Generous Bounty at Linden's Van Der Linde
Linden's culinary hotspot offers a wide variety of delicious food, including exciting new options for vegan and vegetarian diners.
Linden’s 4th Avenue might not be Joburgers' usual go-to for the finer end of the dining experience, but the offerings at Van Der Linde are quickly changing the suburb’s culinary status. From its creatively plated food to the luxurious decor and the quality of the service offered – plus details like the bonsai courtyard garden – Van Der Linde is a celebration of thoughtful design across all areas.
Van Der Linde’s executive chef, Amori Burger (who is also a well-loved TV personality), looked back to the simple pleasures of farm life for the menu’s inspiration. You feel her nostalgia instantly when you spot the overflowing bundles of fresh produce in the restaurant’s lustworthy glass refrigerator room, and the baskets of just-out-the-oven sourdough loaves, croissants and bagels in the bakery section.
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Burger’s bountiful food philosophy is front and centre in dishes such as flame-grilled, vine-wrapped sardines, whose heft practically falls off the plate. Generous flavour combinations abound, with a good example being the menu’s North African-inspired roasted carrots and beetroot, which come warmed by a fabulously spicy harissa. And the restaurant’s signature salmon pasta is the perfect winter dish. It's made with marvellously wide ribbons of fresh, house-made pappardelle pasta that were strung around the open-plan kitchen area on our first visit.
Van Der Linde’s new vegan and vegetarian menu sees the welcome addition of some lighter options, such as a beautiful slow-roasted whole head of cauliflower that is served with a fresh pesto. A charred vegetable plate drips in creamy herb dipping sauce, cut through with a punchy chermoula. And a pear and almond cake with vanilla coconut cream rounds off the vegan treats.
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The interiors feature high-shine concrete floors, dark charcoal walls, Houtlander furniture in ash wood and faded botanical-print fabrics, all framed by oversized indoor plants and sculptural bonsai. Once a month, Van Der Linde hosts a Bonsai Studio workshop, during which amateurs can learn more about the ancient art while enjoying culinary delights from the kitchen.
It's a good idea to book well in advance, especially on weekends, when the morning Harvest Table brings the crowds. It's a spectacular and surprisingly affordable spread of homemade breads, cold meats, fruit and other to-order breakfast goodies, all practically daring you to leave hungry.