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The Wembley Roadhouse
23 Belgravia Road (cnr. Denchworth)
Belgravia, Athlone, Cape Town | Map
Specialty: Delicious Indian take-out.
Contact: Tel: +27 (0) 21 697 1435
SA Blog recommends a look inside? Don’t miss it!
Further Insight & Opinion
Quite simply, The Wembley is the center of the culinary universe of take-aways in Cape Town. A veritable Belgravia Road, Athlone landmark (Athlone is Cape Town’s largest “Coloured” suburb), it’s run by the enterprising Gangreker family – right next door to their butcher shop, bakery, “markette” and travel agency.
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The Wembley is a classic roadhouse. The beauty of a roadhouse, of course, is that you don’t really take the food away, but merely over to your car, parked nearby, and gobble the delicious, piping hot food, which steams up your windscreen, as you watch the ebb and flow of the crowd around the take-away counter.
You can actually wait in your car for a waiter to appear at the window – he will take your order, dash off, and return with your food on a tray – or you can just step up underneath the awning – don’t be shy to push to the front – and order your meal from one of several harried-looking women who front the engine of the operation, the noisy, organised chaos of the kitchen. Note the colour of the post-it note which your order is written on: the pink or yellow or green scrap will disappear into the chaos, then resurface in 10-15 minutes next to foil-wrapped lumps, which is your delicious food.
- BEST LUNCH ORDER:
1 masala steak sandwich (the supreme Wembley creation, with chips on it) R16.95
1 veggie bite R1.90
1 small faloodah (indescribable – a sweet drink which requires both straw and spoon) R9.95
- For vegetarians, the food is no less delightful: eat a vegetable curry with rice (R22.95) in place of the sandwich.
- More on local Indian cuisine: my own Masala Cookbook, of course!
To see what the roadhouse looks like from the inside, check out the 2002 video, Starbucks, which the really bad British band A shot in Cape Town. The Wembley was sacrilegiously transformed into a generic fast food joint for the shoot, and features throughout. See the video at Rock-Sound.net, among other sites. If only there were as many Wembleys as there are Starbucks in the world!
This piece originally ran, in edited form, in the 1 Nov 2005 Cape Times (“Review”). It is reprinted with permission.