Slow Life Café in Cape Town

Muizenberg’s new pescetarian eatery: a haven for those looking to reduce life’s pace

When quirky visionary Paul Kahanovitz resolved to open Slow Life, a new pescetarian café that gazes out at Muizenberg’s glistening sea, the decision came first and foremost out of a deep desire to jump off the relentless treadmill that defined his daily existence.

Plagued by severe stress and with 25 years in the frenetic corporate world behind him, the former Joburger set up the small beachside coffee shop not only to give himself the chance to slacken life’s speed, but also to offer Capetonians a place where they could come and do the same.  Armed with a vibe so easygoing time seems to stop, the edgy eatery, which opened in early June 2013, invites visitors to sit back and take it easy for a while, and in so doing, to explore the innovative and imaginative side of themselves.

“Once you slow down and start to realise that you’re not a machine designed to just go, go, go, you begin to find that you’re creative by nature,” asserts Paul, a strong proponent of everything from art to music. “Because of the frenzy of day-to-day life, we tend to forget who we are.”

Needless to say, creative expression lies at the centre of all of the Cape Town café’s many focuses, the most prominent of which is, of course, flavourful food and drink. Being entirely meat free (Paul is a passionate animal rights activist and dog lover), the restaurant aspires to get inventive with vegetarian and seafood-focused dishes, dreaming up wholesome breakfast and lunch options like Rosemary-infused Mushrooms on Toast Topped with Cheese and Poached Eggs, Mint and Pea Soup, Fish Burgers with Root Veggie Chips, and Zucchini and Chickpea Cheesy Lasagne.

Of course, those more parched than peckish can also opt to forego a hearty meal and just relax at one of Slow Life’s indoor or outdoor tables with a cup of Ethiopian Bean There coffee, organic tea, juice or water from a spring in neighbouring St James.

Though, nutritious snacks and beverages meant to be enjoyed at leisure are only one aspect of the eatery’s unhurried, artsy offering. To tie in with the central self-reflection ethos, the kid- and dog-friendly venue runs free meditation sessions daily between 7am and 7:45am (a great opportunity to just sit in silence and listen to the crashing waves), and to inspire creativity, it is set up to offer weekly movie screenings in the evenings and to play host to live music and entertainment on a regular basis (expect to hear from artists like guitar guru Guy Buttery).

Not to mention, the relaxed spot also exhibits works created by Mzansi artists and photographers on its walls, and because sustainability is so close to Paul’s heart, boasts shelves full of locally made, eco-friendly items for sale (think compostable flower pots, wire sculptures, Raku pottery, upcycled laptop bags, Consol solar jars and more).

In fact, this local, green focus is threaded throughout the space: the raw tables, chairs and benches that dot the shop are all made from recycled wooden pallets, the cushions that soften the seats are crafted from old coffee bags and a wall adorned in artificial grass stands as Slow Life’s key centrepiece.

So, the oceanfront haunt is as authentic and rustic in feel as it is relaxed in principle, and a rather stylish time-out option for anyone that, like Paul, feels the need to take a break from life’s incessant busyness.

Tip: Help out someone a little less fortunate with Slow Life’s ‘suspended coffee’ scheme; the café gives guests popping in for their daily fix the option of buying an extra cup of java for a homeless person.

The Bill: Prices at this pescetarian café are fairly reasonable. Breakfasts average between R40 and R45, veggie or fish burgers go for R57, a hearty paella is priced at R59 and warm beverages cost from R15 to R22.

Opening Hours: Monday – Sunday: 7am – 4pm

Note: Live music sessions and film screenings are normally held outside of the above opening hours. Keep an eye on Slow Life’s Facebook page for details about these weekly events.

152 Main Road (opposite the Muizenberg Railway Station) | Muizenberg | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 788 5849

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Looking for a meat-free eatery a little closer to home? Have a gander at our overview of vegetarian restaurants in Cape Town.

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