Friday, December 3, 2010
Café Mozart at 37 Church Street, Cape Town, has a new lease on life. Richard Griffin, grandmaster of theatricality, has incorporated it into his family of restaurants. He has revamped, refurnished, redecorated, re - everything and now the place hums with his magic.
Café Mozart has held court for over 30 years in a beautiful part of Church street. Sunlight filtering through the trees casts a dappled pattern onto cobblestones below whilst stall-owners of the antiques street market compete for custom. The Café is housed in a lovely old heritage building which has been part of the business scene for many years. In 1939, a locksmith traded there. Imagine what Cape Town CBD must have been like then!
We wandered inside and found ourselves in a large room dominated by a beautiful wooden staircase. Sprightly young waiters and waitresses leap up and down the stairs like mountain goats, their arms laden with delicious looking plates of food. There is a long open galley kitchen on the ground floor and some tables and chairs for those who do not wish to climb stairs or sit outside. The walls are bedecked with all sort of curiosities. Attached wooden pedestals hold all manner of cups, ornaments and flowers. Birdcages filled with cups and saucers are suspended from the ceiling and a collection of plates adorn another wall. In a deep inset window sill, great glass bells cover homemade cakes and pastries.
The menu follows the successful formula developed at the Sidewalk Café. (See Back Chat's article on the Sidewalk Café - another of Richard Griffin's creations.) Breakfast is served from 7am till 12 noon. There are eggs in many incarnations to satisfy a morning hunger; a homemade wheat free muesli, a pancake stack with all the trimmings or traditional Cumberland Bangers. Discover what the Full Mozart is all about or spoil yourself with Eggs Royal with smoked salmon, fresh croissant, spinach and hollandaise. Oh yum!!
The lunch menu, which incidentally is included with the breakfast menu on a folded sheet of white paper, promises all sorts of treats. Eugene ordered the soup of the day which was fresh tomato and carrot. I ordered the Mussel Pot with white wine, garlic, cream and fresh herbs. Eugene added a toasted tuna, onion and mayo sandwich, served with salad from their quaintly named 'Toasted Governments' section. We were told that this signified that the sandwiches were made only from 'government brown or white bread'. Whatever! There is also a 'Gourmet Sandwich' section and these are a sight to behold. A meal in themselves.
There is a chef's salad buffet downstairs which changes daily and includes a take-away option. Café Mozart is ideally suited to cater to office-workers who may require takeaways. On the back of the menu is a list of further 'Take Away' options; sandwiches, soup and salads and other tasty morsels. I was charmed to read that Market and Antique traders get a 15% discount.
The Café Mozart experience is special. You can enjoy a super breakfast, a quick snack or a leisurely lunch, all day if you wish. You may want to sit outside under the trees with a coffee and a glass of wine and watch the market trading and the ebb and flow of the passers-by. The Café boasts a wi-fi connection, so bring your laptop and sit upstairs and work in peace, perhaps with a glass of wine at your elbow. Some enjoy agonising over a crossword puzzle for hours with a cuppa to sustain them. The tranquility of the living room and the comfy sofa upstairs will allow them to do just that.
Café Mozart is open Monday to Friday from 7am to 5 pm
Saturday from 8am to 3pm
Address: 37 Church Street Cape Town
Telephone: 021 424 3774
Eugene and I love eating out and we pay for ourselves whenever and wherever we go.