Looking for a great breakfast place to take your clients in Cape Town? Graham Howe makes an early start to his day and samples the hottest breakfast spots in the Mother City for Business Traveller. Whether you breakfast downtown, uptown, on the waterfront, in the FIFA World Cup zone or in the new Cape Quarter, he hopes you have your eggs sunny side up and your business deals over easy in his hometown.
DOWNTOWN AT THE BANK
Mint at The Taj Cape Town is one of the new hot spots to do business over breakfast in the Mother City. Conveniently located in the heart of the central business district, this light and airy restaurant overlooks St George’s pedestrian mall at the top of Adderley Street. From the privacy of the upper mezzanine level, I watched the city go about its business through the glass wall of the two-tier venue while the chefs in the open kitchen put on a show, tossing pancakes and omelettes high in the air. Set in the premises of the old South African Reserve Bank, Mint has the perfect ambience for a business breakfast. Visitors make a grand entrance through the magnificent lobby set in the old banking hall with neo-classical columns, lion heraldry and antique clock which used to keep banking hours. Mint serves a continental or full English breakfast – but I’d go for either eggs Benedict or a traditional Indian dosa masala (feather-light pancakes) fit for a Rajah for a spicy start to the day.
* Mint at The Taj Cape Town, cnr Wale Street & St George’s Mall. Tel: 27 21 819 2000 or tajhhotels.com/capetown. The Taj Hotel is halaal with valet parking, state-of-the-art business centre and high-speed Wi-Fi Internet.
ALFRESCO AT CAPE QUARTER
The snazzy atrium of the new Cape Quarter Extension in De Waterkant is a designer complex of new cafés, restaurants, wine bars and boutique shops. Newly opened in late 2009, this is the hottest 24-hour lifestyle zone in Cape Town. Conveniently located in close proximity to the CBD and Waterfront, Vanilla is a chic, two-tier restaurant with alfresco fare on the piazza and in a contemporary interior with split dining levels. Over breakfast, watch the chefs in action in the elevated glass kitchen.
The breakfasts at Vanilla are light and healthy and specially designed for business people, down to the slick service. A Manhattan-style menu offers classic choices such as Eggs Benedict, smoked salmon bagel, and gourmet omelettes – as well as wraps and foccacia. I enjoyed the global flavours on the breakfast and brunch menu – try Asian spiced chicken, seared tuna from the sushi bar, or wok-fried beef served on an open roti. If you’re travelling light, try the berry breakfast trifle with a smoothie on the side.
* Vanilla, Cape Quarter Extension, De Waterkant. Tel: 27 21 421 1391, vanillarestaurant.com. Easy access from the freeway, convenient underground parking, and dedicated smoking zone.
OVER AT THE WATERFRONT
Maze at One&Only Cape Town is another new hot spot for a business breakfast. Set on a private marina within the V&A Waterfront, the glasshouse lobby frames a spectacular vista of Table Mountain and creates a unique vision of the Mother City. Maze, the signature restaurant of British celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay, is a plush setting for a discreet breakfast in a double-volume space which exudes privacy. This is the place to spoil and impress business clients over a breakfast with a view. A fine cup of coffee is the mark of a good breakfast. I particularly liked the gourmet range of Origin’s artisanal coffee freshly ground by a resident barista – as well as organic teas, smoothies, and health juices (like celery and cucumber). The full buffet or the English breakfast are popular choices – but I was tempted by the signature savoury omelettes on the à la carte menu. You can have your organic eggs any way you like them – Benedict, Florentine or Royale – or try an American pancake with organic honey.
* Maze at One&Only Cape Town, Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, Cape Town. Tel: 27 21 431 5215 or see oneandonlyresorts.com. The hotel is within easy access of the CBD with valet parking and high-speed Wi-Fi Internet.