Coffee shops are not something I consider very South African. With Starbucks, Caffe Neros and Pret a Manges sprinkled all over 1st world countries, Vida E is the closest South African equivalent, perhaps this is because we have our own unique cafes hiding in the suburbs? I only discovered Cafe Puka when I moved to Tamboerskloof and Cafeen when I moved to Claremont. On that note, I was pleasantly surprised to visit Lazari in Vredehoek. My best friend lived around the corner from Villa for nearly 2 years but Lazari had never come up and it certainly is hidden unless one drives up into Vredehoek.
On the corner of Upper Maynard & Vredekoek Ave, Lazari hosts large glass windows which lets floods of light in but the lack of external decor may be the reason that it’s never caught my attention. Inside is pleasantly perky and relaxed. Nearly all the tables were filled but tables have not been squashed inside, there is ample space which adds to the relaxing feel.
Lazari has a mixed menu, I’m not sure if breakfast is available all day but the first menu hosts an array of most loved breakfast items, followed by a fresh north African inspired lunch menu that includes mint cumin yoghurt chicken couscous, Moroccan chicken, chilli butternut couscous and falafal pita. European styled food such as chicken schnitzel, pasta of the day or eastern inspired Thai chicken wrap. Our waiter was sweet but a little quiet! We had to ask for drinks and extras opposed to him checking that we were satisfied all the time. None the less, the service was prompt so we were happy. All the food we ordered was fresh, delicious with reasonable portions that arrived in good time.
The chicken yoghurt couscous looked wonderful but I was excited to try my falafel pita for the first time. I had never had a falafel before and had been meaning to try it, Lazari seemed like the perfect location. The hummus and tzatziki that was smoothed over the pita was DELICIOUS! The falafel balls themselves were beautifully made but they didn’t taste like much. I’m not sure how normal this is? The food was very fresh so it was enjoyable none the less. The salad of the day was a beautiful chicken and mango salad with avo and rocket. The mint yoghurt chicken couscous was also beautiful.
Apart from the savouries, there is also a display window with baked goods for sale if you’d like to pop in for coffee and something sweet. I would definitely return to Lazari to eat lunch again, I’m not sure if it’s open after 5pm but if you’re looking for some delicious, healthy lunches (or indulgent if you have a sweet tooth – cake cakes and cakes are on sale in their counter display window) with a friend, Lazari is convenient, well priced and the staff were attentive and very pleasant.