Misfits a mix of restaurant, Gin Academy, wine shop, coffee bar, event venue, and work space!



I was recently contacted by Ideas Cartel owner Schuyler Vorster, and invited to experience it. We have never met. I had to Google the directions to find the venue, and was surprised to see that it was the former Beluga, which closed down during Lockdown.

Subsequently I returned to the restaurant twice, for a dinner invitation, and then for an ice cream and gin pairing.

Misfits is a restaurant, entertainment venue, event venue, Inverroche Gin Academy, work space, coffee bar, wine shop, and indoor golf putting area.

I popped in at the restaurant between meetings on an afternoon, and chose to sit outside on a sunny day in a Secret Garden seating area that has been created in a part of the Old Foundry parking area, filled with lots of greenery. First I walked through the restaurant, and memories of Beluga came back to me, the Beluga lights still in the restaurant. My initial walk through was to take photographs.

As I arrived a number of staff stood at the entrance, and greeted me. As I walked inside, a waitress asked me if I had a booking and if someone else was joining me. As I had booked via Dineplan I was surprised that she did not expect me, it being at 15h00, and there not being any other diners arriving.

I was given all the menus and beverage lists, a number of pages, and needed some time to choose something to order, settling for a salad.

My first interest was the name of the restaurant, and the reason for it. Three staff members could not tell me the reason for the name, and a staff member Precious describing herself as the GM appeared to have a problem with me asking this question, her reaction very defensive, as if I was interrogating her. She walked off without giving me the explanation for the name.

All of a sudden a bubbly lady arrived at my table, it being Nicolette Basson, working closely with Vorster in running all the businesses of Ideas Cartel. The Cartel Chicken salad (R95) which I ordered, and had to send back due to the balsamic exclusion not having been executed not yet having arrived, and I felt under time pressure, so we agreed that I would go to my meeting and return to Misfits afterwards.

The return visit was chalk and cheese, with Nicolette walking me though the restaurant area. In the Mezzanine level she showed me the grand piano, at which a pianist had played earlier in the afternoon. I saw a seating area, in a Lounge style. I saw quirky pictures on the walls, including one of Queen Elizabeth wearing a mask, coincidentally it being her birthday on that day. I was shown a long table made from a single slab of wood, as well as seating for persons coming to use the facility for work, with a coffee machine nearby. I was shown the Inverroche Gin Academy, an event section which can be booked for up to eight guests to make their own gin with botanicals provided, costing R750 per person, taking home the self-made 750 ml bottle of gin. I was shown the Wine Shop, from which one can order wine while at the restaurant, or buy wine to take home. I met Carina, who runs the wine shop and curated the wine list. I saw the extensive bar area. I saw a sliver of an indoor golf practice area. Linked to Misfits is a newly built addition to The Old Foundry building, being a 24 bedroom Boutique Hotel.

Nicolette and I sat down in the same outside Secret Garden area, it being a warm evening.  Nicolette explained that the Misfits name came from a brainstorm which she and her colleagues had about the  name for the venue, and at one stage they joked about them sitting together ‘as a bunch of misfits’ brainstorming, and as this phrase was said, they knew they had the name!

I ordered a Salt and Pepper calamari as well as a chocolate mousse. The calamari was a small portion, and unusual was that it was served with a side of mixed vegetables (mange tout and baby potatoes). It was accompanied with a lemon butter sauce. The chocolate mousse was also unusual, being very solid, made from a delicious dark chocolate .

Nicolette told me about her background, and that she had studied event planning at the Aleit Academy (owned by Aleit Swanepoel who sadly passed away recently). She described Ideas Cartel as ‘where great ideas come to life’.  It opened its first workspace above Hemelhuijs in 2013, then on Loop Street in 2014, at The Old Foundry in 2018, at Casa Labia in Muizenberg in 2020, the Ambassade in Stellenbosch in 2021, and Misfits earlier this year. They are currently working on a new workspace in Claremont.

Misfits has a Breakfast Menu (a range of hot breakfasts, from R55 – R110), a Lunch Menu (Bowls from R55, Salads from R85, Sandwiches from R60, Pizzas from R100), and a Dinner Menu (Bowls from R45, Starters from R80, Salads from R80, Burgers from R100, Steak R150, Fish & Chips R135, Pizza from R100, and Dessert).

Ten days later I had dinner at Misfits with Karen Moyle, the mother of Nicolette Basson, who is closely involved in the running of Brunch Café at Ideas Cartel on Loop Street. Sonja Muller joined us too, someone I had met a number of years ago. Emma was the waitress looking after us, a hand-written note welcoming us to Misfits. She brought us a Secret welcome Cocktail, and allowed me to get the details of how it was made: Inverroche Gin, egg white, Pernod, lime, granadilla pulp, and strawberry, with a sugar rim on the glass.

We ordered sushi to start. Karen and Sonja ordered a sushi platter, while I had a Prawn and Avo hand roll, well made and moist. As a main course I ordered kingklip, served with mash, as was Karen’s fillet steak. Sonja ordered salmon and cous cous. We ended the dinner with Sonja and I ordering the Chocolate Mousse, and Karen the Créme Brûlée (R65).

Our table was in the Lounge section, and it was a surprise that a couple arrived with two dogs, one very big, and barking at each other at times. Misfits is pet-friendly, even inside the venue.


Last week I returned to Misfits, as a tour guide with two Belgian clients. Schuyler had told me about their ice cream and gin pairing costing R150 per head, and I included it into our Culinary Tour program. Gilbert was our host, charming, a bit nervous, but passionate about the Inverroche Gin Academy, showing it to us first, with mini distilling stations for up to eight persons participating in the gin-making event. A table had been set up for us in the lounge, with the three Inverroche variants Classic, Verdant and Amber, as well as containers with Botanicals of thyme, hibiscus, cancer bush, cardamom, buchu, pink peppercorns, fennel, and juniper berries. We tasted the three gins neat, or with a mixer added. We had a rind of lime, lemon and orange per gin, tasting each glass as is, and then rubbing the rind around the rim of each glass, making an amazing difference to the taste of each gin.

Three ice creams arrived in small bowls, the Classic paired with grapefruit ice cream, Verdant with basil and lime ice cream, and Amber with orange ice cream. We received an Inverroche Gin Academy Brochure with an introduction to gin, types of gin, distillation methods, and components in a gin.  We also received a card made from recycled paper and containing seeds. My clients enjoyed a good time.

Misfits is a unique collective of services within a very large restaurant space. It offers good value for money, with generous portions at very reasonable prices. I felt that the service was lacking the standard implied by its interior design, with no visible Manager running the restaurant. It was a shame to see it so empty, the large space emphasising its emptiness. The restaurant shares bathroom facilities with the whole Foundry building, which are not in a good condition, not befitting the Misfits interior design and image.


Misfits by Ideas Cartel, The Old Foundry, 74 Prestwich Street, Green Point, Cape Town. Tel 072 127 6332 www.whyfitin.co.za  Facebook: Misfits Instagram : @misfits.ct Breakfast and Lunch Monday – Sunday Dinner: Tuesday – Saturday Reservations: Dineplan


Chris von Ulmenstein, WhaleTales Blog: www.chrisvonulmenstein.com/blog Tel +27 082 55 11 323 Twitter:@Ulmenstein Facebook: Chris von Ulmenstein, My Cape Town Guide/Mein Kapstadt Guide Instagram: @Chrissy_Ulmenstein @MyCapeTownGuide

Please follow and like us:
Tweet 27k

WhaleTales Blog


We don’t spam!

Read our privacy policy for more info.