The African Mall in the CBD is a real tourist trap for foreign visitors to Cape Town. In this bright blue building on Long Street you will find several tiny little shops crammed to the hilt with African curios, leather works, and food stalls. Mostly run by our African neighbours from Congo, Malawi, Senegal et al. I had recently come across a restaurant on Facebook advertising Senegalese coffee and food and also saying they were halaal. My curiosity piqued, I decided to pay them a visit.
The mall on Long street is not the modern facades that we are used to. This is an old building sandwiched among more old buildings on this iconic street. It is not that well kept so you may not be easily enticed to go inside. It is worth a visit though if you are keen on african ornaments, fabrics and prints. The Congolese shop at the entrance was packed to the hilt with pretty jewellery, decor and ornamental bowls. I succumbed to a set of pearl shell salt and pepper shakers before I had left. Is R75 a lot to pay for a salt shaker? ???? hmmm, I may have been bamboozled by a savvy saleswoman…???? On the upside, card facilities were also available.
Khadim’s Coffee is upstairs on the first floor. It shares the space with 2 other eateries and a few shops which mostly were closed when I was there which was a weekday morning. It’s a quiet space with not much traffic. A place mostly frequented by people who know about it. The shop has 2 smallish tables and a coffee table flanked by wooden 2 couches. When I walked in Khadim who co owns the shop was in deep conversation with someone who was obviously a regular over the counter. I took a seat at the bar counter and was offered a menu by the friendly owner. The speciality is the Senegalese coffee, a Toubacino which is what I ordered along with some fresh baked Beignets.
While I was waiting 2 other regulars walked in. A really big burly guy and a little guy who both made salaam and then ordered sandwiches. They sat at the counter and rapped away with Khadim while he prepared them. It was apparent that the client base here is mainly people from the North African community who come here for this particular type of food.
My coffee was ready and Khadim explained the difference about Senegalese coffee. Along with coffee beans, what is known as Guinea Pepper is also ground into the coffee mix giving the resulting brew a spicy and peppery flavour. It was served in a glass like a latté but the drink was stronger than any latté I’ve ever had. Not as strong as Turkish coffee, and more drinkable I would say. The beignets were like stiff little bollas, not too sweet but I found them a little dry for my taste.
Khadim’s has sandwiches available on a daily basis and prepares one traditional meal per day. So you’d have to get the speciality of the day if you’re planning to go there for a meal. Meals are authentic Senegalese dishes like Yassa and Thiere accompanied with rice or couscous and traditional sandwiches. You could also find out of the ordinary dishes like peanut butter rice or okra sometimes on the menu. It was too early for me to try any food so I’m not able to elaborate much on the flavours one could expect. Khadim is Muslim and tells me he buys his meat from Bismillah Grand Parade Butchery.
This was an interesting venture for me and for something out of the norm, worth a visit.
Breakfast, Casual Dining, Lunch,
Cheap | Under R100,