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Kloof Street's Delicious Oishii
A fairytale where creativity, coffee and food live happy ever after
Please note: this establishment has been closed.
"Once upon a time there were some small trees whose view was blocked by larger trees. They asked the larger trees what they could see but the larger trees were old and lacked the emotion to provide a satisfying description. One day a flock of birds were attracted to new leaves on the smaller trees and came to perch on their branches so they decided to ask the birds what they could see beyond the large trees..."
Givers of life, fruit, oxygen and shade trees are something of a fascination for our story teller Marco Helfer. They are printed on his t-shirts, sprout from his musical instruments and are the central feature of his fairytale Kloof Street cafe Oishii. Marco has dabbled in product and industrial design and currently designs clothing, gifts and accessories label Pure Solid 13 which is sourced and put together on the premises. Oishii, meaning delicious in Japanese, is merely an extension of his creativity and is a space which anyone who is like minded, has an appreciation for design and likes fresh and healthy food will appreciate.
Nothing matches yet it comes together to inspire creativity in this light, bright space
Inspired by Marco's extensive world travels Oishii's mystical interior plays subtly with the imagination and macabre white rabbits, Chinese paper hats, model ships and his own wooden sculptures adorn noughts and crosses shelves. Marco loves to collect and trade to other people so his displays are constantly changing. Table legs are cut differently and are different colours, there is a bench fashioned from a harbour mans boat and lampshades are made from hangers.
The food prepared by resident chefs Anel and Fatima is healthy, fresh and simple. You can design colourful sandwiches, choose from a changeable buffet of five different salads, indulge in exciting quiches with cream cheese, or scrambled eggs and croissants for breakfast. Marco handpicks produce from local markets daily, bread from Melissa's Food Shop, ice-cream from Sea Point parlour Venezia and Deluxe coffee. The menu is reasonably priced between R25 and R45 and caters for vegetarians.
"The food you eat, whether it be vibrant in colour or organic, may inspire you to look for something of the same nature where you might not have noticed it before"
My refreshing juice is made with a combination of beetroot, carrot, apple, ginger and orange juice and is served in an ample tall glass (R20) whilst my salad is a stimulating and colourful plate of chick pea, feta and olive salad, orange couscous, paw paw and cucumber salad with cucumber dressing and a trio of red kidneys, butter beans and chickpeas in a fresh dressing (R35 without meat and R40 with meat). It's an unusual and delicious combination that I would be hard pressed to find anywhere else.
After a relaxed lunch we browse Pure Solid 13 (with additional branches in Cavendish Square and Johannesburg) which features delightful summer dresses, skirts and t-shirts in ruches, pleats, bows and bubbles. The shop features more collectible items and one might encounter Disney figurines, wooden giraffes and snow globes.
Its early days for Oishii but delicious healthy food, value for money and a unique and fresh interior are slowly starting to intrigue the locals. The cafe will soon feature a mermaid holding a coffee cup with all the menu options inside and Marco plans to plant a majestic tree next to the cafes large sunlit windows.
By Lisa Nevitt, photographs by Antonia Heil
Corner of Kloof and de Lorenz Street | Gardens | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 422 4981
Opening hours: Monday to Friday 7.30am - 4.30pm, Saturday 8am (Free WIFI is available)
Check out our Eating Out Section for more luscious lunch and delectable dinner spots.
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