Grab a cup of coffee and enjoy some gorgeous cafes and eating places I've discovered in and around Cape Town

Jun 8, 2012

Cafeen, Kenilworth

If there's one thing that turns me off in a restaurant, it's stingy portions. Well Cafeen almost takes it to the other extreme, with food nudging the edge of the plate and threatening to spill over it, not huddled meanly in the centre of a vast ceramic expanse. On a bleak wintry day with a fine chilly drizzle we couldn't have picked a cosier spot for three girls to catch up over brunch. Situated in Kenilworth it was my first visit and I was certainly enchanted by the quaint room.
Think quirky "old school", a jumble of vintage knick knacks and retro signage, and a melange of mismatched furniture. Wooden chairs and tables rubbed seats and shoulders with green formica, winging me way back to my mother's kitchen, while an old timber bench piled with funky cushions had me nestling down nicely for the duration. We shouted for coffee and instead of the usual americano or flat white, I ordered the curiously named Cinnamon Bun Steamer just to see what it was all about. A different kind of flavour, in retrospect too spicy for my taste, (a bun stirred into steamed milk and topped with a dollop of froth), but the cappuccinos were pronounced excellent.

The menu offered the usual suspects plus Big Breakfasts and Hangover Breakfasts, and some interesting croissant combinations, like brie and bacon . The French Toast sounded good to me and was served with crisped banana and bowls of syrup, sugar and lemon curd. Totally delicious, I could barely finish it. A bit of bacon would have rounded it off nicely, but no sooner had I voiced this than both Helen and Viv donated rashers from their over generous portions. Helen settled for traditional scrambled egg and bacon and Viv ordered the Health Stack, an intimidating pile of creamy mushrooms, tiny tomatoes and lashings of (healthy) bacon on toast. We were offered three choices of bread.

The buzz level in the room was climbing at a ferocious rate and we ordered more caffeine in order to keep pace. My americano more than hit the spot. Excellent. Next time I go I'll order a muffin. Seriously quirky, they are served straight from the tin mug they're baked in. Also loved the quaint crockery touches, like this gem of a honey pot working as a sugar bowl. Baby it was cold out there, but indoors the cosy atmosphere, the fabulous service and the comfortingly generous portions had us all feeling warm and fuzzy. (Open Mon-Fri from 8 to 4.30, Saturday until 3, Sunday until 2.)

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