In the center of bustling Cape Town, tucked in between looming buildings and bustling bars, you will find this little gem. This is definitely one of my favourite places to treat myself to as often as I can. To me, this is the home of live music in the city, and for me, you simply cannot get a better venue.
This is the place where musicians are revered and appreciated as they should be. I almost consider it the sanctuary for those who have been gifted with the language of music. I have always loved the concept of the venue. The audience is asked to not engage in excessive conversation during the performances and to rather listen to the music. And I couldn’t agree more. So, if settling in for the evening with a bottle of wine, some incredible food and “so-close-you-can-touch-them” live music is down your alley, this is your place.
Cafe Roux has an almost rustic feel to it, which really gives it that “hideaway” in the middle of the city vibe. The stage is backed up onto the street facing window, and actually creates a living backdrop for the musicians on stage. There are two tiers to the space and you can choose to sit close to the stage and get that up close and personal feel, or on the balcony. We were seated on the balcony for the show that we attended and I loved how the music floated up to me while I had a birdseye view of the stage.
You can either attend the shows in couples or groups. If you choose to just have two of you, you could find yourself placed a one of the larger tables, sharing with a few people. I love the concept and have actually known people who have made good friends with the others at the table.
As I mentioned, you are encouraged to rather listen to the music, to respect the musicians. And this is not too difficult if you are a true music fan and don’t have the worst case of ADHD known to man. There is plenty of time before the how, during dinner, as well as during one of the breaks to socialize and I really enjoyed just simply being taken away with the music.
I am usually very weary of dual-purpose venues like this. Usually if the venue serves more of a performance purpose, most of the attention is concentrated there and not the food. This, however, is NOT the case in Cafe Roux. I was blown away by the choices on the menu and once the food arrived, the quality of the dishes. I had the pizza and I can quite confidently say that it was one of the best pizza’s I have had in Cape Town.
The ingredients are fresh and delicious and they certainly do not skimp on any of the toppings, which is a big thing for me! My dining partner does not eat pizza (I don’t understand either) and opted instead for the osso bucco. I was really impressed by the very substantial portion which was plated and I couldn’t resist helping myself to a good couple of mouth watering forkfuls of tender and succulent meat dish. It comes with a huge helping of gnocchi, which made the dish all that more tempting to steal from!
I ordered the Textbook Pizza. The base is homemade, which, once again is a must for any pizza. It comes heaped with Richard Bosman bacon, fresh avocado, feta and rocket, and for the first time this winter, this fatty couldn’t finish a pizza by herself! Wolftrap Wines have partnered with the venue, which makes it really affordable to order a bottle of their white or red. Being a rainy Saturday evening, I opted for the red and kicked back to take in the show whilst making my way through the pizza.
Comfort and customer satisfaction is obviously their mantra. We were settled in our lofted seats and checked on regularly by the warm and helpful staff. We had the menu carefully explained to us and were recommended the Osso Bucco with a glint in his eye.
I love the intimacy of the venue and the fact that you can rub shoulders, and even meet the artist either before or after the show. We attended the evening that Jon Shab was playing and I took a secret thrill in being able to have an in depth chat with him just before he hit the stage. His folk punk sound stitched the whole evening together perfectly and we left the show into the cold winter night with a little bit of a hop in our step.