Against the Grain Coffee Shop, Bo Kaap
7:00 - 17:30 Mon - Sat 8:00 - 14:00 Sun
Price Range (p/p)
Cheap | Under R100,Medium | R100 - R300
We attended the media launch of Against The Grain shortly after them relocating to new premises. They are now located upstairs at 102 Wale Street, next to the Atlas entrance. Once again situated against the backdrop of the beautiful Bo-Kaap community.
Parking is easier than at the previous location, I managed to find one close to the entrance quite easily. From the time I walked in, I loved the atmosphere which had loads of natural light and was a lot more spacious than the previous location.
I was then welcomed and seated by a friendly staff member who was eager to assist. The décor has remained true to the previous Against The Grain space, with bottle green and light green accents, beech wood tables and black iron chairs. They have a little seating area with a black couch and a coffee table if you feel like having an even more relaxed experience. There are planters right around the seating area, which livens up the space quite a bit. The overall décor and space has a more contemporary feel which I loved. There is ample seating, all very spaced out which I thought was great. Large windows around the one side which allows for beautiful views and the natural lighting is definitely a plus point. They have a large counter with the selection of dessert and pastry items visible.
After being seated, a waitron brought me a menu and I ordered the ice chocolate as my drink of choice. Soon after that my drink arrived along with two koeksisters. One bite was enough to know that the koeksisters were already my favourite and I hadn’t even gotten to the food part yet! The koeksisters were served warm and tasted heavenly, the perfect combination of sweet and spicy whilst being wonderfully moist. Not really being a koeksister person, I was surprised that I very easily finished both koeksisters.
The menu is concise and offers bagels with a twist, house salad, breakfast bowls, light meals and soup of the day. There is also a wonderful selection of pastries as well as koeksisters. The drinks menu consists of a range of coffees, iced coffees, tea and cooldrinks. In my opinion the food and drinks were both very reasonably priced and would only cost you around R130 per person. This includes your food, a drink as well as a pastry or koeksister.
Before we were served our meals, Gesant Abed, the co-owner came by my table for a quick chat. He gave me some background into how Against The Grain was born. From our conversation, it was clear they had to adapt very quickly after opening just before the pandemic hit. They changed up the menu to offerings that were easy for on-the-go and picnics etc. They have plans to expand the menu and also use the new rooftop area for events.
I was then served a variety of six mini bagels, various combinations off the main menu but in miniatures. The bagel combinations were gesmoorde eggs, soutvleis, easy philly, crispy chicken, lost and salmon with cream cheese. My favourites were definitely the crispy chicken and the salmon with cream cheese bagel. The crispy chicken had jalapenos which gave it the perfect amount of kick. The chicken was tasty and made for a great bagel topping. If you like steak, you will enjoy the easy philly, which is a combination of steak with cheese. If you prefer something sweet on your bagel, the lost would be right up your alley as it had Nutella and strawberries.
The service was great, staff were attentive and were knowledgeable when it came to the menu. Whether you are looking for a quick cuppa, a relaxed space to do some work, or quality time with friends and family, Against The Grain has something for everyone.
By Rafieka Banderker
Accountant by profession, writer at heart. Avid traveller, adrenaline junkie and bookworm.
“You were born with wings, why prefer to crawl through life”- Rumi
The above quote pretty much sums me up. I live life to its absolute fullest!