The Charles Café in De Waterkant boasts a divinely delicious menu, great coffee and a beautifully charming setting. As if you needed anymore reason to visit this little gem, the restaurant recently introduced a special, curated Cape Malay-style menu that is nothing short of drool-worthy.
The menu, which is available on Monday and Wednesday evenings, offers an array of traditional Cape Malay dishes, starters and desserts, ranging from traditional curries, to Tomato Bredie, Bobotie and a Pickled Fish salad, among others.The delicious menu also offers a mouthwatering tasting platter, that allows you to indulge in a little bit of everything.
To tell us more about the idea behind the introduction of a Cape Malay menu, we chatted to Justine Burger – aka the boss lady at The Charles – about this exciting new addition to the restaurant.
What inspired you to develop a Cape Malay menu for The Charles?
I’m from Johannesburg, so when I happened to end up working in De Waterkant, which is the neighbouring suburb to the Bo-Kaap, I became very interested in the Cape Malay food culture.
Also, not being a fan of curries and spicy food I hardly knew about “Cape Malay” curry until our chef at the time introduced a lamb curry onto the menu. It was completely different to more known Indian curries, and I loved it! The Cape Malay food journey started there and we decided to share it with our guests!
What are your personal favourite dishes on the menu?
That’s a tough one, because I enjoy food AND have a sweet tooth… I think for now, my favourite is the Tomato Bredie with lamb. As for dessert, definitely Malva with homemade custard.
For any Cape Malay “newbies” what would you recommend as a perfect introductory dish for this style of cuisine?
I would recommend the tasting platter. It’s a little bit of everything, including a dessert. Perfect for the hungry, and great as a sharing experience.
While all the mains on the Cape Malay menu looks delicious, can you tell us about more about the traditional, Cape Malay desserts?
All Cape Malay desserts have some form of mixed influences i.e Malaysian, Indian, Dutch. I think the dessert with the most tradition attached to it though is Boeber. It is a sweet-ish, milky drink, made with Vermicelli, sago, sugar, and flavoured with cardamom, cinnamon and rose water. It was originally made by Cape Malays whose ancestors came from Indonesia, East Africa and India. The drink is traditionally served on the 15th night of Ramadan to celebrate the middle of the fast. But as a dessert it can be enjoyed anytime!
The Charles Café’s Cape Malay menu is available on Monday and Wednesday evenings from 6pm – 10pm. Diners are advised to book a table for these Cape Malay evenings, as the restaurant can get quite full.
Call to reserve your table today. The Charles Café: 087 743 2359