Confucius once said that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. It should also be said that eating your way through the best restaurants in Melville begins with a single bite. Now, it's worth noting that we are no strangers to Melville. We've dined at the Leopard (which recently moved to 44 Stanley), danced at Roxy's and got drunk at Cool Runnings. So, if there's anyone publication worthy of telling you all about the tastiest spots in Melville, look no further than us. With that said, this list is far from complete and we took the liberty of choosing our top picks on a food-to-cost ratio... if that makes sense. Anyway, feel free to let us know all about your favourites in the comments below. Here's our cullinary guide to Melville.
Breakfast In Melville
Known for its burgers but not so much its breakfast, The Countess at 27 Boxes offers a range of goodness when it comes to the most important meal of the day. The menu reads like a fairy-tale filled with wonder. Variety is what makes the Countess a stunner when it comes to good food. The attention to detail (that goes into the industrial-age inspired decor) can also be found in the kitchen. To give you an example, one of the interesting choices for breakfast would be the Breakfast Burger. It’s made up of a 200g beef patty served on a brioche bun with bacon, smoked cheese and two eggs. Now, I know you are tilting your head sideways and asking, “a burger for breakfast?” Let’s inform you quite promptly that the Countess is known far and wide for her burgers. Are you stuffed or can we carry on with this Culinary Guide To Melville?
Cafe De La Creme
A local favourite, Cafe De La Creme is a bakery/cafe/ patisserie serving up breakfast and brunch just like the French folk do. Their croissants are made in-house and are the most beautiful little things that we simply enjoy stuffing our gullets with. In fact, they are so tasty that one of the writers at our office has a freezer full of Cafe De La Creme's croissants. The breakfast menu sings a classic tune with items ranging from fruit salads to Eggs Royale (poached eggs with smoked salmon served on an English muffin smothered in hollandaise sauce). The cafe itself is decorated like something out of a home décor magazine and gives off quite a homely feeling. The service is great, though the place can get packed pretty quickly... but that just shows how good the overall experience is at Cafe De La Creme.
Lunch In Melville
Lonely Hearts Club
Right across the way from the (in)famous Hell's Kitchen lies the Lonely Hearts Club.Dishes include grilled artichoke hearts, fire-roasted prawns with garlic, chilli, basil and coconut; crispy squid heads with burnt lime and brandy butter sauce; and albondigas – lamb meatballs with spicy tomato ragout. The restaurant also encourages sharing where diners order a couple of plates for the table. The menu also features a range of traditional main dishes. For single diners, there is the option of dining at the bar. Solo patrons are encouraged to come into The Lonely Hearts Club, sit at the bar and order a quick tapas dinner with a glass of wine, cold beer, or a shot of their favourite whiskey… It’s restaurants like this that make me wish we had the Michelin Red book in SA. If it were up to me the Lonely Hearts Club would get a solid two Michelin Stars… that means it’s worth a detour on your way to wherever.
No Culinary Guide To Melville would be complete without a stop at the shop down the road. Since 1999, Service Station has been a fan favourite lunch spot in Melville for locals and visitors alike. It's the one place on 9th Street that has stood the test of time. Through thick and thin, the Service Station kitchen has kept their ovens preheated and their griddles piping hot. Their lunch menu consists of artisanal burgers, toasted sandwiches served with crunchy salads and their infamous charcuterie platter.
Dinner In Melville
We don't care what anyone says – Xai Xai serves the best pizza in Melville. Hands down. Their Capone pizza is what dreams are made of. It's topped with chicken, bacon, avo and tons of mozzarella. But the boat does not stop there... Named after the iconic holiday destination in Mozambique, Xai Xai's menu is filled with exceptionally well-prepared Mozambican food. You can expect peri-peri chicken and prawn platters. The service is sometimes slow but it doesn't detract from how cool the place is. Don't expect the decor to be in competition with other restaurants in the area – the vibe is laid-back beach style, so kick off your sandals and enjoy the atmosphere. Xai Xai is for sure a highlight for us in this Culinary Guide To Melville.
Love Me So
Feel like something a little more interesting? Then check out Love Me So on 4th Avenue. It’s an eatery with a diverse menu, kitted out to tantalise the taste buds of even the weirdest food critics around town. Spoilt for choice, their food items boast an eclectic mix of Asian inspired dishes from dim sum, smoked trout steamed buns to bowls of ramen.
By Shawn Greyling
Have we left out your favourite eateries in Melville? Then let us know all about them in the comments section below. Sharing is caring, so show this to that foodie friend of yours on social media.