By Amanda – On The Chopping Board
Cafe de Maxime is located at the base of an apartment block which overlooks beautiful Westlakes. It’s a lovely, new and modern building, which is light and airy and decorated using stylish good quality furnishings.
There’s indoor and outdoor seating overlooking the lake, a long bar housing cakes and drinks (and yes they are licensed!) and there is also a dedicated play area for the kids including toys and a TV. We also notice a good selection of high chairs, baby rockers, cradles and swings for the little ones. Already, it’s perfect for families!
It’s a quiet lunch time at Cafe de Maxime today but we soak up the tranquillity of the atmosphere while we wait for our coffees. They offer a variety of different ‘milk’ options so I (Amanda) opt for an almond milk latte and my friend orders a chai latte with almond milk. They arrive in large double wall glass cups and yum, this is one of the best almond milk lattes I’ve had! So creamy, smooth, nutty and delicious… a great start.
As we peruse the menu we notice it’s focused on fresh, light and healthy produce. There’s a large brunch focus which is great for today as they offer brunch all day on weekends. If you are coming for lunch during the week though then you better feel like a salad or a roll as that’s all the choice you have.
Next up our freshly made juices arrive. I select the ‘Collagen Boosting Juice’ because what girl doesn’t want tighter skin! It is filled with cucumber, ginger, beetroot, carrot, orange and lemon. My pregnant friend ironically orders the ‘Hangover’ juice which is made with pineapple, orange, apple, lemon, celery, ginger, spinach and coconut water. I’m a big juice drinker as I make my own green smoothies every morning, so I enjoy trying different ingredient combinations when I’m dining out and today I’m very pleased with these juices. They are cold, sweet, tangy and easy to drink.
For lunch we order two dishes to share. First up the ‘Healthy Caesar’ salad which consists of iceberg lettuce, poached egg, chicken and Cafe de Maxime’s own homemade yoghurt dressing. When this dish arrives we weren’t very excited about eating it as truthfully it just looked boring but one bite in and we were both making sounds of amazement! The lettuce was crisp, the egg was perfectly poached with a gooey centre and the chicken was juicy and tender. To tie it all together the homemade yoghurt dressing added that wow factor and I don’t even like yoghurt!! How can this be?! But delicious this salad was. I guess this is a classic example of don’t judge a book by it’s cover but I do think the addition of some colour would enhance the presentation.
Our second dish is the ‘Scrambled Eggs with Mushrooms’ which consists of free range scrambled eggs served with mushrooms, baby spinach, cherry tomatoes and toasted bread. Yep this is the perfect healthy brunch dish. The scrambled eggs were cooked to a soft and fluffy consistency and the accompanying ingredients were high quality, fresh and tied in well together to make an exciting and vibrant dish. My friend thought she would have enjoyed the addition of a sauce element, maybe even some avocado but I was satisfied with the dish as it was.
So we were able to try a few more of the many salads on offer, the chef brings us two more sample sized salads. The ‘Feta and Beetroot’ salad with danish feta, fresh beetroot, baby spinach and walnuts in an olive oil, lemon juice and pepper dressing. This was our favourite salad of the day. That danish feta OMG! Amazing! So creamily delicious. And that beetroot! OMG! Amazing! We later asked how they got so much flavour packed into the beetroot and we learn that they receive the beetroot freshly marinated in a vacuum sealed bag. I could definitely benefit from having a few of those beetroot bags in my fridge! The dressing sounded so simple but provided so much flavour that didn’t detract from the star ingredients of the salad.
The ‘Mediterranean’ salad with rocket leaves, semi dried tomatoes, kalamata olives, danish feta in a caramelised balsamic dressing was also an enjoyable salad. All the ingredients selected in this salad were again of high quality but I didn’t get as excited over this salad as I think I’m just a little bored with this flavour combination but I’m sure there are plenty of you that would enjoy this salad immensely.
We are feeling quite full by this stage but I can’t leave without trying some of the homemade sweets so we push on! Petra, the owner makes the raw treats ensuring they are gluten, sugar and dairy free. She provides us with a selection of 3 different varieties, the poppy seed and chocolate, the carrot and ginger and the blueberry. Our favourite was the carrot and ginger, as it tasted just like a carrot cake with cream cheese frosting. My friend notes that she can’t really taste the ginger but it doesn’t stop us loving this slice. The blueberry was a close second with it’s lovely sweet fruity flavour combined with the pistachio nuts in the base.
For those who prefer a good slice of cake with all the gluten, sugar and dairy included, don’t despair the chef bakes these daily too and they also have a good selection of French pastries care of Le Madeleine which are another of my favourites.
Overall, we had a lovely afternoon at Cafe de Maxime. I can’t think of a better place to go with my girlfriends for brunch or lunch, with or without their kids and with or without alcohol!
This place is so versatile you can easily come here with friends, kids, husbands or even on your own to enjoy some well deserved time out. It’s not often you come across stunning lake views in a relaxing, friendly but sophisticated environment.
The food, service and drinks today were all thoroughly enjoyed and you can bet that I’ll be back… especially when I’m in need of a good dose of nutrients… and a collagen boost!