With music by Cyndi Lauper, several Tonys and a Laurence Olivier Award
Rcaffé on Long Street in Cape Town
Feed your soul at this eclectic Mother City coffee shop and restaurant
“My biggest aspirations for Rcaffe are for it to give off the feeling of home and for people to be able to relate to it in an authentic and playful way,” claims Sharon Segall, the passionate owner of the CBD eatery. “Rcaffé is about more than just providing good service and good food; it is about the whole experience”.
And the sort of experience that this funky Long Street spot wants to offer patrons is characterised by the freedom to reflect and reminiscence and to draw inspiration from the eclectic and quirky décor pieces that fill Rcaffé.
“I want the items to mean different things to different people,” summates Sharon, who curated the interior with the help of acclaimed artist and designer Brigitte Dewberry. If one were to try and explain the look and feel in a broad stroke, the most appropriate description would probably be ‘romantic bohemian’– it’s the kind of space you can imagine Stevie Nicks and Marilyn Monroe catching up in over cups of full-bodied coffee (more on the java a little later).
One of the walls is adorned with a quirky washing line of ties (one of which, Sharon tells me, belonged to a Mother City lawyer who, in celebration of winning a tough case, donated his accessory to the collection). It reminds me of the fact that my father had to tie my tie throughout my school career. The ceiling is rendered sky-like thanks to cloud-esque light fixtures that look like they are floating in the space and that make me relax almost automatically, and one of the eatery’s corners is a creatively carved crevice perfect for a chilled drink and catch-up with a friend. This particular nook is anchored by a sun symbol made out of 30s-era tennis rackets, which puts a smile on my face because it stirs up thoughts about my favourite sport.
Ultimately, Rcaffé truly embodies that something-for-everyone element that is so often dubiously attributed to other restaurants and cafés. In fact, the vibrant yet sophisticated interior is so eye-catching that, as Sharon states, “people who are walking by outside often do a double-take because they have spotted an object or image that reminds them of something.”
Of course, once patrons are drawn into the venue –whether they’re regulars or first-timers curious to inspect the space – they are presented with a menu that is jam-packed with scrumptious and hearty dishes.
Known as one of the most popular breakfast spots on Cape Town’s Long Street, Rcaffé serves morning meal options that comprise everything from traditional fry-ups to more complex offerings, such as the Croissant Sarmie: a pastry filled with imported ementaler cheese, avo, oven- roasted rosa tomato, basil pesto spread and fresh rocket. It’s also worth highlighting that Rcaffé opens its doors at 6:30am (one of the only places on Long Street to do so this early) and serves breakfast all day. And for those early birds who are looking for that much-needed pick-me-up in the form of coffee in the morning, the eatery’s signature java offering will undoubtedly do the trick. Rcaffé’s distinctive artisan mocha crema blend is made up of four different beans originating from Ethiopia, India, Costa Rica and Brazil. The medium-to-dark roast packs just the right amount of punch to take you from zombie to fully functioning human being.
For main meal options, the not-so-hungry can opt for sandwiches, quiches and wraps and those with a more substantial appetite can choose from the likes of roasted lamb, Thai chicken curry, sirloin steak and plenty more (check the daily specials board for the dish of the day).
“We’re also known for our meal-sized salads,” adds Sharon. Diners can choose from tempting options such as the L’entrecote Salad, which comprises slices of rare roast beef with creamy avocado, or even the Parma Ham Salad with caramelised pears, Gorgonzola cheese, walnuts and fresh rocket.
What’s more, for patrons who follow the popular Banting diet, the Long Street haunt offers a ‘Tim Noakes Way’ menu that features LCHF breakfast and lunch options. “We are dedicated to promoting the health benefits of this diet concept,” maintains Sharon.
Health-conscious visitors will also be happy to know that Rcaffé serves up low carb, gluten- and sugar-free versions of its delectable sweet treats, most specifically its double chocolate cake, brownies and berry cheesecake.
On the boozy drinks side of things, the city centre café boasts an ever-changing list of reds and whites that incorporates some of the Cape’s best. Though, if wine isn’t your thing, try one of the eatery’s cocktails – the Chi Chi, a blend of vodka, coconut and pineapple, looks delicious.
So whether you’re popping in for coffee and cake, visiting to admire the décor or sitting down for a bang-up meal, it’s a good place to come to refuel and reminisce.
Tip: Rcaffé is available to hire for fully catered functions. Furthermore, the eatery offers a special ‘Rise & Shine’ breakfast menu every weekday between 6:30am and 8am. The meals – think everything from scrambled eggs on toast (R20) and an omelette sandwich (R24) to croissants with various toppings (between R19 and R23) and muesli with fruit and yoghurt (R35) – are all reasonably priced and perfect for those who want a quick and light pick-me-up before the busy workday commences.
The Bill: Expect reasonable prices and extremely good value for money.
There are plenty of places in Cape Town to get your daily caffeine fix. Read more about the Mother City's coffee shops.