his is St Clements, 191, Musgrave Road. It’s owned by Steve Clements who used to run The Green Shed in Vause Road; a place I frequented regularly for the peace and the view, the fabulous cappies and the most delicious homemade scones. The friendly well-trained staff followed him and he has kept most of his menu as well; an intriguing mix of wholesome Mediterranean and occasional Thai foods.
St Clements has earned a reputation for freshly prepared dishes using quality ingredients and you can feel confident that what you order is going to look and taste right. There may not be a massive selection for vegetarians, especially if you don’t eat eggs, but there’s enough to ring the changes.
If you want a healthy breakfast you can go for the honey granola with fruit and berries; my friends rave about the creamy scrambled eggs with mushrooms and chives and the seared feta omelette served with grilled tomato and avocado.
In the snack or light lunch department we veggies do pretty well: sandwiches are served on rye, seed loaf or ciabatta bread with a choice of salad or chips on the side. That’s a bit of toss up, because both the chips and the salad are delish; so I sometimes order both. There’s a tomato-and-basil bruschetta, sun-dried tomato with Danish feta and avo sandwich, grilled brie and apple served with onion jam and maple Dijon mustard or you can have the Croque Monsieur without the ham, a lovely Gruyere cheese sandwich served with tomato soup.
As with most eateries these days the salads include fish, chicken or meat but there’s a tomato and feta salad with basil parsley vinaigrette and if the kitchen’s not too busy you can ask for a garden salad with avocado. I also enjoy their ‘toasties’, cheese and mushroom being my firm favourite.
St Clements specialises in Thai dishes and their vegetable stir fry, made from zucchini, mushrooms, red pepper and baby spinach, served with rice noodles, is really good. They are also really well known for their authentic-recipe cakes which are extremely popular, but for strict veggies or vegans you need to note that they are all made with eggs, except the scones. I find the prices reasonable: a meal with a cool drink, with a coffee or pot of tea will set you back around R 70; and you get good value for your money; you also get friendly service and a great location.
St Clements serves breakfasts, teas and lunches and generally closes around 4 pm except for Mondays, when it stays open to host St Clements @ 6, a season of soirees organised by Prof Scholtz featuring poets, musicians, playwrights and raconteurs and monthly Fridays when you can enjoy live music featuring well known acoustic musicians.
St Clements is way nicer than a mall café; you get a breath of fresh air in a delightful corner of Durban’s best-known ‘burb. Call 031 2022511