I’ve been living in Cape Town for just over 3 and a half years now. Although that’s a long time, there’s parts of the city I’ve haven’t explored. Case in point is Vredehoek, which is 10 minutes from me. So when a friend asked me to show another friend around, I saw it as an opportunity to do some exploring as well. After getting lost, we finally ended up at The Sidewalk Cafe.
The Sidewalk Cafe is located at 33 Derry Street and has an amazing view of Table Mountain. The restaurant has a relaxing vibe as it’s decorated like a beach house. A place to unwind and catch-up, or in my case cross-examine a stranger about their life :-P. What’s more is that it’s part of Madame Zingara, so you can always expect something magical. For me, it was definitely the decor. I felt transported away.
The Sidewalk Cafe offers an a la carte menu and a set menu (of either 2 courses, R120, or 3 courses, R150). Of course I went for the 3 course menu, and so did my companion. In addition, the set menu comes with a free glass of wine (Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot or some bubbles).
For starters, I had the smoked biltong and pea open ravioli. In case you don’t know what open ravioli is, because I had no idea such a thing existed, it’s ribbon-like pasta slices (looks like lasagna). The meal also came with a poached egg. The pasta with only the peas was quite plain and dull. The poached egg added some wetness to the dish and some flavour, but it couldn’t save it. The biltong came on the side, which was disappointing as I thought the dish would have a biltong smokiness.
My companion, chose wisely. She had the queso dip with chorizo cooked in adobo. It smelled amazing! The cheesy aroma had me drooling, wishing I could swap my starter. Aside from being cheesy, it also had the perfect amount of garlic and a little bit of a tomato salsa. With the spiciness of the chorizo and the crunchiness of the ciabatta toast, all the elements worked well.
Then for mains, we had the Kabboljou (which I think is actually Kabeljou and is also known as the South African Kob) with guava achar, spring salad and ciabatta toast. And which didn’t come with toast . It might have been a misprint on the menu. The fish was tender, but lacked seasoning on its own. The guava achar, which was sung by the waitress, was unique. It tasted very much like a curry sambal and it was very spicy (and had too much cinnamon). Placed on top of the fish was roasted guava, which was a pleasant surprise. The guava definitely added flavour to the fish, but it was too sweet for me. Although the salad did help reduce the sweetness of the achar.
Lastly, desert 😀 , my favourite meal. I had the oreo and strawberry white-chocolate tart, because who doesn’t like Oreos??? This was fantastic. The tart tasted just like Oreos and the white chocolate made it more delectable. The berry reduction and cream added even more sweetness to the dish. I loved it!
My companion had the roast apples and strawberries and cream. The roasted apples were tender but needed the strawberries and cream to make it sweeter. If you don’t prefer sweet desserts than the roasted apples are for you :-).
Overall, the vibe at The Sidewalk Cafe and the service was great. The portions were also humongous. However, for the food, enjoying the dishes depends on your preferences. For me, my favourite dish was the dessert (and I’d gladly order it again) but I doubt I’d order the starter or main.
I give The Sidewalk Cafe 2 cupcakes.