Parcing off

The Sunday Tribune, Sunday Magazine, 9 June 2013
by Ingrid Shevlin

“Something different is the newly opened Parc Cafe in Glenwood, next door to the Glenwood artisanal bakery. According to its website, it aims to “offer a social, casual dining experience that captures the essence of Durban culture”.

They proudly serve Colombo coffee, bread from the Glenwood Bakery and Lucy’s cakes (Lucy being cake boss Lucy Markewicz).

Parc Cafe is an attractive venue with a contemporary feel that still manages to be homely. The vibe is warm and our waitress, Zora, was superb. There are tables indoors and on the pavement. Parc is owned by Brett Gentles (the chef) and his sister Lara. Brett is Christina Martin-trained and his extensive work experience includes a stint as sous chef at 9th Avenue Bistro.

My friend Meleney and I were there for lunch one Monday and found Parc surprisingly packed and buzzy – for a new restaurant and a Monday, that is.

The menu is chalked on a board on the wall and because they serve food in unusual combinations, and I didn’t want to get anything wrong, I painstakingly copied it down in my trusty notebook, only to find it is on the website ( But, if I compared my notebook with the website menu, it’s clear Brett tweaks his options.

Meleney was a little dubious about some food combos but we were pleasantly surprised. Parc has about nine breakfast items, the most interesting being banana bread French toast with fresh banana, cashews and honey; pork sausage, eggs, mixed greens, apple chilli chutney, toast and onion pickle; and Eggs Benedict (bacon, poached eggs, lemon hollandaise and capers on Adam’s potato and Rosemary bread).

Salad options include roast beetroot, radish, green apple, lettuce, avocado and lentils with goat’s cheese vinaigrette; and grilled aubergine, baby spinach, cucumber, roast butternut, fresh grapes, mint, coriander, basil and toasted seeds with cumin and yoghurt dressing. Phew.

There are two soup options, the weirdest of which is a wintermelon and coconut gazpacho with ginger and chocolate. And there are three open sandwich choices. I wont’ share the ingredients but you know by now that Brett believes the more, the better.

We decided to order three items and share: Sweet potato cake topped with poached eggs and served with tomato relish, brown mushrooms, rocket, crème fraiche and toasted pumpkin seeds; sweet potato and gingered chicken salad with rocket and coriander, drizzled with a soy-chilli dressing; and quiche with a sautéed kale, red onions and preserved lemon served with greens dressed with brown butter vinaigrette.

All of this was amazingly good, especially the quiche, which Meleney had originally scorned. For dessert we had croissant with lemon curd and fruit butter and one of Lucy’s meringue and hazelnut cakes served in a muffin case. Divine.

Prices are very reasonable, with major items ranging from R45 – R65. The bill came to a modest R210.”


My favourite breakfast spot

Ask Ashe blogged about parc.

Next door to the bakery is Parc Cafe, which has officially become my favourite breakfast spot after I tried their bircher muesli. Rabbit food you might say, but my word, this was the most deliciously creamy muesli I have ever tasted, with freshly grated apple, pomegranate seeds, not-too-sweet honey and cinnamon in the exact right quantities – flip I need some of this again soon! The eggs benedict were impressive too and the lunch menu written up on the chalkboard walls included some pretty yummy sounding salads, sarmies and quiches so we’ll be back soon!

Read the full blog post at the source.

parc. Cafe has opened its doors in Glenwood

Deelish Life ‘n’ Style Magazine

Durbanites have good reason to celebrate. parc. Cafe has opened its doors in Glenwood. This little culinary sanctuary has found the perfect home right next door to the Glenwood Bakery and just a few hundred meters away from Colombo Coffee, two of Durban’s foodie hot spots.

Chef patron, Brett Gentles, who honed his already sharp culinary skills whilst working with Graham Neilson of 9th Avenue Bistro, explains that the food at parc. is not bistro, it’s not cafe, it is just parc. He uses seasonal ingredients and supports local artisanal producers and when he says local, he means it. Brett is in the process of negotiating vegetable supply from a small farm which empowers local women; the bread at parc. is supplied by the Glenwood Bakery; the coffee is from Colombo Coffee in Umbilo Road and his cakes and pastries are made by his good friend and previous boss, Lucy Markewicz from Lucy’s cakes.

“We were tired of going out to eat and finding the same things on every menu” says Lara Gentles, Brett’s sister and business partner. So they have created a seasonal menu which offers something different. Try the stack of sweet potato cakes, tomato relish, brown mushroom, rocket, poached eggs, cremé fraiche and toasted pumpkin seeds for breakfast.

As a light lunch option the Wintermelon and coconut gazpacho with ginger and chocolate is a fabulous combination of flavours. Sandwiches include the likes of Hummus, grilled aubergine, onion sprouts, watercress, goats cheese with preserved lemon and French roast garlic chicken, onion pickle, herb and garlic mayo with fresh tomato served on a choice of artisanal breads.

parc. is open for breakfast and lunch but Brett is already talking about hosting dinners which will make local foodies even happier.