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

Jul 22, 2012

Easy Dig, Sunnydale

I discovered a gem! At last, after a run of ho hum eateries, I stumbled upon this quirky cafe tucked away in a corner of Harry Goemans plant nursery in Sunnydale, on the way to Kommetjie. Why didn't I know about it when I lived in the area, I ask myself!  Karin and I picked a balmy Indian summer afternoon wedged into the icy heart of a cruel week of winter to buy some plants, and decided to grab coffee in the cafe. Being such a gorgeous day the outdoor area was filled up, so we found a spot indoors, at a rustic table which was one of a collection of zany distressed furniture - cupboards, dressers, book shelves - designed by the cafe owner and knocked together by a craftsman  just down the road.

 There's quite a comprehensive menu of breakfasts, lunches and sweet delights, but we weren't hungry and just wanted a shot of caffeine. Karin said her cappuccino was just what the doctor ordered, and my espresso macciato in its tiny cup went right to where it mattered and set me up for the rest of the day. I'm planning to return to re-browse the furniture and try out their munchies. A lovely spot in a peaceful green setting. Open during normal business hours.

Jul 18, 2012

Manuka, Steenberg

This is the kind of underwhelming plate put in front of me at Manuka this weekend. I don't enjoy blogging about a place that has been a big disappointment, but I guess you need to know. A couple of years I ago I had dinner there with a friend and the food was superb and the service excellent. In the meantime the place has been taken over by the same person who had Tony's at Longbeach. My friends and I would avoid that place because the service was almost non-existent and the food bland and uninteresting. Well guess what...ditto at Manuka. One can generally get a quick profile of management by the attitude of staff, and the waiters here are surly, disinterested and bored, so we could only presume they were unhappy with their lot. Why should we have to chase a waiter around the restaurant in order to request a knife that will cut the bacon? My friends both ordered egg with mushrooms, which was reported to be tasty, but my eggs had been swimming in oil and the meal was lukewarm and bland, with half a dozen chips and, once again, my pet peeve - cheap and nasty pre-sliced bread. I paid R48 for a ho hum breakfast that I could get at Spur for half the price,  plus a cheerful smile thrown in. Oh well, the Americano wasn't too bad.

Jul 15, 2012

The real deal Americano!

At last! At last! I found the real deal Americano! Stumbled upon in a pizza place, Primi Piatti in Claremont, and not at any of the coffee shops I've been exploring!  I just knew I had one of these a long time ago and for the life of me could not remember where, and here it was, purely by chance.  A little cameo of presentation perfection - an elegant skinny white serving plate with three in a row : tiny jug of boiling water, same of warm milk, and cup with a shot of espresso. Just the way it should be! Oh the rapture! Only it wasn't for me ... I had ordered a boring decaff because it was late at night and caffeine at that time disturbs my beauty sleep. I could only admire it and inhale a long draught of the aroma, sigh... I didn't have a camera but am determined to go back and get a picture for you. Any excuse for a decadent interlude with one of these darlings. 

Jul 9, 2012

Thandi's, Bergvliet

Eat, play, love, that's what this happy eaterie is all about. I've passed it so many times and finally made a plan to visit last week, not the sunniest day of the year, but a friendly little fireplace warmed the room up nicely and we had a cosy corner table.

It's a great place for moms and their offspring, a playroom down the passage with a punch and judy tent, and for sunnier days a jungle jym outdoors where kids can play in a safe space while mom catches up with her girlfriends. One of the front rooms has funky fashions for big girls and there's also a room dedicated to gorgeous colourful kiddie clothes, plus all sorts of quirky crafty goodies for sale throughout the house.

A pretty little menu offers enough to choose from for breakfast, just a bite with coffee, or a light lunch. There are yummy sounding pasta dishes and hearty soups to warm the cockles on a chill winter's day. Helen needed an early lunch and ordered an egg mayo sandwich, which was a very generous portion served with a small salad. She couldn't even finish it and it was popped into a box to take away. I wasn't hungry and asked if they could do a simple slice of toast and honey. This was no problem and cost me all of R8 but was very disappointing, as was the same bread used for Helen's sandwich, tasteless prepackaged sliced brown. We both felt that some wholesome home-baked bread would make a nicer taste sensation.  Our Americano and Cappuccino coffees were adequate.

Thandi's is open from 9 to 4 and I believe will shortly be opening on Sundays as well. Situated just down the road from the Spar centre on the main road, parking can be iffy and it's recommended that you park across the road.The focus is definitely on moms and kids and their catered parties are popular and booked up well in advance.  Highly recommended if this is your lifestyle.