Parsley & Thyme is a rare find, a cozy 30-seater restaurant gently illuminated by candlelight against ruby walls, and set against a backdrop of colonial houses. Dutch chef owner Dennis Kool is earnest about his craft and goes back to the basics, using â€śonly the finest and freshestâ€ť ingredients and herbs to achieve honest, hearty Mediterranean fare.
This little gem is already gaining quite a reputation among European and local clientele alike within a short period of time from its opening. It was overheard that diners return time and again for a taste of Europe, or home for some of them.
Reservations are definitely recommended for lunchtime and dinners on weekends.
Kick off your meal with the refreshing goat cheese salad â€“ it will not disappoint with fresh rocket leaves, sweet semi-dried tomatoes and eggplant compote with a subtle sprinkling of fennel seeds that come together in a tasty balance. This salad boasts a great mix of textures, with crunchy leaves, contrasted against the creamy goat cheese, and chewy tomatoes and eggplant, acquitting itself very well as an appetizer as it instantly awakens your taste buds for more.
Garlic prawns with savoury smoky mortadella sausage is a novel pairing that accentuates the sweetness of the prawns. But what really catches oneâ€™s fancy is the much talked-about French onion soup. Of Parisian standard, the intensely flavourful broth, with soft onions and beef bits that produced it, is crowned by a velvety blanket of quality gruyere and emmental cheese and toasted crostini bread.
French onion soup
The mains would bring applause to the table. The Mediterranean style char-grilled squid in a tangy fondue of tomatoes, bell peppers, and olives, is cooked perfectly with the right amount of bite. The char-grilled pork tenderloin in peppercorn sauce is also enjoyable with the sweetness of pink peppercorns closely chased by the slight punch of its spicy green counterpart.
The real star of the show is the char-grilled tenderloin steak. Topped with Delft blue cheese, a product of Koolâ€™s hometown, who knew the strong Hereford cattle would make for such tender steak. Seared on the outside, blushing pink in the centre, it is a truly inviting sight and tastes as good as it looks.
Char-grilled grass-fed Hereford tenderloin steak
The oven-baked lamb is also mention-worthy. Juicy cutlets of the rack, encrusted with crushed almonds and herbs, lay in a thick reduction of aceto balsamico and vanilla. Great colours accompanied by a fragrant aftertaste that resonates on your palate after the last bite, you may find yourself scavenging for more crust after finishing the lamb.
Even at the end of the meal, Kool works to keep the experience fresh for his customers, many who eat at the restaurant 2-3 times a week. A wide range of desserts leaves you spoilt for choice: the amaretto parfait with almond nougatine is delectable, and the vanilla panna cotta with berries as well as the chocolate mouse with rare Amarena cherries will also round off the meal beautifully for any sweet tooth.
Drinks are reasonably priced with a good selection of wines from New Zealand, Italy and Australia or enjoy a hot cuppa with your dessert before stepping back out into the quaint neighbourhood.
Well-executed dishes, fair prices, soothing ambience and a lovable host, thereâ€™s nothing that will keep you from coming back for more.