Surprise bar-room breakfast experience in the heart of the city
IMAGINE it’s a muggy overcast morning on Greenmarket Square and as you traipse along the cobbled route you pick a random eatery intending to have a quiet breakfast.
Then imagine stepping from the grey gloom into a seemingly serene eatery and being hit with the startling impression you’re in a pub or club. This is what Cafe Santé feels like. To be fair, there are a few signs outside it advertising drinks of all sorts, perhaps hinting at what’s going on within.
I picked a table on a raised section opposite a dazzling bar – rows upon rows of bottles lined up on shelves flashing red and green lights.
And there’s more illumination. Lights around the ceiling constantly flash from blue to green to purple.
To add to the surreal club-like vibe, a jazzy version of the R&B song “No Diggity” was playing while I was there.
The menu at Santé is vast. Breakfasts range from a muffin (R19), Greek yoghurt with muesli and honey (R42) to French toast croissants with bacon and maple syrup.
I ordered the French toast, as well as rooibos tea from an expansive drinks menu. The size of the French toast croissant was way bigger, overwhelmingly if I may, than expected.
The two big pieces of bacon on it were a little undercooked for my liking.
But the croissant, if not a bit eggy and dry in patches, had a nice comforting taste and I found the maple syrup wasn’t necessary.
The tea was strong and delicious. (The teapot looked oddly out of place against the bar background).
Santé has a relaxed vibe with patrons seated comfortable distances apart.
There is outside seating for warmer days and an upstairs area which can be used for staff parties.
Pizzas, priced from around R55 to R110, are popular.
Again, the food and drinks menu isextensive, with salads, soups, pasta and meat dishes on offer, as well as wines and spirits. This was a unique experience which really brought a new meaning to the term “breakfast bar”.
An array of breakfasts is on offer at Cafe Santé, a versatile eatery on Greenmarket Square, including French toast croissants with bacon and maple syrup.