6 underrated homes of food that are vibey, economic-crisis-friendly and that are plopped right in front of you, but you have never given it a chance.
These are the establishments that are in the food equivalent of the friendzone. They have the potential to make you happier than your current favourite place but for some reason, for some wild reason, they just never get given the chance.
6. Madame Taitou
I promise you; you have walked past this place. You know exactly where it is but because it is covered in such heavy shrubbery, it is quite easy to miss it.
Situated on long right next door to the iconic red bus store, this very warm and cosy restaurant really makes you want to go in a date. The décor on its own plays such an intense role in how you feel about the place when you walk in. it evokes a sense of curiosity because there is just so much going on, and to look at- but in a good way. Instagram-able.
I’m told that I only put this place on the list because they have books, but I can assure you, the books are not even half of the intrigue. The menu is perfect for a rainy day. I’m talking curries, soft lamb shanks, meat platters and the tea selections? Ul-tea-met best. Let’s go on a date, fam? Let’s do it for the warm vibes.
5. Honey Badger
This is more for someone who loves convenience.
If you’re looking for mind blowing pizza and the worlds best potato wedges, then this is the place to warm your tummy. Quick tip: Sriracha sauce + a quiz of mayo and black pepper = OG potato wedge dip. Do it, I dare you.
The vibe here is like being at home, with all your cousins over for the weekend. There’s pool (there used to be ping pong, but I think they removed it because the dedication guests showed to it was too much), an outside patio that gives you a lions eye view of all the hunnies walking in, and wildly strong Wi-Fi.
Yindees literally gets lost in the sea of all the trendy restaurants on Kloof street. It’s right on the corner of Kloof and Camp street but if you’re not looking for it, you won’t even see it. it is a self-proclaimed authentic Thai restaurant, so it has the sit-on-the-floor-pillows shenanigan going on, with a view overlooking the busy to and fro walkers of Kloof. I ordered a chicken soup which would have been great, but it had so many carrots and other vegetables (I’m not a veggie fan), so I did the worst thing and started eyeing my mates’ plate. He had these beautifully browned noodles with beef and stir fry. I don’t know man, it looked wholesome af. Yindees is warm, affordable, aesthetically pleasing and unsurprisingly serene. While we’re at it, it’s actually a great spot for a winter date. Note: Make sure your socks are clean and your stockings don’t have holes in them because you are asked to take your shoes off at the entrance.
3. Rocco Mama’s (Green Point)
Chilli cheese bombs with medium fries is all you need to order when you get there. The actual restaurant setting is a tad sterile for the kind of warm an intimate feel I’m wanting this winter, but the food completely make sup for it. Particularly the chili cheese bombs. They slap a little too hard, man. On the first day of the long weekend given by Easter, I order the chilli cheese bombs from RM on uber eats and it went in just as hard. I can’t explain. You know when you’re feeling really cold, and you get into an attractively steaming, hot shower? That involuntary ‘ahhhh’ that hums out your throat is what the chilli cheese bombs do. Effortless badass-ness.
There has never been a time where I’ve had to wait more than 10 minutes for my food. The portions are huge and chilli levels are the kind of spicy your girlfriend is when you tell her “don’t worry about that girl, she’s just a friend”.
My go to dish is the fried rice or the egusi and there is no way to illustrate the satisfaction of knowing that by the time you’re done eating, you are going to have to roll yourself out of there because your fat-ass couldn’t stop eating.
There is a self-service layout so if you need water while eating, walk over to the fridge and grab it. Need malt, after? Hop and skip over to the counter and help yourself. Once you’re done, they’ll bring over a bowl of warm water and lemon for you to wash your hands in and the bill. It’s relaxed like that. The thing that makes all the greater is the fact that there will always be TB Joshua playing in the background or a wildly imaginative Nigerian movie. If it was plushly decorated, one could actually take a young nap there. I think they did good by just having the basics.
Note: Most of the dishes are quite chilli/spicy so don’t waste your time popping by if even thinking of chilli makes your heart beat too much.
The all-time reigning champ of really good but underrated food in the Cape Town city bowl, is Eastern Food Bizarre.
This is a palace of affordable variety that honestly gives you the most bang for your buck.
Definitely not a hot date location because there is no signal once you’re inside (well, at least for me these isn’t) and it gets really packed.
As someone who loves roti, lentils, curries and chicken in every imaginable form, this place caters to it all. If you’re vegetarian, they have your back too and much like Aaron’s, their quantity is quite a lot for the price you pay.
Now that winter is basically in full swing and warm tummies are a priority, it’s important to achieve the warmth in the right way and for the right prices. These appealed to me only because I will not lie, they’re all situated a hop and a skip away from me and I have no interest in cooking every night of the week this winter.