Wembley Roadhouse, Athlone
Price Range (p/p)
Today’s post is the first in a series of posts about iconic takeaways in Cape Town. Fear not, I will also do a series of the same in Jozi and KZN as well. But for now we kick off with probably the most famous Roadhouse of them all, Wembley Roadhouse in Belgravia road Athlone.
This infamous landmark crammed into the tight Southern Suburbs streets has become a destination venue. It’s where the young dudes go to show off their pimped rides and where the white girls go with the coloured boys after clubbing till the wee hours and need to feed the munchies. It’s where your folks took you on weekends for a takeout treat and where you go now when you have that lussie for something specific like a Wembley Whopper or Falooda Crush that can only be delivered in one place.
I remember my dad driving us from Stellenbosch when we were little to visit in the South and us stopping at Wembley and without fail he would always order the prawn curry and roti which came carefully sealed in a foil container that would stay hot till we got home, well mostly. We would wait patiently in the car till our order was brought watching the steady flow of cars and patrons coming and going. Nothing much has changed since those many years ago, you pull up, and either wait for a waiter to come to your window and take your order or muscle your way to the front of a busy crowd to place your order at the window. It’s no holds barred. If you’re gonna stand back and wait, you’re gonna get left behind. They’re always busy. And the food takes long to prepare. It’s not a quick pick-up KFC or Mc’D style. A good option is to phone your order in and just come and collect. You can get the menu online but don’t worry, that incandescent and endless pink menu will soon become a staple on your fridge.
They’re famous for the Wembley Whopper, a confection of steak, braised onions, sliced potatoes, salad and sauce in a bun. Not my personal favourite. I’m partial to the DOUBLE HOTDOG, yes it’s capitalised on purpose. It’s a sort of comfort food for me. Two very tasty viennas, smothered in chips, seasoning and sauce of your choice on a hotdog roll, always wrapped in foiled paper which means it stays hotter for longer (for that drive home you see). Or if you can’t wait, park and eat in your car. It’s a roadhouse after all. Added extras like the samoosas and potato waras/bites always go down well and will fill the gap before you get to your main.
The Falooda crush is like drinking dessert. The rose flavoured milk is so thick with ice cream, nuts and jelly pieces that you need a spoon to get through all of it.The note on the new menu adds that they have completed new restrooms adjoining the roadhouse. For Muslim clientele there is also wudu and salaah facilities available.
I’ve got to have something as a point of comparision to the other takeout’s I’m going to cover. So unapologetically, because I love hotdogs, that’s what I’m going to use. I’ve tried hotdogs from most of the major Halaal takeouts in Cape Town and on my Hotdog meter this is amongst the best of them, a solid 8 out of 10 on the HFH Hotdog meter.
If you want to know who’s going to beat that you’ll have to wait for the next installment of Iconic Takeaways in Cape Town.