Tag Archives: salads

Col’Cacchio launches new First Base pizza ‘fast casual’ outlet!

imageQuality pizza chain Col’Cacchio is to open First Base, a new concept in pizza outlets, the first one opening at Paddocks Shopping Centre in Milnerton, described as ‘fast casual’. It promises ‘handcrafted pizza & salad’.

Catering for pizza lovers who love to add or subtract toppings from Continue reading →

Restaurant Review: Oishii delicious Caffe is delicious!

Oishii delicious Caffe is a new restaurant in Tamboerskloof, which quietly opened three weeks ago.   It has a gentle presence and welcome when one steps inside the shop/deli/caffe.  Manager Fatima impressed with her friendliness, and the food served is delicious.  “Oishii” expresses the emotion of deliciousness in Japanese, she explained to us. It offers excellent value for money, especially compared to the expensive Melissa’s a few doors away.

When one steps inside, one notices the wooden shelving with a collection of unrelated items, some crafted in Cape Town, and some picked up by owner Marko Helfer from a recent trip as far away as China.   The deli counter is hidden from the entrance, and displays five salads that are freshly made, which one can eat there or take away.   Breads and pastries from Marcellino’s Bakery are available for sale or to enjoy with the lovely Deluxe coffees.  Seven ice cream flavours are sold, and come from Venezia in Sea Point.   Marko owns the Pure Solid 13 clothes, gift and accessories shop next door, with a branch in Cavendish Square too.  

There is no menu.  One blackboard lists the coffee options (one of the cheaper cappuccino destinations in Cape Town, at R13) and another the sandwich (R25 without meat, R35 with meat), salad (R35 without meat, R40 with meat) and noodle (R35) options.  Marko designed all the furniture (including a baby high chair) and shelving for the shop, Fatima told me, and had it made up – it has a lovely earthy Scandinavian feel to it, and the colourful collection of chairs in different styles, shapes and colours add to the decor.  The lamps are unique in design, and Marko’s wife crocheted all the covers for them.   I loved the bunch of fresh flowers from a garden on one of the tables.

Fatima has had short stints working at the Daily Deli and Bonjour Patisserie, both in Tamboerskloof, and last worked in an office.  She describes her customers as locals who work in the area, and who come in to enjoy the coffee and other treats served.  Breakfast options include croissant, avocado, Gruyere and choice of egg for R42; granola, fruit salad and yoghurt at R18; and croissant, jam and butter at R15.   The salads appear to be sold at R7 a portion of a specific salad.  Meat options for sandwiches or salads are roast chicken, salami, and coppa ham.  Pastry choices include cinnamon pretzels, chocolate cigars, chocolate croissants, and the bread range includes rye, ciabatta and Kornspitz.

Oishii delicious Caffe has a chef who comes in every day, making up the salads.   Marko is sent to buy the fresh fruit and vegetables, as well as grain products for the salads.   Anel Clarke is the chef, and spends the mornings at Oishii, making five salads, always a raw salad, a bean one, a chicken or tuna one, a starch one (pasta or couscous), and a potato one.  When we were there last Saturday Anel’s salad selection included orange couscous, mange tout and sundried tomato; chick pea, feta and olive salad; beetroot, apple and rocket salad; and roast chicken, paw paw, and cucumber salad with a coconut dressing.  Anel uses a different dressing for each salad, and tries to make unusual salads not found anywhere else.  She says her chicken and corn salads are the most popular.   When Anel is not at Oishii, she does cooking lessons in customers’ homes, and makes vegan food for the Wellness Warehouse on Kloof Street.  She has started a blog called Daisy Meisie, but does not have much time for it.

We paid R 55 for a selection of four salads as well as a cappuccino, which is excellent value.  

Oishii delicious Caffe, corner Kloof and De Lorentz Streets, Tamboerskloof.  Tel (021) 422-4981.  No website.  Monday – Friday 7h30 – 16h30, Saturday 8h00 – 14h30. 

Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter: @WhaleCottage

Restaurant Review: Crust Cafe’ not for the upper crust!

Crust Cafe’ is a new-ish no-nonsense coffee shop, take-away and food delivery service operating in the Cape Town city centre, just off Buitensingel on Bree Street.   Its name is catchy and the clean white-painted tables and benches outside, with umbrellas, attract attention as one drives past.   It has a good selection of breakfast and lunch options, at extremely low prices.

Crust Cafe’s all-day breakfast options include fresh fruit salad at R 20, and R 25 if muesli and yogurt are added.   Oats and banana cost R 24.   A full English breakfast with all the bells and whistles (sausages, bacon, tomato and toast) costs R 33, an omelette with a choice of two fillings costs R 30, and if you want it plain, eggs on toast cost R 20.

For lunch or in-between snacks, toasted sandwiches are available (ranging between R 18 – R 22); gourmet sandwiches on ciabatta, rye or rolls range from R 28 for ham and salad or smoked chicken and avocado, to R R 32 for roast chicken.   Wraps cost R 34, and two combinations are offered.   Two salads and a soup of the day are also available.   A 100 % pure organic coffee by TRiBeCa is sold in packets of beans, or in a variety of prepared coffee styles.

Hot meals served include chicken and beef burgers (R 28 – R 35), hot dogs (R 16 – R 23), and chips.   Every day they offer a different special meal of the day – on 11 March this was lasagne and salad at R 35, beef curry and rice at R 32, and cream of celery soup and a roll at R 20.  One can barely prepare a meal at home at such a low cost.  All food is prepared fresh every day.  Should any food be left over, it is disposed of at the end of the day. 

What makes Crust Cafe’ attractive is its delivery service to office blocks nearby, even for breakfasts.   I observed businesspersons coming in to Crust Cafe’, to collect a quick bite to eat, probably to take back to the office. 

Phil and Andrew opened Crust Cafe’ six months ago, two British Capetonians who have settled here because they love the climate and the people of Cape Town.   They are absolutely hands-on owners.

Crust Cafe’, 243 Bree Street, corner Buitensingel Street, tel 021 422 2222, www.crust.co.za (still under construction).  Mondays – Fridays, 7h30 – 15h30.

Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com

Restaurant Review: Relax at Cafe Max

WhaleTales does not usually write about established restaurants, but Cafe Max is too special to not write about it, and appears to be a hidden gem that few Capetonians (except those living in De Waterkant) know about.   It has been operating for close to 5 years, and is a relaxed homely friendly place, offering exceptional value for money meals, compared to the restaurants in the new nearby Cape Quarter.  A review by Dax Villanueva (RelaxwithDax) was the incentive to try out the restaurant.

Owned by Anna Ridgewell, originally from Zimbabwe, and a graduate of the Silwood School of Cookery, a chef at And Beyond’s Ngala and Kwandwe game reserves, and owner of a guest house in Grahamstown, she came to Cape Town, and bought the space, previously called Cafe Maxime and housing a jewellery and coffee shop, two years ago.   Anna says she is there all day, every day, and is hands-on in preparing and  bringing out the food, and chatting to the guests.  

The main section of the restaurant is a long rectangular room, which was set up with one long table for a function.    Two exquisite Marie-Antoinette flower arrangements in beautiful silver vases attracted attention, especially brought in for an evening function.   The floor has large black and white tiles, a personal favourite, and the walls are painted a silver grey with the finest hand painted blossoms on them.   Three replica art deco-style mirrors dominate the room.  One can step into a courtyard which is covered with a grey and white canopy, and have the benefit of fresh air, and a water feature adds a nice fresh sound-effect too.   A children’s bedding shop Bubble leads from the courtyard.

The menu is printed on a laminated sheet, and offers a variety of breakfast and lunch options.   Breakfasts include Eggs Benedict with ham (R59) or salmon (R69), fluffy scrambled eggs and bacon at R 52, or with salmon at R 65, tartine aux champignons at R 52, muesli and yoghurt at R 39, boiled egg and soldiers (sweet touch!) at R 25, a sunshine breakfast that offers 2 fried eggs, bacon, toast, baked beans, tomato and mushroom, at an astoundingly reasonable R 29 (if you arrive between 7h30 – 8h30, the same sunshine breakfast only costs R 20!), French toast (R 29), sweetcorn fritters with salmon, poached egg and hollandaise sauce at R 59, flapjacks at R 25, and a breakfast baguette costs R 25.  The cappuccino was served in a very large cup, and perfect, costing R 15.   A cute touch was honey served in a small espresso cup.   A chipped stem of a water glass was not.  Presentation of the egg dishes is no-nonsense, with no decoration, but it does not seem to matter.

For lunch a selection of salads (caprese and caeser, at R 45 each), smoked salmon (R 72), chicken or Burger (R 59), and chicken liver (R 45) is offered.   Tartines (“flash toasted” bread), with fillings such as caprese, smoked salmon, chicken, The Max Club, The Max Burger and Chicken Burger, range in price from R 49 to R 85.  Lovely breads and sweet treats (e.g. the most beautifully iced and presented cupcakes) are for sale.

For the second time in a week, a good selection of wines-by-the-glass was seen to be offered (Salt Deli too) to single wine drinkers.  Cafe Max offers 12 wines, and all but one are sold by both the bottle or the glass.   Pongracz, Villiera and PJ Brut are sold in a range of R 20 – R 30 per glass, and white wines range from R 15 for the De May Cenin Blanc and their Rose, and Joostenberg Viognier to R 32 for the Haute Cabriere Chardonnay and Domaine Grier Maccaben Viognier.  Red wines start at an unbelievable R 15 for the Joostenberg Shiraz Merlot and MAN Vintner Shiraz to R 22 for the Stark Conde Pinot Noir.

The Cafe Max catering service was used for a Social Media Marketing workshop, and the tray of finger snacks looked and tasted amazing, and was good value. 

Cafe Max, 126 Waterkant Street, De Waterkant (from Somerset Road take the road alongside PG Glass/Boardmans), and turn right into Waterkant Street to find it).   Tel 021 425 5102.  www.cafemax.co.za   Open Tuesdays to Fridays from 7h00 – 16h00, and on Saturdays and Sundays from 9h00 – 15h00.   Dinner is served on Thursday evenings, from 18h30.

Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com