In Cape Town, like most cosmopolitan cities, you can find just about any variety of ethnic foods establishment. The main question to ask is “how spicy”. Of course, having all this variety, after two weeks with selections limited to huge buffets at game lodges, we had to make a decision of where to eat out. In one of the tour books, we noticed the Africa Cafe, which serves a set menu of dishes from across Africa. Better yet, it was only a few blocks from the apartment. The only decision was how early to get there without a reservation.
While they advertise “buffet” meals, we experienced what we call “family style”. Each of the items on the menu is brought out in bowls for serving to the table. The buffet concept is that if you like something, you can request more. However, be careful of filling up on any one item too early… there are three more coming out.
Before starting th meal, the service staff will bring a basin of rosewater to wash your hands, as this is an African custom. Traditionally, African meals are eaten with one’s hands, though they accommodate those of us used to utensils.
Also, do not eat in a hurry. Two factors may extend your dining experience, beyond the delicious food and decorative atmospher: first, the bus tours show up about 7 p.m. and second, the kitchen and serving staff take a break from serving the meal to enteratain you with songs. Fortunately, for the first factor, the larger groups are hosted in several separate rooms. Fortunately, for the second factor, we arrived at 6 p.m. and enjoyed the music while resting.
One risk is the curio shop near the entrance. If you like the pattern of the dishes, you can pick up a few to take home. They also have jewelry and other craft items to fill those empty spaces in your suitcase and life.
We enjoyed dinning at Africa Cafe enough to return for a second meal (and photographs) while in Cape Town.