The renaissance of the Joburg suburb of Linden cannot be understated. 4th Avenue always generated a warm buzz, but over the past few years more and more delectable offerings have popped up in the friendly hilltop suburb. The latest of these is Van Der Linde, the very beautiful and soon-to-be-hit new restaurant found in a glass-wrapped building straddling the corner of 8th Street and 4th Avenue.
Stepping inside the space, named after Linden’s founder, Johannes van der Linde, one can immediately tell that every single aspect of is highly considered. The restaurant is a collaboration between Red Pepper Picture’s Cecil Barry, who, after cutting his teeth at Mesh, decided to collaborate with Greenside Trio’s chef-patron, Amori Burger.
The team worked on their vision for the restaurant for eight months and it shows: from the beautifully crafted wooden tables and seating to the monogrammed serviettes, and the menagerie of fiddlar-fig plants dotted around the rooms. Even going to the bathroom is an experience, thanks to a courtyard littered with the beautiful bonsai collection curated and maintained by Henk Swanepoel of 44 Stanley’s Bonsai Studio. Plant porn aside, the space is broken up into four parts: the deli/bakery, a well-stocked wine shop, gorgeous wrap-around gin and juice bar; and, of course, a restaurant that makes full use of the all the many windows.
Burger’s menu is as generous, as are the opening hours, which start at 7am and end at 10pm. Each time of day has a fully stacked menu that covers every base imaginable. Even with this more-is-more approach, you can tell that care has been taken with each dish, be it as simple as making a lighter — yet still indulgent — cream sauce for their lunchtime mussel dish so as to not induce a food coma when you go back to work.
And it’s lunches and lazy Sunday brunches where I feel that this venue will truly shine. Not that it wouldn’t be perfect dinner spot to take your significant other to. But during the day you can bask in the full benefit of the wonderful open view of the city, not to mention the novel “meals for two” lunch offering that allows you and your partner or work wife to share a country chicken roast or a vegetable curry.
All in all, this new space is a fantastic addition to an area that regularly debunks the myth that it’s merely a “sleepy suburb”.