It’s been YEARS since I last had breakfast, brunch, lunch or supper in Obz! Having run around the streets for years, I’ve not spent much time there in recent times. So when Obz Cafe reached out to me to pop in for a bunch I was VERY hesitant. Am I really going to recommend people go back to Obz when I myself spend such little time there?
Hannah, the owner, says,
The restaurant has been going for about 20 years and is a true cape town institution and landmark. I’ve spent the last 2 and a half years giving the restaurant a new menu, and doing everything I can to get the standard of food and drinks up to where they should be for a restaurant of this nature…
It was hard for me to walk away from this. The mail was sincere, Hannah’s a female entrepreneur and SO many South Africans are jumping ship to enjoy a better life elsewhere. How do I decline a South African who is trying to make our neighbors better from the ground up? So I accepted.
But before I did! I told Hannah my reservations and drilled her with a few questions including:
- How do you find the Obz area at night?
- As a women who is working in the area, how do you find it?
1A: I love Obs. I really do. I always park either in Lower Main or in Pepper Tree Square and never feel unsafe walking to the car at night…We have a very strong presence of our improvement district officers (OBSID) and our neighbourhood watch and security companies make a concerted effort to keep the area safe, especially at night.
2A: I love working here, there’s a huge sense of community almost residents and business owners alike, and we have all worked together to make Observatory as a whole a lot less of a grungy and “dodge” area to visit.
As I said, it was hard to say no to someone with such a great outlook so Mr John and I popped in for brunch.
Brunch at Obz Cafe
It was a rainy-ish day when we visited which actually suited me just fine. I was in the mood to hunker down and spend some time tucking into comfort food. I was immediately, pleasantly surprised at how clean the restaurant felt and the modern furnishings.
Starters at Obz Cafe
Hannah was happy to spoil us so we tucked into a few treats. To start, I had the deep fried camembert (R60) and the Spinach & Ricotta Ravioli (80). I enjoyed the camembert; although I’m not a fan of onions so I had to scratch the salsa, which was a bit of a pity as green peppers and pineapple was a fun, modern take on the dish.
The ravioli were also ok – a clever idea to deep fry them, however, the centre lacked flavour. I know ricotta is meant to be subtle, but it still needs to stand up for itself. A little more seasoning there may have helped.
Mains at Obz Cafe
For mains we enjoyed the Patatas Bravas (R55) which were served with a hot tomato dipping sauce (think Sriracha and ketchup) and sour cream. I mean, what’s not to like about this?!
Mr John had the 250g sirloin (R135) which was served with garlic, lemon and fresh herbs. As a fussy eater he loved that they kept it simple (no veg for him) and the chips were super delicious!
I also ordered a Bacon me Crazy pizza (R115), which was fantastic. The bacon had really been caramelized so it had a lovely deep, rich flavour against the gooey cheese. Thin base, this was perfect for the weather (and Mr John may have stolen a slice or two as well).
While we didn’t order a burger, we have to have a special mention for this monster that came out of the serving window. My goodness! These will definitely be on our list for next time! How’s that slab of avo?!
Specials at Obz Cafe
Obz Cafe have a number of awesome specials that run throughout the week. I think it’d be a great idea to capitalize on these and support local. The specials include:
- Happy Hour on Tues to Fri from 5pm – 7pm | 50% off all beer on tap & cocktails.
- Thursdays | 50% all pizzas, all day.
- Tues – Sun from 11am – 12pm | Free Coffee with Breakfast ordered.
I think for a local eatery Obz Cafe is doing a great job. As I said, it was much cleaner and more presentable than the old version where I never wanted to eat. Now, I’m happy to pop in.
Unfortunately, the loo’s are still shared and aren’t the worst in Cape Town, but are far from glamorous so go before you leave home!
While Obz is a little down trodden, I still can’t help but feel that there is still some magic there. It’s captured in the old buildings, narrow streets and mysterious businesses.
So if you’re looking for a quite place to stop in with good prices, keep Obz Cafe in mind. I know I will. #WinterIsComing
Where To Find Obz Cafe
Find Obz Cafe 115 Lower Main Road, Observatory, Cape Town. Join their Facebook page for further specials and updates.
Free wifi for those needing a quiet place to work. Good selection of craft beers on tap for those looking to relax.
Opening Hours: 11am – 11pm, Tuesday to Sunday.