Laurent Deslandes, chef and owner of Bistrot Bizerca, has been a resident of Cape Town for the last 7 years and in those 7 years he has been enticing taste buds of locals and tourists alike. Bizerca was located in the foreshore for 6 years where they’ve been contently successful. They opened in the new location in Heritage Square where Gourmet Burger used to be.
Laurent grew up in the Loire Valley in France and at the age of 15 went off to hospitality school which he attended for 3 years. He gained exceptional experience there, he says, because the school had a restaurant on the premises where students could receive hands-on training right from the start. On completion of his studies, he worked mainly in Paris for about 17 years. He started off at the lowest position, commis chef, went through the ropes and at the age of 28 took position of head chef at a bistro style establishment. He later took a year off and travelled to Australia where he waited on tables and kept himself busy with other things – basically taking a bit of a break from the kitchen.
On his return to Paris, he worked mainly in brasseries for about three years, before deciding to move to Australia where he opened up a restaurant with a partner. His then girlfriend, Cyrillia, who is originally from Pretoria, joined him and the two later opened a guest house. After a few years they came back to South Africa, married and settle in Cape Town.
He opened Bizerca in the foreshore with his wife at his side. Laurent, who loves classical French dishes likes to add twists to traditional recipes. Bizerca has been listed as South Africa’s best bistro by EAT OUT on occasion and they’ve been listed under the top 20 restaurants in the past.
When their lease expired in the forshore, they took Bizerca to a new, more central location. The new interior has a modern feel with raw brick work on some walls adding a rustic element. Tables are neatly set in white tablecloths which could be perceived as a bit formal, but a white paper overlay brings it back to the bistro “feel”.
The menu has a few set options which Chef Laurent explains are the dishes people have come to love and kind of expect to see when they visit Bizerca. On a large black board that waiters move from table to table, additional dishes are listed. Laurent explains that these dishes are prepared, mainly, using seasonal ingredients form local producers and suppliers.
Favourites of Bizerca, known throughout Cape Town, include their beef tartare, lamb ragout, oysters, apple tart and apple sorbet. Oh, and don’t forget about the devilishly decadent chocolate fondant.
Bistrot Bizerca prides themselves in being consistent in service and quality. Laurent’s passion for the business is part of his core being, and it’s not often that you come across something like that. The success of the establishment is the outcome of hard work and he praises his team with great admiration for their support and relentless effort.
Bistrot Bizerca is open Mondays – Fridays 12:00 – 14:30 for lunch and Mondays – Saturdays 18:30 – 21:30 for dinner. Booking is essential as there is seldom tables available on walk-ins. Keep a close eye on the menu, as Chef Laurent says he has a few exciting new ideas he plans to dish up!
For more information:
t: 021 423 8888