It seemed wrong somehow to write about restaurants now that South Africa is going into lockdown and you can’t visit any of them. But then I thought it might cheer you all up, especially these lovely pictures. And why don’t you make a list of places to visit when they (hopefully) reopen. Of course you could also take inspiration from these dishes and get cooking at home.
Plus one of my favourite brunch spots, Clarke’s in Bree Street is now delivering fresh, local produce. You’ll find their details below.
I don’t often do brunch, but Cape Town has so many places with wonderful brunch menus, it’s something I’ve been enjoying more of this year. Here are some of the delectable dishes I’ve sampled.
Lily’s in Mouille Point
I love this beautifully designed space on the Mouille Point Golden Mile with its stunning sea view and lovely menu. Portions are substantial and there’s a wide range of healthy and more indulgent options.
Lox on bagel is always a treat. This is a tasty combination of smoked salmon, capers, shallots, chives and horseradish cream. Easy to make at home, too.
Eggs Benedict is one of life’s great indulgences. I’ve made Hollandaise sauce and know why it tastes so fabulous – all that butter. At Lily’s they are served on softly toasted English muffins. The eggs were perfectly soft-poached and the streaky bacon oh-so-crispy. And just look at that glossy Hollandaise.
Hooray for avo – a breakfast favourite in South Africa. Often ordered as an extra with many a dish. Under the “Things on Toast” section of the menu this is crushed avo with soft boiled eggs. And I ordered extra bacon on the side.
If you’re feeling the need for something more healthy, look under the Overnight Oats section. Alotta Almonds consists of oats soaked in almond butter and almond milk with toasted almonds, coconut, honey and banana. Seriously not my sort of breakfast but I have friends who adore it.
Bootlegger all around Cape Town
Founded by three friends in 2012, Bootlegger proudly boasts the slogan: Born in Cape Town. These lovely coffee shops (which make the best coffee in town and are where I get my daily fix) are dotted around the Mother City. My three favourites are in Sea Point (where the original is) and Bakoven where I’ve been known to pop in for brunch and to hop on to the wifi while I write.
Their green omelette is stupendous. And satisfyingly filling. The egg is mixed with peas and spring onions and the omelette is stuffed with goats cheese, avocado, baby spinach and pesto. This is one special omelette – and so many healthy ingredients, too. Again, this is a dish that’s easy to make at home. In fact I have most of the ingredients already.
And then there’s this tower of beauty called bacon, potato rosti. It’s a delightful combo of poached eggs, rosemary-roasted tomatoes, rocket, truffle oil and Grana Padano-infused creamy mushrooms. The king of brunches.
Bootlegger’s eggs benny is also fabulous. There’s some baby spinach included which adds an extra bit of colour and flavour.
No visit to Bootlegger is complete without one of their gorgeous, health-giving juices. My favourite is the Number Six – a colourful mix of ginger, apple, carrot, orange and beetroot.
Kleinsky’s in Sea Point
Just down the road from where we are staying is Kleinsky’s, opened in 2014 by brothers Adam and Joel Klein. It used to be across the road in a much smaller premises until its recent move and the extra space is so welcome – there are still queues on weekends. It’s one popular place which describes itself as blending traditional Jewish recipes with the best local ingredients – kind of like a slice of New York in Cape Town.
When you visit Kleinsky’s you simply have to enjoy one of their bagels. They’re in a league of their own. Like a traditional smoked salmon bagel with cream cheese, red onion and capers.
Their coffees are also wonderful and so beautifully presented.
Or how about chicken mayo and sliced gherkins? Of course I had to add extra avo.
Kleinsky’s also do a great deli breakfast. Their own lamb bacon, two free range eggs, beef sausage, sautéed mushroom and toasted rye. Quite a feast – oh and lamb bacon is delicious in a weird sort of way. Looks like bacon, tastes like lamb!
I love their classic combo of their own pastrami with a house blend mustard and sliced gherkins. They do takeaways too – so I often popped in for one of these. Lucky me having them so close.
Clarke’s in Bree Street
On my husband’s birthday we went out for brunch in Bree Street – home to myriad restaurants. We’d been meaning to go the Clarke’s for a while and we weren’t disappointed. With its stylish interior and friendly service, Clarke’s works with a lot of small businesses and sells fresh local produce as well as delicious brunch dishes. In fact now that we are in Corona lockdown they can deliver products direct to your door. A great way to keep going. You can email them at firstname.lastname@example.org or call on 063 656 5966 for details.
This was one of the favourite brunch dishes of the year. The hash eggs – a colourful plate of toasted cauliflower, parmentier potatoes, peppers and spring onions with poached eggs, Hollandaise sauce and pea shoots.
There’s also a selection of great juices on the menu. I loved the lemon, ginger and apple – and the freshly squeezed orange had plenty of zing.
And this is The Breakfast. Two farm eggs, crispy bacon, a porky, mushrooms, tomato and toast. So satisfying.
Coco Safar in Sea Point
Another Sea Point favourite is Coco Safar in Main Road. It’s stylishly chic with glistening marble and colourful surrounds. I tested out a bagel with a difference today. My Turkish bagel (bigger and flatter than usual). was topped with smoked trout, cream cheese and pesto.
Or how about this beautifully rich croissant topped with poached eggs, hollandaise and more lamb bacon. With the sweetest of roast tomatoes on the side.
Coco Safar’s coffee is stunning, too. And served so beautifully on this tray with water on the side.
An here’s another of Cape Town’s great Benedicts. This time served on soft and sweet brioche.
Hope this will inspire you to remember happier, restaurant-going days with friends. Or to get cooking and recreate some of these tasty restaurant dishes. Go on – you know it will be worth it! You have the time after all.