LBV Bistro and Wine Bar: food full of passion and heart

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Last week, at one of the regular Zomato Foodie Meet-ups, the foodies and I tried LBV Bistro and Wine Bar in Bryanston,  Johannesburg. The restaurant is very secluded at the back of a shopping centre – so secluded that my Uber driver drove straight past it. Despite its inconspicuous location, there is nothing dowdy about their food.

Shortly after I arrived, owner/chef Jacques van den Merwe came out to introduce us to his restaurant and ethos about cooking.  LBV – or “La Bella Vito” – is a family-run establishment with members of Jacques’ family managing every aspect of the restaurant, from front-of-house to the kitchen. He takes great pride in sourcing his produce,  actually visiting the places from where he gets his raw ingredients. So, you can be guaranteed that everything you are served at LBV is 100% fresh.

To accompany our meal, we were treated to wines from Schalk Burger and Sons’ winery in the Cape and Jacques put a lot of thought into the dishes – from his repertoire – that would go perfectly with these wines.


To start, we were served with a selection of starters from the LBV menu:

–  Baked camembert done with rosemary

–  Grilled halloumi with sweet chilli sauce

–  Pork belly cubes garnished with apple morsels

–  Stuffed  Jalapeños which were crumbed (not for those who don’t like a bit of a bite in their food!)

The starters were accompanied by Burger’s blanc de blanc sparking wine as well as their sauvignon blanc.


Next came the hamburger course, which consisted of mini hamburgers and thick-cut potato chips. I prefer my chips crispier – these were a bit too moist on the outside – so if you share my tastes I would recommend that you ask the chef to prepare the chips according to your preferences.


The hamburger was followed up by either gnocchi or tagliatelle in a braised lamb sauce. They were absolutely delicious but as I was so full at this stage I ate two and took the rest home for my husband!


Unfortunately, my husband arrived to fetch me before the chocolate fondants were ready so Chef Jacques promised me that the next time I come the chocolate fondant will be on him. Well, Jacques, I coming to collect on that promise!