Located in Hyde Park shopping centre Life Grand Cafe is a charming European/Mediterranean restaurant with good food and a chilled vibe. I don’t often visit the same place twice because there are plenty of restaurants to try and generally the food doesn’t warrant a trip back. This however is one of my favourite restaurants to frequent.
This restaurant has the prettiest décor and I would love to emulate in my house one day. From the wood tables, cream couches and drop down lights to the glass baubles and cork filled cushions – I am obsessed with it all! There are various knick knacks and décor items displayed that are available to purchase but also add to the lovely décor.
One of my favourite drinks here is a peach and pineapple granita or smoothie for R30. The most popular flavour is the elderflower and mint. I haven’t tried it yet as I have a penchant for the sweet not bitter.
The menu has something for everyone: sushi, tapas, gourmet loaves, pasta, pizza or you could make a trip to the salad bar to pick your dinner. I love the calamari that is packed with flavour and the stretched pizzas are huge! The chicken pinchos, lemon prawns and paella are delicious tapas although the portions are quite small. I have also tried the pesto cream, roasted courgettes, peas and Danish feta pasta which I found lacked seasoning and oomph.
The artisan dips tapas has olive tapenade, sundried tomatoes, tzatziki and hummus dips served with three pieces of haloumi and an assortment of freshly baked ciabiatta, bread sticks, bread and focaccia for R66. This is perfect for combining with a few vegetable/meat tapas or a nice starter. It really is amazing value for money and quite delicious.
The creamy exotic mushrooms and parmesan shavings pasta for R92 is another favourite of mine. This used to have lemon oil and I’m quite sad that it doesn’t anymore but it still tastes good. The pasta is creamy and delicious and a must have for mushroom lovers! As an aside I really love the cute containers that the great quality chilli and parmesan is served in.
They have recently opened up branches in Waterfall Corner and Pretoria. While the Waterfall branch is beautiful the food was tasteless when I visited and the reviews on Zomato have been dreadful. Rather stick to the Hyde Park branch – the original is always best. Service ranges from good to average depending on the waiters. I love the food which while it isn’t amazing it’s good enough, decently priced and generous portions. I do love the vibe because it’s relaxed, intimate and not too restauranty. Going to Life brings a smile on my face because I just love everything about it!
Ring: 011 325 4350
Hop: Hyde Park Corner, Corner Jan Smuts Avenue & William Nicol Drive, Hyde Park
Life & Cafes,