La vie en rose is a popular, girly, garden style restaurant in Illovo. Without a doubt it is the garden which lures people back and sets it apart from the rest.
Translated from French to English, La vie en rose means life in pink. The restaurant has emulated this with pink accents in and around the surrounding space.
One section of the seating area is situated around the converted house. While I love the pink, I found the yellow and green colours garish and the camping style chairs uncomfortable.
The al fresco dining area in a garden setting offers a different type of restaurant ambience. I did find the garden to be too bushy and unkempt for me to consider it pretty and inviting.
On weekends you can find a bevy of bachelorette parties, bridal showers and engagement celebrations. I wouldn’t recommend visiting on a weekend unless it’s a meet up with a girl friend.
We enjoyed the complimentary bread served with a basil sauce, tzatziki, olives and olive oil with balsamic vinegar.
This is the first time I have ever ordered a salad in a restaurant. I am glad I decided this would be my first because it was delicious. Smoked salmon, avo, rocket, watercress and baby spinach with strawberries, cashew nut brittle and balsamic reduction for R119 provided a nice contrast between salty and sweet.
Cumin and coriander spiced chicken with avocado, creamy Danish feta, served on watercress and rocket for R92 was average. The cumin flavour was too overpowering and didn’t work well, the chicken pieces chunky and the chips undercooked.
The bf enjoyed the oven baked brown mushrooms topped with garlic creamed spinach and Camembert for R65.
Chicken livers pan fried in a Moroccan style napolitana sauce with a dash of cream and crispy ciabatta for R62 is a one of their specialty starters. I didn’t like the chunky tomato pieces and while I could have done with some chilli, the flavour was good and the livers were cooked well.
The beef burger topped with mozzarella, roasted rosa tomatoes, avocado, caramelized onions and rocket for R113 was a simple and good burger.
Chicken breasts glazed with a sticky balsamic reduction and served with oven roasted vegetables for R108 was the worst dish I have ever eaten at a restaurant. The chicken tasted horrible with a bleach after taste. A completely inedible dish.
Peanut butter, banana slices, maple syrup and peanut butter cookie dough icecream for R79 was average and over priced. The waffle was undercooked plus the peanut butter and banana didn’t go well together.
Before Hudsons came along this was the place to get your deep fried Oreo fix served with a glass of milk and trio of icecream for R57. I obviously love Oreos and the homemade icecream but I found the batter too oily in taste. This together with the flash fried toblerone wrapped in pastry forms part of their dessert specialities.
The decor isn’t particularly appealing at night. There exists the possibility of a quiet romantic ambience which is let down by the drab surroundings.
I couldn’t resist taking this picture of the fire before we left. I think the shot came out quite nicely, don’t you agree?
We received great service from a waiter during dinner time and average service from a sulky waitress at lunch. The manager did come to check why food was sent back quite awhile after the fact but didn’t offer to replace it with anything else. Do be prepared to park on a rocky hilly vacant piece of land which hopefully won’t result in a puncture.
The food here is good not great with no real speciality dishes to speak of apart from the dessert. It’s the type of place to visit with a girl friend if you seek a quiet garden setting away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Ring: (011) 268 6144
Hop: 48 Melville Road, Sandton, Illovo
Pink & Rose,