I remember it as a casual and sometimes romantic spot to catch a late night coffee and cake. It’s one of the few places still open at 12pm on weekends. So I was quite unprepared for the large families and noisy children screaming down the aisle on a Sunday afternoon.
In fairness, the venue is small and intimate. It is literally a vintage train compartment converted into a coffee shop.
While diners have the semblence of privacy while seated in their individual booths it’s pretty hard to keep a conversation private. The space is spare and sound carries quite easily.
So the kids in any other venue may not have been as loud as they were in the train. I imagine that the crowd is generally more of the surrounding businesses and flats during the week. It’s quite popular also as a tourist destination.
The Train is kind of a landmark in Cape Town. So it’s not surprising anymore to be driving down the road and suddenly spot a train compartment off its tracks amid the hustle and bustle of Sea Point. The exterior is looking a bit worse for wear and could use a little sprucing up.
The interior looks exactly as I remember it from back then. The same blue velvet upholstered booths, (freshly re-upholstered), antique looking tulip lamps over each table, real wood window frames and brass finishes. It still looks authentic.
The menu has been substantially expanded and offers breakfast, light lunches and some decent main meals. It does have a bit of an Indian slant with Prawn Chaat and Mutton Salomies on offer.
We had sandwiches, a pretty decent steak sarmie on white and chicken, macon and mozzarella on wholewheat.
Prices were reasonable, even cheap but service left alot to be desired. Our waiter was surly and while efficient, did not smile once. He even had words with another waitress in full view of the patrons which I thought to be pretty unprofessional.
It seems popular among families as another large family was seated after we came in, so I would say it’s pretty child friendly.
The large dessert menu would also help. It’s no Spur though and space is limited. I also don’t remember seeing any toilet facilities but I did not ask and there probably are some.
I’d like to give it another shot at a different time of the week to see what the vibe would be. But’s it’s cool if you want uncomplicated and casual.
Breakfast, Casual Dining, Children’s menu, Dinner, Lunch,