Wine and tapas at French Toast

With heavy hearts, French Toast closed its doors on 9 January 2013. If looking for another great wine bar in Cape Town, visit Societi Bistro.


This wine bar is definitely a favourite Cape Town restaurant. Bree Street is flourishing with some of Cape Town’s coolest spots and French Toast is no exception. It’s in a fantastic location and has a great concept too: tapas and wine to share and enjoy.

Owners, John Harrison,and Karin Visser together with general manager Gidi Caetano have created a comfortable, stylish place with an extensive selection of wine, delicious food and great music (nostalgic tunes are on the playlist next to European lounge). Here you feel as if you’re in a Parisian café in the 50s or 60s, plus, it has a little bit of industrial New York City flair.

John, international stockbroker and former MD of the cable car, owns French Toast with business partner and friend Karin Visser, who gave up her biokinetics practice to follow her passion in wine and business.

"We focus on people having a relaxing time, maybe learning something new about wine and hopefully  exceeding  their expectations"

There are 140 wines on the list, 20 percent of which are international, representing nine countries. With a large amount of wines available by the glass you have the chance to try different wines with your tapas or perhaps feel more comfortable trying a new cultivar or a wine from an area unknown to you. Breaking it down even further they offer wine flights with tasting notes which change from time to time. However, there will always be a number of choices for example bubbly, or a unusual white varietal flight. This is a fun way of comparing different cultivars, regions, countries or vintages. Even though this is predominantly a wine bar they have a stocked bar, make great cocktails and have a choice selection of Spanish sherries. Beer drinkers have a choice of a local Jack Black or the internationally recognised Stella Artois.

The tapas menu is simple and easy to read: you can’t go wrong with their famous aubergine fries, goats cheese and tomato tarts, or spicy calamari that has been a longstanding favourite. If tapas are not your thing or you feel like a proper main course, go for the 'to share or not to share' menu. This is also a great option if you’re having a business lunch or dinner. These dishes, ranging from grilled beef fillet with polenta chips and vine tomatoes to the grilled salmon accompanied with pea mash, micro greens and a splash of fresh lime are all nice to share tapas-style.

These Mediterranean tapas are reasonable portions and are all made with good quality ingredients. Whalleed Phillips heads the kitchen  and brings solid experience from Savoy Cabbage where he worked for six years. French Toast is a great dinner spot as well as a good option for lunch (since the service is quick). Lunch specials change weekly and include different sandwiches and a pasta of the day and offer really great value. 

Mondays is the new Friday with their crazy 50% off all wines R400 and under.

They also have a 'hit list’ which is a special selection of wines from Tuesdays till Saturdays (usually four reds and four whites – raided from the cellar, and presented at discounted prices, either by the glass or bottle) – good for your wallet as well as an easy choice to make when you’re struggling with their large wine list. 

As an after-work special between 5pm and 7pm French Toast offers a complimentary bruschetta as well as the option of having a glass of wine for R20.

French Toast is all about wine, socialising and a bite to eat; for a quick drink after work or a long night out. This is the ideal place if you are planning a birthday, engagement or end of year work party as they offer different function platters which can be enjoyed canapé style. And, yes, french toast is on the dessert menu with yummy banana and cashew stuffing and ice cream.

P.S. Check on French Toast’s Facebook page for their wine tastings, bubbly events and more.

Bree Street is fast becoming known as Cape Town’s hippest street, check out what else you can do, see, eat

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