Liv­ing the city, Jen­nifer Platt stum­bles on a sweet café tucked un­der the high­way in down­town Joburg

Sunday Times - - The Restaurant -


Joburg Culi­nary and Pas­try School 263 Mar­shall St, City and Sub­ur­ban Tel: 011 024 5277

It feels strange to be out in a cof­fee shop on a Wed­nes­day morn­ing in the mid­dle of down­town Joburg. There’s a def­i­nite sense of space and place. A sense of be­ing part of the city as com­pared to be­ing in a bub­ble in a lar­ney sub­urb.

You drive past clutch & brake re­pair shops, tiny cell­phone stores and peo­ple sell­ing goods on the pave­ment to get to a place un­der the high­way where you can en­joy a cap­puc­cino (R20) and donut (R8). Be­cause it’s a week­day morn­ing, you get a sense of the peo­ple who work and live there, rather than the crowd that comes in on week­ends for a trendy ex­pe­ri­ence.

A bustling café is a cliché, but it’s an apt one when it comes to Cin­na­mon Patis­serie. It’s filled with all kinds of peo­ple or­der­ing all kinds of food. If you’re look­ing for yummy baked good­ies in the Joburg city cen­tre, you’d best get to the patis­serie early as they get snapped up pretty quickly.

Cin­na­mon is in the Mabo­neng dis­trict and part of the Johannesburg Culi­nary and Pas­try School, where stu­dents and sea­soned bak­ers and chefs work to­gether to pro­duce quite a mixed bag of a menu just right for the area it is in. A large koek­sis­ter is R8, a Rus­sian roll R30 and a plate of chips will set you back only R10. Or you can or­der break­fast: the early bird (two rash­ers of ba­con, a fried egg, fried tomato and toast) is R40. The brioche French toast is served with cin­na­mon caramel sauce, ba­nana and cream, made even more de­light­ful by its R35 price tag.

Then there’s a fridge of won­der filled with gourmet cakes all in­di­vid­u­ally per­fect — some with a rich but­ter ic­ing and oth­ers glis­ten­ing with a smooth choco­late ganache and oth­ers with nuts and fruit. It’s one of the patis­serie’s other skilled ar­eas of busi­ness — peo­ple come in and or­der cakes for their kid’s birth­day party, cakes for their of­fice birth­days or just a slice of moist choco­late cake to eat while tak­ing in the sights of down­town Joburg.

All the time — as peo­ple sit down in what is a trendy yet quaint shop (and one that wouldn’t look out of place in Brook­lyn, New York) and have cof­fee and scones — there’s a steady stream of peo­ple com­ing in and out, plac­ing or­ders for lunch (beef lasagne R50), buy­ing gi­ant choco­late-chip cook­ies, loaves of freshly baked bread and dozens of rolls. These are the peo­ple of the city. This is us.

Open Mon­day - Fri­day, 6am - 6pm Satur­days: 8am - 2.30pm

Cin­na­mon Patis­serie in Mabo­neng

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