There’s something cool about Sea Point Main Rd. Forever busy during the day, over the weekends and the holiday season with minibus taxi’s, car guards, hawkers, shop owners, locals and tourists – hooting, selling, chatting and passing each other by. Even the ocean plays its part. When the wind is right the sea air wafts the one block up, competing with the floating coffee aromas, the cooking smells and the petrol fumes.
Sea Point has been my hood since 1983 and I’ve seen it grow as my teenage memories have faded. I’ve trawled the Main Rd countless times, frequented the many sports bars and drinking holes. I’ve stumbled out of the many discos belting out Abba and the likes – oi Vey, and I’ve eaten at the forever changing eateries. it’s my place. I love Cape Town but I’m in Love with Sea Point.
I recently became involved with a French woman who is a Sea Point “newbie” – 12 years in South Africa but only 3 months in Sea Point. Among other things, I’ve become her “official” tour guide and many of my stories include past- era restaurants. Watney Girls and their Flaming Ferrari, the mega burgers of Walters take-away, anything from The Wooden Shoe, and Buzbey Grill’s spare ribs are all long gone and replaced with salivating memories.
Wanting to relive my youth while personally tour guiding Helene to the next level – I suggested that we eat out at every restaurant on the main road of Sea Point. As she’s tasted my cooking, she readily agreed.
There are some rules.
1. The restaurants had to be on the main road.
2. The ones visited couldn’t be in a shopping centre or part of a chain.
4. We could have whatever we wanted to – just a starter, or main, or desert or all.
5. We had to try each others’ food
6. We wouldn’t review the food but rather the experience.
Shin Thai was our first eating place. We were excited. It was a chilly evening, showering much-needed rain adding to our mood of adventurous joy. Strange weather for mid-March – cutting short our beach visit. At least now with more rain day-zero had been pushed back, and now I could at least have ice in my whisky again – water restrictions have been tough on us!
We moseyed along Main Rd, trying to dodge the rain. The abrupt ending to our swim left us peckish for a light snack.
We were the first customers. A young waitress, snuggled inside a heavy overcoat offered us a seat, anywhere in the vast restaurant. Empty tables and booths offered us an array of options. We like to sit next to each other so we chose a booth with an angled view of the spacious restaurant and the dripping entrance.
We opted for 2 soup starters to help push back the unusual chill in the air. 1 still and 1 sparkling water were added to the list. The waitress politely left us alone after she dropped off the beverages. While we waited our thoughts turned to the restaurant as we both explored the environment. Spacious, family-friendly and affordable crossed my mind. As we were both wet from the swim and the drizzle, un-styled in beach attire with extra layers to combat the cold – a strict dress code obviously wasn’t a pre-requisite. No loud music invaded our ears as we chatted about the beginnings of our new adventure.
The soups arrived hot, filling and distinctly Asian – lucky that, as we were in a Thai restaurant! The bowls left empty. My appetite hadn’t been fully stimulated so I ordered another starter – skewered Chicken Satay and a peanut sauce. Nice and easy as a finger food.
I have a relatively sensitive stomach which likes to make itself known – especially when anything gassy is ingested. As I slugged down my sparkling water Helene asked me something and as I turned to face her and answer, I un-controllably let rip with a burp that equated to something like the mid-January Cape Doctor wind – on steroids. It all happened so quickly that I never even had time to put a hand in front of my mouth. While Helene’s hair settled back into place – about the same time it took me to realise that this is possibly where our relationship immediately ends – I was thinking of ways to salvage my deflating life raft. What saved me was Helene’s speechless shock. From the expression of horror screaming across her face and her incoherent mumbling as she tried to make sense of what she’d just experienced had actually happened, my mind raced for a believable response to help me escape my impending return to single life.
“This is the perfect restaurant to burp in your girlfriend’s face!” I blurted.
Yup, we are still together…!
Next week we take a culinary experience back in time.