One of the things I love about Cape Town is that it offers so many diverse options that you can find almost anything you are looking for. One of the places I don’t get to nearly as often as I’d like is Kalk Bay, it’s got such a lovely character. In Winter it’s super cozy and in summer it’s too beautiful for words. Drinks at Polana are a must do, as are drinks (not food) at Cape to Cuba. Winesense is a great option and I’m ashamed to say I haven’t eaten at Cafe Olympia but am dying to.
The other night I had the opportunity to eat at Cafe des Arts and was very impressed. It has the soul of Kalk Bay, very casual and friendly. The restaurant is tiny, which creates an intimate atmosphere and makes you feel almost as if you are joining everyone for dinner. The waiter is very friendly (which helps one get over that fact that the service is not great) and eventually comments and greetings are being tossed between tables. There is nothing fancy about the place, the table and chairs and the rest of the decor is very simple. The kitchen is so close, if the music was off you could hear the food sizzling.
The food is really good. Fresh ingredients and some talent always go a long way. Apparently the Mussels (R42) is the starter to have, but we shared the Warm Mushroom, Brie and Bella Rosa salad (R36) which was very nice. I’ve heard that the Slow Roasted Duck (R95) is the main to have, but we both had the linefish (R85) which was absolutely fantastic. The rest of the menu sounded good too and if the quality matches what we had, then you could safely order anything.
We did share a chocolate brownie for dessert, it was nice but you can’t really go wrong with chocolate. In retrospect I would prefer to have left with the memory of the mains in my mouth rather than the memory of chocolate. The wine list is small but reasonably priced and the wines are pretty good, so not a problem. There is also the art gallery next door which you can browse before or after your meal, or even on your way to the toilet.
I definitely recommend Cafe des Arts if you are looking for a place to eat in Kalk Bay.