Arriving at every coffee and brunch-loving, Illovo-based health nut’s favourite spot – Arbour Café – I walk in to the usual aroma of crepe (not pancake) batter, buttered toast and carrot cake. Sitting in her usual spot, looking effortlessly zen in her yoga togs, is the previous owner, Robyn Timson. She is working on the new take home and catering menus for the restaurant, and while she orders a Red Cappucino and tuna mayo on rye, I ask her about them.
The French-inspired café is dog friendly and is equipped with free Wi-Fi.
“The new menus at Arbour will be take-home menus that customers can pre order and collect. They are mostly main courses that are made fresh, not pre-packaged and frozen.
There will also be function menus, canapé menus and banquet-style menus, all focusing on seasonal ingredients tailor-made to suit tastes, religious affiliations and numbers. Menus will be French-inspired, staying true to the unique and quaint style that is Arbour Café.”
It really is bespoke catering at its best.
Robyn’s favourite food is wholesome, comfort, hearty meals full of warmth and fantastic ingredients. She draws inspirations from stews, curries, coq au vin, and casseroles, all slow cooked to perfection. It’s the “therapy of slow cooking” that she loves, and seeing many people don’t have the time to cook these dishes, she is providing a much-needed service.
The recipes are planned using only fresh, seasonal ingredients; nothing is made in bulk and there are no additives, processed sauces, or preservatives.
“It’s very honest food”.
Robyn is currently a food stylist and consultant for new menu and recipe development. She consults to restaurants, magazines and newspapers and does a lot of advertising and film production work.
Robyn studied film and media at UCT and then completed her diploma at Prue Leith Chef’s Academy. She went on to work in the UK and spent time in Paris, where she discovered the joy of crepes. Crepes are a traditional street food in Paris, and it was here that Robyn found her love for this type of cuisine and decided to open her own little creperie – hello Arbour Café!
She wanted so much to retain the traditional properties of French-style cooking, using a flour base for the sweet crepes and naturally gluten free buckwheat flour base for the savoury crepes.
Since selling Arbour Café, she admits to missing her little passion project greatly and loves everyone from the staff to the loyal customers who come almost 3 times a day, every day. Robyn continues to share her ethical, balanced and good old home-style cooking with the Arbour family where she remains, intrinsically, part of the furniture.
The venue is available for functions and pop ups.
For bookings please call 011 788 4111 or email firstname.lastname@example.org