they may be, but comforting nonetheless? I think it was Richard Nixon who after criticism that one of his appointments to office (a Supreme Court judge or the like) was a mediocrity, responded by saying that even the mediocre need representation.

It brings shame on Gauteng

On the same weekend that these idle thoughts crossed my mind, I had dinner at a truly great restaurant. I would go so far as to rate is it as one of the country’s best. It brings shame on Gauteng. Bizerca Bistro is stuck away in Cape Town’s business district, on the Foreshore, housed in what was once apparently a car showroom.

The entrance is on the ground floor of what seems to one of those hotels where, as a friend once remarked, if you listen carefully enough, you can hear the faint rustle of pubic hair. But once you pass through the reception and into the world of Michel Roux Jr. lookalike Laurent Deslandes and his wife, Cyrillia van der Merwe, it’s a different ball game, as they say.

The menu

To be sure, the industrial-type finishes are not what one immediately associates with bistro decor, but the place bustles and exudes exuberance. A small printed menu is offered, with a larger daily selection of starters and mains from the chalk board. Fixed offerings included braised veal shoulder with pommes mousseline, roasted parsnip, asparagus and baby onion, the house’s signature dish of braised pig’s trotter with a seared scallop, truffle oil and a small salad (R110) and raw Norwegian salmon salad with goat cheese, soy ginger and échalote dressing. Specials vary depending on what’s available, and on the night included starters of game terrine and pork rillettes with a quince and prune chutney, and a medley of beetroot with crisp goat’s cheese with beetroot sorbet.

My starter of fresh porcini served with a lemongrass velouté, topped with a scallop rolled in Parma ham, was easily one of the best things I’ve eaten. The meatiness of the porcini, sweetness of the scallop, saltiness of the ham and hints of lemongrass made for a gently controlled explosion of flavour. The seafood nage (R65) was excellent – a broth with a depth of flavours – the taste of the sea, white wine, herbs and spice, but oh so delicate. A perfectly balanced dish, supplemented with a generously-sized prawn.

For mains, I chose the trio of rabbit (R145) – a braised saddle, with a pan-fried loin and liver served separately. It was very good – the saddle was tender and the sauce served with it well-flavoured, (perhaps with too heavy a hand on the pepper), the loin and liver providing different textures and contrasting flavours – the one delicate, the other more robust, but heavenly in combination.

Desserts included a soft-centre chocolate pudding with white chocolate crème brûlée, and a roasted pineapple carpaccio with rice pudding and lemon and passion fruit ice cream. I opted for the apple tarte fine (R50). It was an unctuous blend of lightly caramelised apple slices and honey syrup, served on a puff pastry base with a vanilla-flavoured crème fraiche ice cream.

But dessert of the night award went to the Granny Smith apple sorbet (R50), served with oven-dried apple slices and a generous helping of Calvados. The texture and flavour of a good sorbet requires balance between fruit and sugar syrup. Here, the tartness of the apple and the sweetness of the stock syrup were in perfect harmony- the result a light, delicately coloured, refreshing and beautifully flavoured dessert.

The wine list is not extensive, but it’s thoughtfully put together. The wine-by the glass options are far removed from the ubiquitous ‘house wine’ blends generally on offer, and comprise a few carefully selected options. I tried the Morkel Malbec (R45), the spicy overtones complemented the rabbit perfectly.

In sum: the service was knowledgeable and efficient but not intrusive, the food excellent, and the prices more than competitive. But what makes this a great restaurant? For me, there was integrity about the place. Ingredients are high quality, seasonal and fresh, and the menu is crafted around them. The foundations are classic, but the combinations are adventurous, with nods in the direction of the cosmopolitan influences picked up on the way to the Cape. These are people who are proud of what they do, and how they do it. They also understand balance – in relation to service, the composition of the menu and each dish that they present. That’s what makes it great.

You’ll like this if you enjoy classic French bistro cuisine with a contemporary twist.

I can’t think of any reason why you shouldn’t like this.

Bizerca was reviewed by Like Father Like Son.

Read more on: cape town
 

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