As the nights start to get warmer there’s more reason to go out during the evening and enjoy the Cape Town night life. The Vineyard Oval Night Market is one of few markets that are regularly open at night. They used to be literally situated in the Oval in Claremont but have now moved to Kenilworth and are on the Racecourse grounds.
Last Wednesday turned out to be a beautiful summers day and we decided to try out the Market that night. They were planning a Mexican theme and I was keen to see what was on offer. The market is focussed more on food than crafts and clothes. Although, there were a handful of vendors where you could buy things other than food. Parking was free on the lawn before the market and was controlled by some ushers so getting in and out was not a problem.
Halaal food was available from several vendors. There was burgers and ribs from Rack n Grill, a popular foodtruck that does the market rounds. Charming Spitbraai and Mr Calamari both had halaal signs on their trucks. Primi Xpress, Kenilworth which is also halaal, had a stall and was doing pasta dishes from the normal Primi menu. I was really chuffed at a cool new find though – fully halaal Mexican food. The Nachos on fire does gorgeous and delicious mexican food and and had an innovative way to melt the cheese over your nachos. Check it out in this video.
I ordered a nachos starter with mince and was gobsmacked at the size which could easily have served as a meal. It was presented in a biodegradable container which I noticed other vendors were also using. The nachos came with crunchy salad and guacamole on the side. I also had some jalapeno poppers which were super hot. Firas, who owns the stall is originally from Palestine and recognised that there is no halaal mexican food available in Cape Town. He is setting out to fill that gap. Love his branding and the food was great.
Then there was Bowl, a completely vegan offering of bowls of vegetarian food in different cuisine styles. There was Mexican with a base of beans, Curry with a base of Chickpeas and Noodles with an Asian flavour base. In keeping with the theme of the night I opted for the Mexican bowl – a base of red kidney beans, wild rice, salsa, corn, sour cream, avo and coriander with a little extra chill on the side. It normally isn’t served all hot but because I wanted a warm dish, the very accomodating and very tall stall holder (I forget his name ????), warmed it all for me. The taste was as delicious as the presentation was pretty. Completely vegan and I didn’t miss the meat, not even a little bit!
We wrapped up with a Cappucino and Chocolate Mocha from Caturra Coffee. The Mocha was thick and decadent. Just the right thing to end the evening as the sun started to set and the lights at the stalls started coming on.
This market has a dedicated play section for the kids with 2 jumping castles to keep them busy. There is a DJ handling the tunes for the night but the music is quite laid back and one can easily just chill on the grass to enjoy the music for a while. One thing to note though, there is a bar section which is the only place allowed to sell drinks of any kind. Alcohol is available here and limited seating means you may share a table with people who are drinking alcohol. There were also people who had brought their own picnic blankets and were getting comfy on the grass. It’s not a big market so come early if you want a table.
They’re open every Wednesday from 4pm to 10pm at Kenilworth Racecourse. Use the Wetton Road entrance to get in.