Sur­prise bar-room break­fast ex­pe­ri­ence in the heart of the city

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE -

CARYN DOL­LEY

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”.

PIC­TURE: CARYN DOL­LEY

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.

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