Birds Boutique Cafe
127 Bree Street
Cape Town | Map
Fare: Namibian country goodness
Price range: Medium
Open for: Lunch, Coffee
Under review: Lunch
SA Blog recommends? It’s divine!
Proprietors Mathilde and Heike Stegmann place emphasis on simple, seasonal ingredients, which they source from small, organic farms whenever possible.
(See full review below.)
This outing cost: R47 per person
Including tip? Yes
Including wine? N/A
Food score (out of 10): 8
Service score (out of 10): 6
Closed? Saturdays, Sundays
Tel: +27 (0) 21 426 2534
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The approach to restauranteuring at Birds is unconventional, to put it mildly. Rough wooden trestle tables line up under a 19th-century, yellowwood-beam-buttressed ceiling; upturned milk crates provide the seating; a bedsheet curtains off the kitchen from the dining area; and birdsong pervades the air, played over speakers on an old turntable at the back. (Sometimes the record is left unflipped.)
It’s so casually haphazard as to be almost too cute – but the food is scrumptious enough to melt any reviewer’s cold heart in bare moments.
Proprietors Mathilde and Heike Stegmann, who hail from Swakopmund, Namibia, and do all the cooking, place emphasis on simple, seasonal ingredients, which they source from small, organic farms whenever possible. Their menu is a blend of the comfortingly familiar with the convention-defyingly creative, and the food exudes a heartiness that makes customers feel as though they’ve been whisked off to the country for their lunch hour.
A recent outing to Birds saw a splendid, open-faced roast chicken sandwich placed in front of Your Correspondent, accompanied by an apple, parsley, ginger and celery shake, while my Lovely Assistant enjoyed a massive wedge of homemade chicken pie.
As we ate, we kept an eye on the rapidly-diminishing stack of scones that were being gobbled up (practically straight out of the oven) by other customers – a few wild gestures ensured that one was reserved for us for dessert. Given their hidden treasures of chocolate and fruit, these possibly represent the pinnacle of scone evolution – SA Blog invites you to see for yourself.
Occasionally, while sitting at Birds waiting for your food, you’ll catch sight of a genuine, 3-foot-long German apple strudel being set out to cool, or you’ll watch enviously as those around you sip desert fig juice, or iced green-tea with peppermint leaves.
The only improvement Birds could make on this scene is through the addition of extra waitstaff, because the service can be a bit sluggish – perhaps the Birds’ faithful would prefer the term “unhurried”. But foodies shouldn’t let this caution stand in the way of a visit: Birds is unique among the city’s cafes, and merits SA Blog’s Best of Cape Town accolade.
Also reviewed in: Rossouw’s Restaurants