Being born in the Cape (albeit the Eastern Cape) I have an affinity with the Cape Malay style of cooking.
And I was therefore glad to see that this “specialist” eatery has recently opened up in a space that used to be the hardware section of a paint store that had moved out.
This intimate and quirky restaurant seems to have already taken off as bookings are already required and they have only been open a few weeks!
The decor is honest and simple and the food, by contrast, is spectacular!
But let me describe the former before I comment on the latter.
The walls are painted in vibrant, bright colours…not unlike some of the houses that you would find in District Six.
One wall is festooned with cream straw hats, while a line of red fezzes and a large black and white photograph of a member of a Coon Carnival troupe dominate the opposite corner as you enter.
The opposite wall has been given over to a plethora of family portraits, the most dominant being a oval framed picture of Clarence’s mom who watches over the shop.
The dominant music is that of the Spirit of District Six…and although it can be a little loud occasionally, it does at least add to the ambiance of the venue. A quiet word to one of the owners and the music was turned to a more manageable level without any fuss.
D6 is run by partners Clarence and Romano and their involvement in the entertainment industry (Clarence used to be a dancer and Romano was involved in the TV industry)makes them both amiable hosts
Although Clarence can be found out front taking orders or making suggestions, his skill definitely lies in the extremely small kitchen that is hidden behind the beaded curtain at the back of the shop.
(Since this posting was written, the restaurant has changed hands.Grace now runs it and has continued the fine tradition and quality of food that Clarence and Romano set)
The menu varies depending on what Clarence either is inspired to make
or sometimes gets special requests for.
But if you have a favourite, better get there early (or phone and ‘reserve’ it)
Once a dish is sold out it does not get replaced.
We discovered this to our chagrin on our second visit,
when the bobotie was already sold out by the time we arrived!
I can highly recommend the Bobotie and the Tamatie bredie, while my wife can vouch for the smoorsnoek and the Brinjal curry. We have shared the Samoosa starters and have had melktert, cheesecake and koesisters (the Malay kind, not the syrupy Afrikaans type) for dessert!
The small, but tantalizing menu that Clarence prepares every day is a mixture of favourite family recipes as well as some from a variety of Cape Malay cookbooks.
Aside from the starters and the mains there a couple of decadent desserts that you have to leave room for..
.especially their version of a traditional melktert (another favourite that needs to be ‘reserved’ in advance)
There are also vegetarian dishes for those who are so inclined.
Not to be outdone by Clarence in the kitchen, Romano can whip up a great cappuccino!
The atmosphere also lends itself to chatting to people at neighbouring tables and discussing either their food choice or yours!(or perhaps fighting who will get the last portion of smoorsnoek!)
This is a great venue for a family dinner, when Mom does not feel like cooking, a group of friends or a relaxing and enjoyable meal for two.
You can hire the venue for a special event or you can bring your own crockery and Clarence will work his magic for you to take home and perhaps claim as your own.
Sit down or take out, D6 comes highly recommended….
Lunch: Tuesday to Sunday: midday-3pm
Dinner: Tuesday to Saturday.6.00pm-9.30pm (kitchen closes at 9)
Bookings( 011 486 7226) are essential as the venue is an intimate one!
D6 is at 42b Greenhill Road,Emmarentia.
“FOOD COOKED WITH LOVE”
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