Madame Zingara has been a busy lady. She started with the Bombay Bicycle Club, then took over the Sidewalk Cafe, then Cafe Mozart and now finally, Cafe Paradiso. Nobody can deny Madame Zingara’s magic touch as every place she has taken over has gone from empty every night to full every night.
Her latest project, Cafe Paradiso opened to the public on Sunday and I popped in to check it out before the Eat Out Awards. It was a lovely day so we sat outside and enjoyed some al fresco snacks and a glass of wine. The place is looking nice and fresh, it was certainly due for a revamp. They have someone making fresh pasta, and Paradiso will eventually supply the pasta to the other restaurants in the MZ stable. They also have a bakery, so you can swing by and buy some bread or a pastry.
They are open breakfast, lunch and supper. With some nice looking menu items. For starter I would have the salt & pepper squid with spiced mayo and chilli dressing (R50) or the black risotto with chorizo, sundried tomatoes & lemon aioli (R50). For mains I would probably select the organic sirloin with black mushroom, rocket and parmesan (R135), I wonder how it would compare with HQ. Alternatively the linefish (R89) or the charred lemon & rosemary chicken (R85) would get my attention.
Now that I’ve got you salivating, it’s a good time to tell you that you didn’t read the post heading incorrectly, the generous Madame is offering a meal for two including a bottle of house wine at Cafe Paradiso. The competition closes at midday on Monday (6th Dec) and the winner must use the price by Sunday (12th Dec). All you have to do is send me (email@example.com) an email containing your name and contact number with the subject ‘Zingara Giveaway’.
The winner will be announced on Monday afternoon. It’s so easy! Do it now, you could be a winner.
Went there for breakfast on Sunday.
Wow what a change from the old dull place. You’re right not only has the decor become more inviting and the generally feel happier but the staff were awesome.
Everyone was beaming from ear to ear and so welcoming. Food was great and not overpriced.
Definitely going back.
Could certainly do with a dinner for two 😉
Managed to get a table at Cafe Paradiso (they’ve been fully booked in the evening) and followed straight your suggestion. The salt & pepper squid were crisp and tasty, red and green chillies with mint gave it a great kick too. But the Organic Sirloin was an absolute hit, one of the best pieces of meat I ever had (yes, I got a few during the years) and it stood far above the one I had at HQ a while ago. The texture with bite but super tender, juicy and full of taste. Perfectly grilled anyway. Just enough mushrooms with truffle oil on top (a bit oily though) Certainly a good combination with just a bit of rocket and parmesan on the side. No carbs needed. Everyone on the table was very happy, good rustic mediterranean food. Not going to talk about all other dishes but they were nicely presented and greatly enjoyed by our 8o+ year old senior group.
It is fantastic that after years of decline Cafe Paradiso is back in proper shape. When we came to Cape Town 13 years ago it was still the jewel in Kloof Street and with this recent turn I smell a great comeback ! Can’t wait that the wind drops and I will settle again on their
Amanda Tremeer is the winner of the dinner for two, congrats! Thanks to all who entered.
we had dinner at cafe paradiso on friday night, sitting outside was lovely and our food was delicious. unfortuntely the service was quite bad, very very slow.
our first waiteress was dismal, we had to ask for menus, if we could place a drinks order, ended up asking someone else to please tell us what the specials were…
after a while our waiteress appeared to be replaced with someone who was far more competent and the service improved somewhat.
In the end we did have a lovely evening and we will be back, I do hope that they can improve the service though as it would definately influence our decision to return if it stays as slow as it was.
This was the review that the competition winner, Amanda, emailed to me.
I was lucky enough to win a dinner at Cafe Paradiso a couple of weeks ago. Lucky especially because we were planning to go there for dinner anyway, having stopped by for a quick drink on a whim the other day. I wasn’t familiar with the old Cafe Paradiso, but the new incarnation, with its garden with a perfect view of the mountain and quirky decor, lends itself both to a romantic dinner a deux or a casual birthday party for a big group.
First off, I’ll say that I was sufficiently impressed to book another table on the spot for a dinner for my group of friends. It’s kiddie friendly, with cool projects for the little ones and a nice children’s menu, and it’s vibey no matter what time of day – I went there last night at 5.30 and it already had plenty of holiday atmosphere. The service both times was good, although I’m enough of a stick-in-the-mud to prefer the great service we had the first time over the bit too casual waitress we had last night. No matter – they’re very knowledgable and seem to be having a good time.
So to the food. The meat antipasto was more than enough as a starter, and absolutely delish. No room for another starter, so on to mains. My other half had the veal both times, and somehow managed to pack away the huge plate of stuffed veal and pasta with no trouble. The feathered steak, beaten with parma ham, was also very yummy, even for someone like me who’s not normally a huge fan of red meat. Last night’s handmade pasta, their speciality, was good, with succulent prawns, but a bit heavy on the oil.
The best thing about Paradiso is the varied menu – for a dinner for friends, there’s everything from salads to very reasonably priced pastas to good value meat dishes with a nice twist. Even the house white is a decent drop, and the quick look I had at the wine list also displayed a good range of familiar wines at decent prices.
It looks like the Madame Zingara crew are quietly taking over Cape Town, but if all their restaurants are good value like Paradiso, I don’t think I mind.