Honest and unfussy, Tamboers Winkel
I am loathed to write about the experience of one of my favourite places, but hey ho here we are talking about one of the best-hidden gems for Sunday morning brunch in Cape Town. Now anyone who knows me well enough understands that brunch is the most important meal of the day. Serve me perfect scrambled eggs, a decently chilled glass of wine and add great service to the mix and I’m there. Frequently. So it was a complete surprise for me when I was introduced to Tamboers Winkel by a good friend a few months ago and has come to be my staple Sunday morning go-to place. Honest. Unfussy. Un-Precious. With the other dreary options available, it isn’t a hardship I assure you.
Deli slash tuisnyverheid come traditional farm stall, much of the kitchen fare served at Tamboers Winkel takes inspiration from old Boer recipes which brings a much needed and less-fussy Afrikaans hospitality back into the heart of Cape Town. The brainchild of (the very cute and affable) Theo van Niekerk comes through in everything and proves that a lot of time and effort went into creating an experience rather than a restaurant. I’m a fan of all things boere so the unsuspecting and understated Tamboers Winkel just off Kloof Street instantly became a favourite serving a decent selection (often deconstructed) meals from free-range and ethically sourced products, a smörgåsbord of fresh local cheeses and substantial salads amongst other proudly South African ingredients was just up my alley.
One of the delights of the establishment is the wall of wine which they encourage you to explore. Selecting a bottle of wine to accompany your lunch or dinner is part of the experience and a handy way to engage in a different way far removed from the stuffy wine list many of us have to navigate or pretend to understand. Burgers are a sure winner as is the Tamboer’s Breakfast, but the food isn’t fussy or precious like many other Cape Town restaurants which complements the laid-back vibe the place just oozes.
Having said that, sometimes the laid-back vibe can be deceiving so unless you’re there for the morning and are okay with the slowish service and the wait for good food, don’t expect a fast food experience while enjoying your freshly squeezed orange juice or Deluxe coffee.*
*The place has been discovered by hipsters though so be warned to be surrounded by beautifully groomed beards, a sea of flannel and very athletic contortions to get the ‘perfect’ snap of the coffee, tap water, food and any other arty interpretations of the garnish served.