Lola’s, Cape Town: Cafe Review

by Ben on April 4, 2006

by Ben | April 4th, 2006  

Lola’s
228 Long Street, cnr. Buiten
Cape Town
| Map

Category: Casual
Fare: Vegetarian
Price range: Medium
Open for: Breakfast, Brunch, Lunch, Dinner, Coffee
Under review: Lunch
SA Blog recommends? It’s divine!

Snippet
After a long perusal of the menu, my Lovely Assistant decided to risk an entire afternoon’s happiness on the wild mushroom risotto, while I was far more conservative with my basil, hummus, sundried tomato and avocado ciabatta (toasted).

(See full review below.)

This outing cost: 55 per person
Including tip? Yes
Including wine? N/A
Food score (out of 10): 7
Service score (out of 10): 7
Reservations? No
Closed? Never

Contact Information
Tel: +27 (0) 21 423 0885

Review
Lola’s, darlings, is the ultimate sidewalk cafe in Cape Town. Sit here for an hour or two on a regular basis, and you’ll come to be mistook for a member of the city’s bohemian subculture, a happy place where contestants in the annual Miss Gay Western Cape competition mingle with the Vespa-riding newly-grads from UCT’s Michaelis School of Fine Art.

The building and decor take “diner chic” to new levels – there’s not an unwobbly table or chair in sight – and the ambience is helpfully supplied by the roar of traffic on Long Street, the rumbling of cement trucks at the many nearby construction sites, and the coolest of Cape Town’s younger set sashaying by. (Note: Lola’s is not a place to eat for the faint-eared or -lunged.)

These raw, urban ingredients combine to produce great charm, however, not distaste, and initial delight increases once the food’s been served. Lola’s is a strictly vegetarian culinary establishment; its menu changes regularly, and the creativity of its cooks is much-celebrated by veg-heads and meat eaters alike. The cafe’s open early and late, accommodating all manner of club- , gallery- , rave- and party-goers.

On a recent lunch visit there, I started off sipping a banana and tahini smoothie – which was very tasty, and taught me something to do with leftover tahini to boot. After a long perusal, my Lovely Assistant decided to risk an entire afternoon’s happiness on the wild mushroom risotto, while I was far more conservative with my basil, hummus, sundried tomato and avocado ciabatta (toasted).

Happily both were excellent. The risotto – made from scratch – had neither the thinness of soup nor the thickness of stew, and was soaked through with the delicious, smokey taste of wild mushroom. The ciabatta was, thankfully, not soaked through with anything, and came with a substantial salad on the side. We wolfed everything down in short order, and left Lola’s with two of its extremely cute “fairy cakes” – like cupcakes, but for fairies – as our dessert.

For its fairy cakes alone, Lola’s easily earns its SA Blog “Best of Cape Town” badge.

Also reviewed in: Rossouw’s Restaurants

{ 1 comment }

Court April 4, 2006 at 5:44 pm
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As a veg, I loved Lola’s! It was great for grabbing a bite before heading out to the clubs along Long Street – and it’s open very late for a post-club snack. :)

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