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Cafe Sofia Meze & Tapas Bar (Cape Town, South Africa)

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Address: Shop 17 Eden on the Bay / Otto du Plessis Drive / Bloubergstrand / Cape Town / South Africa / Tel: 021 554 0296

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      23.08.2010 11:12
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      Pop in when you are in Kloof Street

      There are no less than 7 branches of this Cafe/Bar in South Africa, and 6 of them in Cape Town (the other in Joburg). Dotted around the city in locations such as trendy Camps Bay, Sea Point, Bloubergstrand, Green Point, Rondebosch as well as Kloof Street in the Gardens area.

      My local haunt was the Kloof Street branch, it's next door to Arnolds which I also reviewed recently, and just across the road from the famous Mount Nelson hotel (which I couldn't afford to stay in, but they do afternoon tea on a Sunday, worth a go). They are all pretty similar with standard menus, so one review should cover them all. They follow the Med theme with a South African flair and style thrown in for good measure. The Kloof Street branch has areas to eat in and out.

      Get here early for the Big Breakfast - 2 eggs, grilled beef medallion, bacon, grilled tomato, sautéed mushrooms, beef sausage and a slice of toast. Not bad for 49 rand. There is a smaller breakfast for about 30. Coffee and teas are also good here.

      Tapas is all the rage these days, so you should take advantage of the expertise of the chefs at Sofia and try one of the many dishes on offer. They are on the pricier scale than your average joint, but well worth the endulgance once in a while. Choose from sirloin, calamari, mussels, chicken livers, mince kebabs, spicy fish fingers, prawns in jackets as well as nachos. The beauty of tapas though is the variety, so why not have a real combination - called "samples" but plenty to share and priced well to share too. There's a good selection including octopus salad, Costillitas, firecrackers (need some explaining - fried pickled jalapenos, stuffed with melting feta cheese and ready to explode....), spicy meatballs, Haloumi Frito and much more.

      If you are feeling a bit hungrier, the "big plates" menu consists of favourites such as lamb, bbq ribs, king prawns, and fillet of beef amongst others. The price range for the big plate menu is around the 100 rand and above mark. For pasta lovers there's a more reasonably priced selection of specials plus a variety of salads for those who are watching the wasteline.

      If you can still squeeze in a desert, try the Crema Catalana - a classic Spanish custard crème with crispy caramel topping, absolutely lovely. A small selection of other deserts are also on the menu.

      The decor is chic, and very clean. Don't let it fool you though, there's no need to dress up, casual attire is perfectly fine. Staff are friendly, and whilst service can be on the slow side at times, it's generally worth waiting for.

      Being a bar too of course you can just turn up for a drink. A cocktail and wine menu is available and you'd be silly not to try a few, relax and enjoy your surroundings. Open every day, times vary accoring to season. Reservations aren't usually required, although it's wise if there are a large group of you.

      Although not my absolute favorite restaurant in Cape Town, it's in my top ten and worth a visit.

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