The Africa Cafe, Cape Town






Well dressed traditional dancers come to entertain diners with singing, dancing and beating of cultural drums.




Cheese, chick peas, sauces, cassavas, beans, breads and more.   The promise of a menu that stretches from Morocco to Malawi and the Transvaal.   Maybe too idealistic, perhaps a brilliant idea.   It is not just a food experience. The Africa Cafe wants you to also soak in the culture in a  fun and relaxing way.  And so they did pull it off.  On a Wednesday evening mid week, my group was provided a sumptuous banquet, had our ears open to rhythm, given an chance to dwell in the strong colours of costumes - and each of us realised that the continent is truly large in geographical spread.



Perhaps an unassuming outside but a much well though of and designed interior.


The variety of dishes can only be sampled if one tries to try all.



My way of looking at how to cover so much variety in the cuisine offered is to take nibbles, samplings and bites.   There are salads, deep fried stuff, rolls, condiments, meats  - the risk is a fish mesh in the mouth, so it is good to at least recognise from where each item originates.  

Basmati rice,  Dahl curry, Cape Malay offerings and broccoli salads are obviously foreign influences, from across the Indian Ocean.  Hey but wait,  there are filleted chicken breast marinated in a macadamia sauce; the Vet Koek (lightly fried bread balls); Channa fish; Karoo-style lamb stew; spinach cooked with peppers and tomato, from the Congo; and a chili dip from Mozambique.  Servings are on the generous side.




The ceiling above your dining table.




The menu tucked in a bottle.


We were seated upstairs, inside what seems to be an Euro styled mansion from the past, with walls brightly coloured to echo the colours outdoors.   May be it is fusion, with white cloths over dining tables, so-called exotic food, with a harmony co-existing amongst the grains, veg and meats.  

Did I sense a bit of a tourist trap?  Heck no, I felt like coming home to an extended family dinner.  The staff members are mainly young and I missed checking out the kitchen.  Located in downtown Cape Town, the Africa Cafe is easily accessible but I did not feel like I was in the proverbial middle of the forest.   I recommend this place as a viable entry point to African cuisine for someone who has not been to the continent but it does lack some iconic dish offerings from the north.




Our personal host explains before we begin our dinner course.





Starters, snacks and appetisers.


The wine list emphasises Blancs - Sauvignons and Chenins - plus Rieslings, Pinots and Chardonnays.  Reds include Merlots, Cabarnets, Bordeaux and Shiraz.   Concurrently there is a good choice of African liqueurs, freshly made fruit cocktails and world wide whiskeys, so there is much choice indeed.

Value of the food menu can be in the eye of the beholder so I leave it to individuals 
to judge whether prices are on the higher side or not.   Guests are provided with rose scented water to wash their hands on arrival.  Entertainment includes drumming but i noticed guests are freely allowed to walk about the premises as well and not just get stuck on their allotted chairs!  You can have a bit of face painting for a diversion in the middle of dinner.


Mid way we have some meat creations.





Salads and sauces.

The Africa Cafe is in Cape Town CBD at 108 Shortmarket Street, City Bowl, Cape Town, South Africa.Opening hours  - Evenings from 6pm to 11pm.Telephone + 27 21 422 0221





The Africa Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


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