Tennis, playgrounds, cocktail bar and even a bird hide
Engruna Eatery in Cape Town
The brains behind La Boheme launch another laidback bistro in Sea Point
Burgers and beer. It’s a combination Sea Point has long been yearning for, and now, thanks to the dedicated owners of much-loved institutions La Boheme and La Bruxia, it’s here in the form of Engruna Eatery.
Perched alongside its sister establishments on the Atlantic Seaboard suburb’s Main Road, the hip new pizza and patty joint – it flung open its doors in early October 2013 – follows in the footsteps of its rather revolutionary siblings to provide something unique to the area’s culinary scene.
“The idea was to create another offering that would complement La Boheme and La Bruxia,” explains hands-on founder Faisal Khakoo, who, together with his partner Anna Rasclosa, never takes his eye off the ball or his feet off the floor.
So, while the culinary focus is unique to the fresh-faced haunt, it still retains many of the signature elements that have made its relatives so successful: simple, stylish décor that doesn’t detract from the food, a vibey ambience that’s as ideal for big beer-drinking groups as it is for cuddling couples and affordable, flavourful fare that keeps even budget-wary customers coming back for more.
“Engruna means ‘crumbs’, and the idea is that this is all that will be left on your plate at the end of a meal ,” says Faisal, modestly highlighting how devilishly enticing the eatery’s gourmet offering is. The menu was compiled by La Boheme Head Chef Painas Muzika, so visitors can expect the same degree of delectableness at the new laidback bistro.
As noted, one of the restaurant’s key specialities is generously stacked burgers as impressive in height as they are in quality. Served with either plain or sweet potato fries (for an extra R20, there’s an option of truffle and parmesan chips too), these hand-ground creations come in a range of mouth-watering forms: think everything from a lamb burger with tzatziki, baba ghanoush, feta and grilled onion to a lentil and kidney bean vegan patty topped with avocado and homemade relish.
The eatery’s gourmet pizza selection – Engruna’s other area of expertise – is about as diverse and unusual, with an array of unconventional toppings on the cards. Even the Classic Margherita is not so standard, arriving layered with fior di latte mozzarella and piled high with cherry tomatoes and fresh basil; though, if it’s something a little more adventurous or indulgent you’re after, there are also options like Traditional Beef Bobotie with Chutney, Tomato and Onion Salsa or Slow-braised Lamb Shank with Balsamic Onions, Beans, Basil, Poached Pear and Garlic-roasted Crème Fraîche.
And because good food just goes down that much better with a little brew, the streetside joint is keeping up with the latest craze and offering a medley of craft beers, both bottled and on tap. Many of the most familiar ales are present and accounted for – Jack Black Lager, Cape Brewing Company Amber Weiss, Darling Brew Slow Beer, Devil’s Peak’s The King’s Blockhouse IPA and Brewers &Unions’s range, for instance – and the selection is accompanied by a top wine list that, although not as extensive as the one next door at La Boheme, still flaunts something for everyone and every budget (every item is available by the glass).
While there are a few traditional desserts on offer, the restaurant also sets itself apart from its siblings by dishing up a delicious medley of milkshakes perfect for those yearning for something sweet. Flavours are rich and decadent, and visitors can also opt to give their shake a naughty twist with a splash of booze (alcoholic versions include Banana and Baileys, Oreo and Amaretto, and Chocolate and Crème de Menthe).
Needless to say, Engruna is all about serving up winning marriages in a simple, honest setting. And whether it’s milkshakes and mouth-watering pizzas or the classic burgers and beers locals are keen for, it’s certainly good to know that Sea Point has a fresh new face promising both.
Tip: Judging by the popularity of La Boheme and La Bruxia, it’s likely that Engruna Eatery will fill up fast, so be sure to make a reservation to avoid disappointment.
The Bill: The eatery offers great value for money with tip-top cuisine at reasonable prices. Burgers with chips on the side range from R50 to R80, pizzas sit between R70 and R105, desserts all ring in at R30, craft beers cost between R20 and R40 and milkshakes range from R30 to R40.
Opening Hours: Monday – Saturday: 12pm – 10:30pm
343 Main Road | Sea Point | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 433 0789 or +27 (0) 21 434 8797
Looking for other spots to enjoy artisan ale in the Mother City? Have a gander at our guide to craft beer in Cape Town.
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