I had read about Superette on Twitter, and having braved the Old Biscuit Mill market close by last week, I decided to stop there for a cappuccino and a late breakfast. It doesn’t look anything like its name implies, although one can buy a few items to take home. Bar the very laid-back man taking the orders from behind the counter, Superette is really super.
Superette was started a year ago by Justin Rhodes and Cameron Munro, the operators of the Old Biscuit Mill market, and they must have seen how their market has revitalised the Woodstock area. The one weakness the market has is that there is no adequate place to sit and have a proper meal, and certainly no coffee (other than at its only restaurant there). Superette caters perfectly for people like me that get claustrophobic in crowds, and that hate doing the look-and-see shuffle through what feels like a massive country bazaar at the Old Biscuit Mill.
I loved the casualness of Superette, in that the menu is written onto the white tiles behind the counter. What is sold out is crossed out. When I spoke to Mr Laid Back he immediately told me that there were no tomatoes, before I even had a chance to read the menu. It is not very neatly written, so I had to ask his help. When I asked about the bread that the All-Day breakfast is served with, he lay on the counter and pointed behind him at two different breads on the counter, which did not give me the exact answer I was looking for. He was facetious in his replies, and clearly seemed irritated to be dealing with anyone who asked too many questions! Luckily the food is brought to the table by pleasant waitresses, and they bring the bill to the table too. The interior is very casual, with wobbly tables and little triangle-shaped stools. There are fresh flowers on each table.
I chose the All-Day Breakfast (R40) and it was served on lightly toasted milk bread, topped with scrambled egg, roasted rose tomatoes and bacon, with rocket as garnish on the plate, an attractive-looking breakfast treat. The cappuccino was the new-style flat which I do not like at all, but it was strong and made from good coffee. The waitress tried her best to answer all my questions, and sent the chef Lyndall Maunder to my table to answer more. Lyndall was super friendly, and told me that she had trained with David Higgs when he was still at Meerendal, and had worked at Jardine, and as a private chef.
There is a weekday and a Saturday menu. On Saturdays it is the busiest day, and the menu focuses on breakfast only, served until closing time at about 3 pm. In addition to the scrambled egg sandwich, one can order cheese on toast (R25), anchovy toast (R30), almond and cranberry granola (R34), boiled eggs and soldiers (R30), and croque monsieur (R45). On weekdays one can have breakfast all day. From 12h00 Superette serves salads made from vegetables which are close to raw, with added nuts and seeds, a selection of three costing R55; pastas; sandwiches with porkbelly or steak at R45; and a Plat du Jour at R65, which could be a lasagne, a sweetbread terrine or whatever Lyndall feels like preparing on that day.
One is able to buy the bread as well, milk bread and pain de campagne being on offer, which comes from a tiny Muizenberg bakery called Le Petite Boulangerie. A table with fresh vegetables is displayed near the counter, and it looked like a display to me. There is no indication that one can buy the farm-fresh organic vegetables, which are delivered every Saturday morning from the Appelsdrift Farm in Napier. Oddly, there was a bowl full of tomatoes on the table! What is novel is a self-help “Mini-Bar”, which is stocked with waters, &Union beer brands and Frankie’s Ginger Beer, drinks taken being added to one’s bill.
Superette, 218 Albert Road, Woodstock, Cape Town. tel (021) 802 5525. www.superette.co.za. The website has a blog, which is written by Lyndall. Open Monday – Friday from 9h00 – 17h00, and on Saturday from 9h00 – 15h00. The business card looks like a price tag, a cute touch.
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com