Van der Linde – affectionately known by its customers and the locals in the area as VDL – has quickly become part of Linden’s burgeoning culinary scene and offers diners something distinctive and special.
Named after the man who founded Linden, Johannes van der Linde, VDL is a light and airy restaurant that also incorporates a bakery, a deli, a wine shop and a stunning gin and cocktail bar. The restaurant offers separate breakfast, lunch and dinner menus as well as a dedicated vegan menu. The menu is simple yet well executed. With some daring and interesting flavours and then there’s the classics with a twist. The whole aim is to make people feel part of the whole process which is why there is open cooking spaces and prep areas.
On the dinner menu are classics with a twist, including rack of lamb with tonnato sauce, salsa verde and deep-fried white anchovy and home-made ravioli with black truffle butter, sautéed mushrooms and Grana Padano. There’s also pan-fried sea-bass with a dill butter sauce, white wine braised leeks and steamed brussels sprouts as well as a number of vegetarian and vegan dishes including harissa paneer with roasted pumpkin breyani and fried curry leaves.
For those who like something a little sweet to end the meal, you can choose from a fabulous fynbos-poached stone fruit dessert, served with EVOO sabayon and basil sugar or – the house speciality – a marigold mousse served with candied pineapple and coconut crumble. VDL’s signature burgers feature on both the lunch and dinner menu, and, as well as the classic beef, there’s also chickpea and black bean as well as parmesan-crumbed chicken.
Other musts are bone marrow steak tartare made with beef fillet, bone marrow, duck egg, lavash, pickles and greens and beer battered kabeljou with chips, creamy garlic aioli and green herb sauce. A favourite with customers is Ras el Hanout roasted carrots with honey beetroot, hazelnut, puffed Canadian rice, rocket and spiced yogurt. There’s a fabulous range of salads (such as smoked mackerel with Asian pear and roast cauliflower with parmesan) as well as the signature smorgasbord – charcuterie served with pickles, made in-house, freshly baked bread, spreads and a selection of the restaurant’s daily cheeses.
VDL is fast becoming well-known for its breakfast menu including the “build your own” breakfast whereby customers can choose from a long list of options exactly what they want on their plate such as creamy scrambled egg served with avocado, beans and crispy streaky bacon or with chicken livers, mushrooms and halloumi. Also popular is the bread basket which has a selection of toast made from freshly baked breads as well as freshly made croissants, accompanied by a range of handmade jams and preserves. Freshly squeezed orange juice and other fruit juice options are also available
On weekends from 08:00, VDL is packed with diners taking advantage of the amazing harvest table, which features various freshly baked croissants, muffins, scones, bagels and all the various breads made in-house (ciabatta, sourdough, farmhouse, rye etc.) as well as a selection of cold meats (hams, salami and other chacuterie), fish (smoked salmon, cooked salmon, roll mops, herring, mackerel), eggs to order, yoghurts, fruit and quinoa granola, rounded off with a cup of tea or freshly brewed coffee. All for only R145!
Adjacent to the restaurant is a small boutique wine shop with a private dining room, ideal for wine tastings and pairings, launches, functions and private dinner parties. It seats 10 people comfortably and comes with a dedicated waiter to ensure high levels of service. VDL is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner Tuesday to Saturday and for breakfast and lunch on Sundays and Mondays. The address is 50 4th Avenue, Linden, Johannesburg. Bookings on (010) 594 5443