My favourite restaurant in London is Café Boheme. I used to skip work and head to Soho to mingle with London’s finest funky people and embrace my inner coolness. Café Boheme was my Graceland.
Now that I live in Cape Town, nearly 6 years later, I tend not to skip work and, now I have La Boheme. In a lot of ways it reminds me of those good old days... unpretentious food, unpretentious staff and a very good, if a little pretentious, winelist. That is a compliment to a winelist.
I say unpretentious because you can pick up the most delicious, and massive, oxtail with mashed potato, a pork belly with mustard mash (each for R110), a confit of duck leg with beetroot and green beans (for R100) or a braised leg of lamb with butternut for R130. If you go for the set menu special you can get 2 courses for R90 and 3 courses for R110.
I don't want to pigeon-hole the menu to only solid comfort food because there are also 40 different types of tapas that you can either enjoy at La Boheme or at La Bruixa (the sister Spanish deli-style restaurant) next door. Both menus are served at both venues. What they want you to do here is relax and eat whatever you want – whenever you want. There’s no regime, and it’s soothing.
The wine (according to Food24 wine editor Cathy Marston)
The wine list is really good, it should be after all, it is still a wine bar! Faisal (owner) used to work at Caveau and has obviously been exposed to lots of smaller, less mainstream wineries which is fabulous. Lots by the glass – and a generous measure too. I liked the blackboard as well, it means he is able to offer small parcels of wine and when it’s gone, it’s gone. The mark-ups are more than reasonable, there really is absolutely no need for anyone to even consider BYO here unless they are the tightest of the tight!
You can expect to find the odd person on their own sitting reading their (mac) book, some pals having a few beers and tapas or a table of ten celebrating a friend’s birthday with the 3 course set menu. The venue has the relaxed bistro café vibe with the right kind of French bistro-style tunes playing in the background. It feels a bit like a being on a family holiday.
The waitress is most probably one of my neighbours who plays beach bats on Clifton on her day off. She’s cool and chummy - but not over the top. The restaurant is also small enough for Faisal plus one waiter on and the service is relaxed and efficient.
I went for dinner with our wine editor Cathy Marston and she said it best… “you know, if I lived in Sea Point, I’d be here ALL the time.”