It was a surprise to walk past a waitress of the newly opened KOS Coffee & Cuisine on Regent Road in Sea Point on Thursday, standing at the entrance to the building in which this coffee shop is located, and I decided to check it out. I knew that it would serve cappuccinos, as the owner of the neighbouring Wild Flour had told me that she would not be serving them, due to the opening of the new coffee shop. It was the best cappuccino I have had in a long time, and certainly the best on the Atlantic Seaboard.
When I first saw the name KOS I thought of the Greek island by the same name, until I clicked that it is the Afrikaans name for food. It is very green in colour, and reminded me of Dear Me from the colour, only to hear from the owner Phillipp Oosthuizen that he is a friend of Francois du Plessis, who is the interior designer for Dear Me. Phillipp is proud that almost everything in his coffee shop is ‘recycled’, meaning that it was previously used. All the chairs have been painted green, plants demarcate the coffee shop space, scatter cushions are in green fabric, and green branding all add life to a most unusual restaurant space, being the lobby of The Regency, a largely unlet ‘self-catering hotel’, I was told. Despite the lobby being open to the street, KOS is set away from the street, and I was not cold at all on a wintry day. I saw one gas heater, which would be too few as winter progresses. The perspex ceiling retains the heat of the sun, which may become a problem in summer, in making it too hot.
My table had a table cloth, but others did not. Salt and pepper grinders are on the table, and the fresh rose was a special touch, not seen often any more. The menu is printed on an A4 sheet of paper, and is short and sweet. It does not list the prices of the coffee and cakes, the latter visible in a cake display cupboard. An unlisted special offers a cup of coffee and a slice of cake for R35, I was told verbally. Before Phillipp could confirm it, I guessed that he had raided his mom’s crockery cupboard and cutlery drawer, and picked the most lovely collection of English china plates, cups, saucers, and sugar bowls, giving the restaurant a sophisticated feel. Nothing matches crockery-wise, but it does in terms of the era. I liked that the butter was served in a little milk jug!
Angie is the manager, and was really sweet, looking a bit nervous about what to do with me. She was obliging in selling me a chicken breast to take home, and asked me to make her an offer. She accepted the Woolworths price of R10. She also gave me a proscuitto roll to take home, because I had to wait for Phillipp to arrive. She sweetly asked me if I had to pay, when I told her about the blog, as she asked why I was taking photographs and asking her questions. I said that I pay for every meal, except those that I am invited to, and these are declared. Angie and Phillipp run a fitness studio in Mouille Point, called Body Vision. Phillip has been a Springbok triathlete, and said that he has had the studio for quite a while, and was looking for a new challenge in opening KOS, brave for this time of the year. Neither Phillipp nor Angie have any restaurant experience, perhaps refreshing in not having any preconceived ideas about running a restaurant. The barista Xolisa is charming, and proudly told me that he learnt the art of coffee-making at Conrad Gallagher’s Sundance coffee shop on Buitengracht Street. His Deluxe-coffee specially created KOS blend cappuccino (R18) was excellent, at double strength. The staff wear black, with a black and white check apron, and Angie and Phillip wear a cheeky-looking cap. Green aprons are on their way, Angie told me.
I love that KOS serves an all-day breakfast, and I ordered a scrambled egg (R25), and returned for a plain omelet (R35) the following day, which I chose to have with toasted 100 % Swedish Rye bread, which they source from The Real Bread Company in Fish Hoek. The Breakfast menu offers oats porridge ar R25, served with a choice of fruit, cinnamon or peanut butter! Eggs are served scrambled, fried or poached, and cost R35 with bacon, and R40 with salmon. For lunch one can order a selection of salads costing R45 – R50, with smoked salmon, Haloumi cheese, or free-range Chicken Breast. Sandwiches are also available, at R40 – R50, being very generous sized rolls with fillings such as chicken, proscuitto, figs, mozzarella and avocado. Angie said that they will work on the menu, and adapt it as they go along.
The service is still slow, and Angie did apologise, as they have only been open for a week. The staff and management are very friendly. A number of Sea Point residents came by to have a look, all taking a menu home with them, and promising to come, happy that they have a new place to go to. I liked the sweet touch of presenting the bill in a bowl with rose petals. There is no signage on Regent Road yet, but they can be found next door to Clicks. I’ll be back, for the excellent cappuccino alone.
POSTSCRIPT 11/5: Lovely vegetable soup, in a beautiful plate. Linen overlay on table from Phillip’s mom’s linen cupboard.
KOS Coffee & Cuisine, The Regency, 90 Regent Road, Sea Point, between Clicks and Wild Flour, close to La Mouette. Phone not yet connected – Angie 072 246 6945. No website. Tuesday – Sunday, 7h00 – 16h30.
Chris von Ulmenstein: Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter:@WhaleCottage