Burnsides Cafe in Craighall*

Lately I’ve been so unexcited about restaurant reviews. I really feel as though I’ve exhausted Jozi and eaten at ALL the good places and I’m actually running out of places to write about, because I only write about restaurants I can wholeheartedly recommend, you’ll find no average places on this blog or in my Sunday Indy column. The only time I do write about average restaurants is when a place has had a lot of buzz and I know you’re probably going to want to know more about it.
I’ve been to Burnsides Cafe twice now and it’s one of those hidden gems that I just love. Know when you walk into a restaurant and immediately feel relaxed? It just has a happy, pleasant feel to it- hard to explain. 
Burnsides Café’s simple, classic décor leads to an inviting ambiance, complemented by delicious food and good service. The all white, simple decor creates a laid back feel that made me want to put my feet up. Also, they played John Mayer’s new album on repeat all through the evening, making me love them even more. 
I generally feel that owner run restaurants are superior to the ones that are owner financed and manager run, and this spot is no exception. Brother and sister duo, Jessica and Dillon du Plessis, always dreamed  of opening a small family run restaurant, and started looking for a property about 4 years ago. They converted a family home into a restaurant, taking advantage of the oversized patio and lush garden. 
The result is a tranquil, airy space which is part restaurant and soon to be part coffee roastery and pizza and wine bar too (the latter two are opening on the property in 2014). 
The menu is small and seasonal, driven by the type of food the owners love to cook and eat, rather than the latest trend. We had fishcakes for starters,which I found a little small and not that delicious, but I loved our mains.Try the chicken pot pie, made with mushrooms and garden herbs, served with salad or chips (the puff pastry is absolutely decadent), R80 or the beef burger, served with cheddar cheese pickles and hand cut chips, R86- both are deliciously moreish. 
They also have a range of home-baked cakes on offer, but we were too full from all the above to try any of that. I hear they do a mean breakfast too. 
6 Burnsides Avenue, Craighall. Call 011 326 3970. Open Tue- Fri: lunch and dinner, Sat: breakfast, lunch, dinner, Sun: breakfast and lunch only. Closed Mon. 
The place is really tricky to find, and is on a 1 way road. Please GPS properly and don’t get lost! Visit www.burnsides.co.za