A very recent restaurant opening is that of Café Paris in Green Point, a space I was watching being transformed when I drove past on Main Road. As my friend from Paris is visiting again, we decided to give it a try for a late breakfast/brunch yesterday.
The first person we spoke to was William Moss, who looked like the owner, and hence I asked him to stand in front of the poster of Paris for a photograph, but he declined, suggesting I get his Manager Brandon in the photograph! It emerged that William is not the owner, but that his half French half South African partner Deona is, but that William was standing in for her yesterday. Brandon told us that William owns a guest house Cape Vibe 182 in Sea Point.
There appears to be no typed menu, everything written on blackboards, for beverages, for breakfasts, and other foods, all placed in the outside seating area. Bistro chairs and café style tables, with one beautiful blue two-seater couch that my friend and I sat on, dominate the decor outside. Inside cheap-looking red cladding is used to create a counter around a refrigerated selection of Pâtisserie items. On top of the counter we saw a red velvet cake, a selection of croissants, and elsewhere in the restaurant were baguettes. My first question was where the breads and pastries came from, and I was told that they are from New York Bagels. We overheard that the other two cakes available yesterday were a carrot cake and a milk tart.
Brandon came to explain the Eggs Benedict (R68) to me. As I did not want baguette in mine, I asked about spinach. We had a long debate about the spinach being creamed, and not steamed as I would have liked it. I gave in, not having wanted to add any unnecessary weight. I wasn’t expecting bacon with it, but ate it anyway, the first time in years. The Oryx pepper grinder just had enough peppercorns in it to add to my dish. My friend ordered the ham and cheese omelet (R40), which was served with a slice of ciabatta, and weirdly, a bowl of apple slices! It was explained that this is a French tradition, but my friend did not agree. She did not eat them.
The dry cappuccino was not dry, it was a standard cappuccino with cocoa on top. I drank it as I was desperate for a coffee fix. My friend wanted to order a Chai Latte, but they do not offer it. As the board with other dishes was closest to where we were sitting, we saw a picture of an ice cream roll purportedly coming from Belgium. It was in fact from Woolworths, with a Belgian Chocolate surround, a Madagascan vanilla layer, and a coffee centre, served with cream (out of the can) on the side (R28). This was when I realised how amateurish Café Paris is.
Cutlery is basic and offered with white paper serviettes, onto which the restaurant name is printed, with the French phrase ‘La Vie Est Belle’, meaning life is beautiful. It looked used to me, as if it had lipstick marks on it, with lips printed on it.
I asked about the chef, and was told that she is Sim, who had studied at the Infinity Culinary Training, which I had never heard of, but is on Adderley Street, Google informs. There she had trained under four chefs who once again had been trained by Chef Jamie Oliver, we were told! However, she could not remember any of the chefs names!
We met another customer with her dog outside, and she is a dedicated loyal client, coming there every day. Unfortunately she is a smoker, so we had to endure this while we were still eating.
Brandon loved chatting, about himself, telling us that he is from Johannesburg originally, and has lived in Cape Town for twenty years. He will be doing an ‘MBA in Digital Marketing’ in Munich mid-year, having German genes, but I did not hear it in his speaking. He loved talking about the Cape Royale Hotel, which will close its doors at the end of this month, the owner of the building selling off the apartments which he had used as hotel accommodation.
While Café Paris is not expensive, it is not French either, other than the Paris poster inside. It was cringe-worthy amateurish! I won’t be back!
Café Paris, 55 Main Road, Green Point, Cape Town. Cell 078 279 4352 www.cafeparis.co.za Tuesday – Sunday. 6h30 – 17h00.
Chris von Ulmenstein, WhaleTales Blog: www.chrisvonulmenstein.com/blog Tel +27 082 55 11 323 Twitter:@Ulmenstein Facebook: Chris von Ulmenstein Instagram: @Chris_Ulmenstein