As mentioned in a previous post, the Madame Zingara enterprise consists of quite a few spots around Cape Town, like Cafe Paradiso, The White Rabbit (a laundrette), Bombay Bicycle Club, Cafe Mozart and This is not a Post Office. These places all take the dining, washing or shopping experience to a new level by being different, over the top and fun. Today, Sidewalk Cafe in Vredehoek officially becomes a collectable.
Like the Madame’s other spots, The Sidewalk Cafe is completely unique. Situated on a steep corner, it’s literally in the shadow of Table Mountain. Outside, tiny white benches are lines up for the sidewalk part, but most of the magic really happens on the inside. A rickety wooden door that gets stuck a little on rainy days takes you inside this rather compact cafe.
The area is divided in three sections, proving that this spot was definitely a house before and instead of taking out all the walls, they just turned them into glass. Although some might find this setup a little crowded, I like the atmosphere it creates and clearly many others do too as all the table are full before the start of lunchtime. Some are sitting with their laptops while others have a catchup session. The waitresses move about in a friendly fashion. Tea is served in a nifty lil’ DIY kit.
True to the Madame’s style, the interior can’t be appreciate entirely with the first glance. There’s just too much of it. Tiny garden tools and pot plants stand in the window, a few colourful aprons hang on one wall and what seem like old electricity meters are either left over from the owners some time ago or they’re fitted to the wall to look like they’ve been their forever. These rusty items really create a cosy feel and the more modern bubbles hanging from the ceiling with tiny plants in them ups the fun sensory overload a little bit more.
The bar is another completely different and eccentric area with many items hanging from the top to remind you just a little bit of the bar at Bombay Bicycle Club.
The food is unique too, with a wide range of dishes to try. Examples: An aubergine schnitzel, beetroot and feta sandwich, Portabello mushroom stuffed with sundried tomato pesto & mozzarella and Leak, pea, mint risotto with goat’s cheese balls & crispy pancetta. For the less adventurous, there’s the chicken, bacon, avo burger or Classic beer battered fish & chips. I had a sourdough sandwich with Taleggio rocket & spicy tomato chutney and I would definitely recommend it. It was delicious.
The website calls it a rustic beach house and this is exactly what it is. So get yourself over to the Sidewalk Cafe and pretend you’re on holiday, even if it’s just for an hour or two. Visit the Madame Zingara website to get info on this and all the other Zingara spots around town. The Sidewalk Cafe is at number 33 Derry Street in Vredehoek.