Putting the WIN into winter dishes at Time Out Market


TIME OUT Market Cape Town is getting ready for winter (let’s hope it actually arrives) with an array of hearty tasty dishes from its restaurants, guaranteed to warm your belly. A bunch of us media were invited to try some of them out last week and it was a parade of deliciousness from first bite to last. Since this is the market’s first winter, it will be tested.

“Our chefs and vendors have been hard at work creating locally-loved dishes that bring the warmth of the city into an inviting space during the months that particularly call for comforting food and a lively atmosphere,” says GM Russ Meyer – who, by the way, is present at these events and one of the most accessible GMs I’ve encountered. Where’s the pic I asked for? Russ is on it. Want to chat about something or give feedback? Yep, Russ is there for it. Love your work, Russ.

“Think spicy prawn laksa broth (The Melting Pot), a steaming hot vegetarian butternut potjie (Mlilo) and aromatic tandoori lamb chops (Kapoochka) – the options are rife,” he says. “Besides our winter menu, the season’s lineup includes a series of fun events, quiz nights, and live entertainment that will keep the cold outside and that fuzzy warm feeling alight.”

Kapoochka and Sushiya

Appropriately enough, we began with a wine pairing flight from Culture Wine Bar. The first four dishes to jostle for space on the table were from Sushiya, The Melting Pot, Carne and Kapoochka. My fave from Sushiya’s Tamaki Tacos was the yellowfin tuna with truffled ramen egg, tempura onion, and chives. The other two rounding out the trio were tempura prawn with avo, lime zest, shichimi (seven spice) and spring onions; and aubergine with sweet miso, shaved katsuobushi aka bonito flakes, and sesame.

The Melting Pot’s spicy prawn laksa had prawns and fish cakes submerged in the curried coconut broth, with rice noodles below that, and a crown of crispy noodles. Kapoochka’s tandoori chicken tikka made me so sad because it was tender and succulent, but too burny for my palate. The butternut ravioli with burnt butter, sage and 24-month-old Grana Padano was the winning dish of the night, if we had to pick a favourite (which we didn’t but did anyway and it was unanimous). And we didn’t only say it because chef proprietor Giorgio Nava was standing right there. Each restaurant sent a representative to chat to us about the food, including Siba (no last name required) herself, who delivered my other favourite for the night, from her Siba Deli: slow cooked lamb shank in a tomato and red wine sauce, served with dombolo, which she assures us is the best you’ll ever have. Damn, it was good and is going to be a champion on a cold day or night.

The Melting Pot

We also had De Vrije Burger’s new South African burger, with double cheese (nice and strong), monkey gland sauce, pickles and crispy onions; on the side, loaded jalapeño tjips with peri-peri, cheese sauce, jalapeño, spring onion and dusted with parmesan. Mlilo served yummy butternut and chickpea potjie slow cooked with spiced tomato, accompanied by jollof rice, a spicy West African dish which I now realise I didn’t get to taste. Who ate all the rice?

Barakat gave us two dishes – curried red lentils with hake in spicy, crispy batter, served with aioli, housemade blatjang and sambal (those around me declared it to be the best dish, and made sure I tasted all the elements on the plate in case I missed something) – and one of the desserts, a bolla, traditional Cape Malay doughnut sprinkled with desiccated coconut. Delicious. It bravely held its own alongside Unframed’s chocolate cookie bomb – double chocolate cookie, salted chocolate ice cream, and chocolate swirl. You can see a before and after sequence on my Instagram, along with some other pics of the above.

De Vrije Burger

This wholesome line-up extends with more options on the respective kitchens’ menus. Details on the chefs and restaurants can be found here.

Another addition to the market’s activities is its Winter Wine Series, a four-month series featuring wines from up to 150 producers across the season. Ticket holders can enjoy an educational wine journey with tastings, interactive challenges, and opportunities to network with wine producers, all at the Time Out Studio, a quintessential cocktail bar on the mezzanine level which doubles as the market’s cultural event space. Details for the next event to be released soon.

“Cape Town is a bustling destination that locals enjoy exploring, and they often find a special connection with what it has to offer in winter,” says Russ. “Time Out Market is a space that will continue highlighting the city’s flair, creativity and talents in multiple ways in winter and be a place where anyone can feel at home while experiencing the  best of the city’s diverse food and drinks.”

●      Sundays to Wednesdays: all vendors open 11am-10pm; coffee and breakfast from 8am

●      Thursdays to Saturdays: all vendors open 11am-11pm; coffee and breakfast from 8am

Time Out Market Cape Town, Old Power Station Building, Building 19, Dock Road, Victoria & Alfred Waterfront; the closest parking area is Portswood.

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