I popped in at Maggie’s Café earlier this week, the space having previously belonged to Whitney Wentzel, where she ran the popular 65 on Main Banting Café. I did not expect to find new co-owner and Chef Riaan Burger there, whom I had met when he was at Mondiall last year. Even more unusual is that Riaan and his Canadian partner Cailyn Sully-Daniels have named their restaurant after their American Staffie Maggie!
Chef Riaan and Cailyn met when they both worked in Beijing – Chef Riaan worked at Raffles in the city until last year, when he returned, and worked at Mondiall for a short while. They looked at various restaurant options, and the Green Point site appealed to them. They have opened up the kitchen, and the walls have been screeded. They are looking to find an artist to paint large artwork on the walls. Tables have metal bases and wooden tops, which Chef Riaan describes as giving his restaurant a ‘studio and rustic look‘. They have added lots of hanging plants inside, and put up plant boxes in the terrace area. Down the length of the restaurant they have added bunk seating, and lots of light bulbs, giving lots of light at night.
During the day Maggie goes to a ‘dog-garden‘ and then visits the restaurant from late afternoon, so that she can meet other visiting dogs. The menu contains dog treats too, a first in Cape Town to my knowledge! Yesterday my friend Jenny and her dog Mia went to try out Maggie’s Café, and received a friendly reception from Chef Riaan again, as well as from Maggie.
Maggie’s Café opens from 7h00 and closes at 22h00, a long day! They start with breakfast, offered until 13h00, and includes Bircher Müsli with banana and berries (R30), with extra charged for yoghurt. Croissant with scrambled egg costs R38; and added bacon R20; smoked salmon R25; Brie, preserves, croissant, and butter cost R28; omelettes cost R60-65, with bacon, avocado, and feta; spinach, feta and spring onion; and smoked salmon and cream cheese. Poached egg salmon bagel (R58), and Eggs Benedict is available with Hickory Ham, smoked salmon, or feta and spinach, at R60-R65. Breakfast Burrito costs R65, and a simple two eggs and toast costs R29, to which various extras can be added.
Lunch is served from 11h30 onwards, and the menu for lunch and dinner is the same. Starters are spicy chicken wings (R49), Cape crayfish mac & cheese balls (R56), and salt and pepper calamari
(R32), the latter being what I ordered but found it to be very sharp, possibly from the wasabi lime aioli or the chili flakes, even though I had asked for the latter to be removed. It is also served with spring onion, mesclun leaves, and lime.
Salads are inexpensive, ranging from R28 – R45; sandwiches are served with fried new potatoes, costing R45 – R55 for pulled pork or beef, roast chicken, or vegetarian. One can also order a salmon bagel, a beef burger (R60), or a BLT dog (R45). Grills cost from R48 – R55, and include slow-braised pork belly, lamb kofta, Malay-spiced marinated chicken thighs, and beer braised beef brisket. For ‘dessert’ one can order cheese with onion jam and fig preserve.
Children have a dedicated section on the menu, while for special dog customers they offer dry sausage, peanut butter lollies, doggy chips, and beef biltong twist, each costing R28.
Maggie’s Café is a unique restaurant which will appeal to the many dog lovers in the area. Chef Riaan is talented, charming, and hands-on. The prices are very reasonable.
Disclosure: Chef Riaan would not allow us to pay for our cappuccinos, the calamari starter, and a muffin.
Maggie’s Café, 65 Main Road, Green Point, Cape Town. Tel (021) 433-1442. www.maggiescafe.co.za On Facebook. Tuesday to Saturday 7h00 – 22h00, Sunday 8h00 – 14h00.
Chris von Ulmenstein, WhaleTales Blog: www.whalecottage.com/blog Tel 082 55 11 323 Twitter:@WhaleCottage Facebook: click here