I’m very excited to be sharing this review with you. Now and then Cape Town comes up with something that is just really cool in more ways than one. The Eastern Food Bazaar is one of those things.
I was driving home at about 7:30pm and wanted to stop and get something for dinner. I thought maybe I should try this Eastern Food Bazaar I had heard about, but walking along Darling Street at night didn’t seem too appealing. So I thought I would just drive past and see if it looked ok before trying to park. I wasn’t sure exactly where it was but as I drove along Darling Street towards Adderly, I suddenly knew exactly where it was. One vibrant and buzzing venue stood out on the dark road. I turned the corner, parked the car and made my way to the entrance of what used to be the Wellington Fruit Grower’s Market. Now it’s just called The Wellington.
There are actually two entrances, one on Darling Street and one on Longmarket Street (I assume they give their address as Long Market Street because it sounds less dodgy). They have come up with a brilliant idea (I’m sure it’s been done before, but I’ve never seen it), several serving stations/kitchens which specialise in different things. Located roughly in the middle is the till where you select your food and drinks and pay for them. They then give you the relevant receipts to swop for your dish at the various stations.
After walking along all the stations to see the options, I went to the till and ordered a Lamb Rogan Josh (R30 – with rice), a mixed snack platter (R10) and a mango lassie (R15) to wash it all down. I have not made a mistake with the prices, it’s really cheap. R30 is actually the most expensive thing on the entire menu. There is so much to choose from. There’s a Schwarma station, a Tandoor station, a Chinese station, and more, including a dessert and drinks station for ice creams and mango or sweet lassies. They have pictures next to each menu item so you don’t have to worry if you don’t know the various names of things.
The portions are generous and the food is very tasty. It’s not Bukhara quality but it wouldn’t be fair to expect that at portions double the size and a quarter the price (but it is owned by the same people who own The Jewel of India in the Waterfront). There were so many dishes I wanted to try, I can see I’ll be back quite regularly and my wallet will not be unhappy about that. They offer everything to eat in or take away. There is plenty of seating either in the busy downstairs or the quieter upstairs.
As I said at the beginning of the post, Eastern Food Bazaar is cool in more ways than one. The concept is great and the food is great (and inexpensive), but the decor is mind blowing. You would expect this sort of concept to be just a big hall, but it is decorated beautifully with ornate wood pillars, doorways and furnishings. The look is finished with interesting chandeliers and unusual artefacts. It’s really an experience to walk through the place. There is a mixed crowd of people there, the place appeals to everyone. The whole time I was there I kept thinking of all the people I need to take there because they will love it. I wish I had some pictures to show you the decor. I’ll have to send the official Relax with Dax photographer to take some pics for me.
Ok, enough praise, we need some negatives otherwise people might start to worry about me. There is no alcohol sold nor allowed, so that might put some people off. They also only offer plastic knives and forks, which I personally don’t like but I imagine proper cutlery would find it’s way to other homes within a day. It also closes at 9pm so no late night dinners, which is what I think this place would actually be perfect for.
Right, that’s enough. Get there and check it out for yourself. Let us know what you think.
Eastern Food Bazaar
The Wellington, 96 Long Market St.
021 461 2458