Empire state of mind is cool and tasty
Café: Empire Café Address: 11 York Road, Muizenberg Contact: 021 788 1250 Hours: Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays to Saturdays, 7am to 4pm. Sundays and public holidays, 8am to 4pm. Wednesdays 7am to 9pm. Dish eaten: Toasted croissant with bacon, cheese and tomato (comes with cappuccino) Price: R50
MUIZENBERG’S Empire Café is a friendly and relaxed restaurant near Surfers Corner. It serves hearty breakfasts of combinations of eggs, sausages, bacon and mushrooms on toast or toasted croissants.
The double-storey eatery, near the railway line close to the station, is a light and airy place with a dozen tables and seats alongside its large windows which afford good views of the surf. Breakfast is served from 7am to noon. Early on a weekday morning, the cafe was half full of 30-somethings, some nursing coffees while using wi-fi, others chatting in groups over breakfast. I ordered a Frog and Cappuccino. The Frog is a toasted croissant with bacon, melted cheese and tomato, garnished with slivered spring onions.
It’s hard to go wrong with these ingredients, and the dish hits all the right notes.
Having eaten two-thirds of the large croissant, however, I was surprised to uncover a bed of rocket peeping out from underneath, as if left there by mistake.
The coffee is very good. Smooth and medium-bodied, you could easily call for two cups while sitting upstairs watching the surf or reading the Sunday papers.
While enjoying breakfast, a stream of customers popped in for take-away coffees, joking with the staff with the easy familiarity of Muizenberg locals.
For those who want something healthier than eggs and bacon, there is muesli, fruit salad, yoghurt and honey.
Between 7am and 9am, there are breakfast specials.
This means you get two eggs, two rashers of bacon, and either mushrooms or spinach potatoes on toast, with filter coffee for R35.
The café also serves lunch, but is only open in the evenings on Wednesdays for burger night. Otherwise, it shuts at 4pm.
The bakery prepares croissants, pain au chocolat, breads and other goods daily.
RELAXED: Patrons enjoy the casual ambience at Empire Cafe in Muizenberg, which is known for its breakfasts, burgers, sandwiches and coffee.