Free: See fashion prodigy Rich Mnisi’s bewitching furniture exhibition
126 Cape Kitchen and Cafe at The Hilton Hotel
Grab a much-needed cuppa or specially selected Ronnefeldt tea in the lobby of the Hilton
Neatly nestled in the lobby of the Hilton Hotel in Bo Kaap, sits the 126 Cape Café. The establishment is housed in one of only four halaal certified hotels in Cape Town, of which the Hilton is the only five-star hotel to boast this certification.
The Vibe: As expected at the Hilton Hotels across the world, top-notch service and sophistication is the order of the day at the surprisingly reasonably priced 126 Cape Café. With the buzz of guests checking in and out of the hotel, 126 Cape Café gives patrons a sense of exclusivity and a niche experience, without the expected price tag attached. The hotspot juxtaposes a contemporary feel with traditional Middle Eastern elements, which include lamps, shades and lights with gold Eastern touches. The concept of the café focuses on challenging the status quo, which is evident in the finer details of the establishment. For instance, 126 Cape Café offers affordable nibbles even though it finds itself within the premises of this global five-star hospitality chain. This concept filters through, starting at the décor, trickling down to the food, the presentation, the waiters’ uniforms, and even the glass display menus, everything blends into it. As this internationally recognised hub is home to many prestige guests, don’t be surprised if you bump into a local or global A-lister at this authentic eatery in this multicultural community, predominantly comprised of Cape Malays.
The Offerings: Due to the fact that most of the inhabitants of the Malay Quarter are Muslim, 126 Cape Café offers authentic halaal certified treats. Moreover, you'll find delectable items on the menu from around the world, dishes such as the Salmon Poke Bowl, Smoked Tomato Risotto and the Cape Malay Spiced Beef Burger are standout performers, as are the meat dishes served up from the Robata Grill. For an indulgent, yet guilt-free experience after your meal, try the MDVBE (Most Delicious Vegan Brownie Ever).
What you wouldn’t expect at 126 Cape Café: According to inside sources, the chance of patrons receiving a different coffee mug or teacup at every visit is quite high, as 126 Cape Café has once again challenged the status quo by refusing to purchase sets of cups and mugs. The crockery is exclusive to 126 Cape Café and even the saucers are not what one expects. The designs have a bit of a rustic feel and are largely unconventional with their lack of indentation in the saucers for the cups and mugs to fit in, giving 126 Cape Café that extra flare in terms of the finer details. Even though many may expect the café within this prestige hotel to be quite exclusive and excluding, 126 Cape Café is open to the public and not solely for hotel guests. The entire lobby area of the hotel is available for patrons use, so grab a cuppa and a delicious pastry made fresh daily!
Note: The serving of alcohol is not prohibited at the standalone eatery of 126 Cape Café, due to the history of Bo Kaap being predominantly occupied by Muslim inhabitants. The area of Bo Kaap and the Cape Town CBD is largely separated by Buitengracht Street, which influenced the decision of 126 Cape Café to not sell any alcoholic beverage. Previously known as the “dry hotel”, the Hilton has compromised with the area in order to respect ye-olde traditions while catering to the international standards of their guests. Alcohol is not served on the ground floor, which is where 126 Cape Café is situated, but is available in the Mezbaan level, at the Signal Hill Terrace and Bar, which is upstairs, as well as inside the Hilton’s guest rooms.
Find 126 Cape Café: At the entrance of the upmarket Hilton on Buitengracht Street, 126 Cape Café is situated in the lobby of the five-star hotel, giving it a feel for the fast-paced, while creating a relaxed space to enjoy while sipping on a refreshing Ronnefeldt tea.
The Bill: Meals: R50 – R125 | Fresh smoothies and shakes: R40 – R65 | Mocktails: R30 – R35 | Freshly squeezed seasonal juices: R40 – R45 | Warm beverages: R19 – R35 |
Opening Times: Monday - Sunday: 6:30am - 10pm
By Marian Volkwyn
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