Kloof Street’s Hidden Gems

Kloof Street’s Hidden Gems

A slow amble down this happening high street reveals a most intriguing and diverse collection of boutiques and eateries.

Unless you are one of the European tourists who frequent Kloof Street and are accustomed to Alpine hiking, take public transport to the top and meander your way down leisurely – on foot. The wonderful collection of shops and restaurants is the perfect antidote to mall-trawling.


Tamboers Winkel storefront

Why we love it They say the kitchen is the heart of the home. Owner Theo van Niekerk has conjured a boerekombuis for the millennial urbanite that combines relaxed Boland farmhouse homeliness and genuine warmth, mercifully free of self-conscious pretension, with impeccable modern home-style fare. Its breakfasts are hearty and sustaining, while its daytime and night menus feature contemporary takes on local, domestic classics. The kitchen is overseen by the adorable Karen Arends, whose devotion to traceable local suppliers always avoids earnestness or the foodie self-righteousness of her haute-cuisine (ex-Champers) background. Settle in with Karen’s chicken pie, pop your laptop and prepare to bond.
Don’t leave without A bottle or two of the excellent selection of local pickles and preserves, and diarising their regular Wednesday wine tastings and Thursday burger nights.
Opening times Monday & Tuesday, 8am – 6pm
Wednesday – Friday, 8am – 10pm
Saturday & Sunday 9am – 4pm
Contact 021 424 0521, theo@tamboerswinkel.com

2. SALON 91

The art at Salon 91

Why we love it Imagine every cliché and stereotype of the oh-so serious white-cube contemporary art gallery: sterile space, pompous attendants, perplexing art at prohibitive prices. Salon 91’s Monique du Preez confounds these. With great flair and admirable diligence, she has since opening in 2008, unveiled a new and impeccably curated exhibition every month and, inter alia, discovered and cultivated an ever-growing stable of young, up-and-coming artists who persistently grow in lustre and credibility. Focused on quirky, devoted to design, illustration and urban-art crossover (all shown in a space smaller than most larger colleagues’ storerooms), Monique takes an active role in all aspects of the gallery’s operations. She is simply Cape Town’s most approachable and charming gallerist, and a boon to first-time collectors.
Don’t leave without buying a piece of Cape Town’s most exciting new art at affordable prices. A treasure trove.
Opening times Tuesday – Thursday, 10am – 6pm
Saturday 10am – 2 pm
Contact 021 424 6930, info@salon91art.co.za


Why we love it I first ate sushi 25 or more years ago at Tokyo in Long Street, when Japanese Chef Hatsushiro Muraoka (aka Papa San, whom you may also remember as the confused Japanese tourist from the Douglas Green ads all those years ago) opened Cape Town’s first, the pioneering, raw-fish restaurant. He cemented a cult following at Minato, off Long Street, and re-opened in Park Road (two doors from the Fat Cactus) about two years ago. Needless to say, the informed followed, and it remains the most authentic and consistently excellent exponent of this most intoxicating cuisine in the city, despite the proliferation of subsequent contenders. Prices remain admirably affordable, the service is informed, professional and long-serving, and I have never had a below-par morsel.
Don’t leave without trying the Crunch Roll, agedashi tofu and local linefish nigiri – which is, actually, the essence of sushi. Or work your way through the menu to find your own favourites. You’re spoiled for choice!
Opening times Tuesday – Friday, 12pm – 2pm
Monday – Saturday 6pm – 9.30 pm
Contact 021 424 8879, papasan@takumi.co.za


A butcher at work ar Gardens Continental Butchery

Why we love it Increasingly, foodie culture has come to rely on suppliers that offer an alternative to the giant national food chains. Buzzwords such as artisanal, traceable, nose-to-tail or farm-to-table are not current or trendy to German-trained master butcher Uwe Hansen, they are his raison d’être. Not only does he purvey an intriguing selection of beautifully crafted, hand-sourced and selected cuts of beef, pork and lamb, he also stocks local, usually German-style charcuterie and an intoxicating miscellany of local and imported delicatessen items from cans, pickles and preserves to pasta and sweets. Then, of course, there is the game: fresh and frozen, and excellent seafood. All of this comes with continental attention to detail, personal service and 40 years of trade experience. Uwe also gladly sources outré cuts (pigs head, anyone?) and takes orders for Christmas.
Don’t leave without quite simply the very best game and beef biltong and dried sausage available anywhere. Period.
Opening times Monday – Friday 8am – 5.45pm
Saturday 8am – 2pm
Contact 021 423 6944

5. LIM

The home ware on display at Lim

Why we love it When it opened in 1997, LIM (less is more) quickly established its credentials as Cape Town’s leading interiors shop, specialising in sleek minimalist style with mid-century modern and African tribal undertones. LIM proposes a world of clean form, neutral monochromes and rigorous functionality and 17 years later, it has barely changed, and dated not at all. It is simply the go-to place for wedding gifts and house-warming presents, because proprietor Pauline Mutlow’s style and rigorous eye renders all of her stock choices above taste and beyond reproach. Despite this, LIM manages to be warm, sensuous and evocative, never sterile. The gold standard.
Don’t leave without taking it all in – environments as convincing and flawless as this are rare and inspiring.
Opening times Monday – Friday, 9am – 5pm
Saturday 9am – 1pm
Contact 021 423 1200, shop@lim.co.za


Why we love it I first had the pleasure of dining at Saigon 17 years ago when it rather presciently opened its doors in 1997. Thai restaurants were proliferating, with varying degrees of authenticity but, from the first, Saigon set the gold standard with Vietnamese Thipert Van My at the assured helm. Over the intervening years, the restaurant has gained a vast and devoted following. Standards have remained rock-solid. It’s almost always full (booking essential, especially in season) and I have never had so much as a morsel that was not delectable: aromatic, evocative, and with a generous and respectful treatment of fresh and vibrant ingredients. The management and wait-staff welcome you as if to their own homes and the room, which is gorgeous, has one of those aching panoramic views of Table Mountain that during a summer sunset is epiphanic. Eat Out’s 2012 Best Asian Restaurant – long overdue!
Don’t leave without trying the chicken springrolls (42) and Pho Bo (75) – Cape Town’s best value-for-money dinner for two.
Opening times Monday – Friday, 12pm – 2.30pm; 6pm – 10.30pm
Saturday 6pm – 10.30pm
Sunday 12pm – 2.30pm; 6pm – 10.30pm
Contact 021 424 7670, saigoncpt@iafrica.com


Why we love it Antiques and collectibles maven, Bruce Tait, has been in the game forever and many a city-bowl trawler will remember his eponymous shop at the bottom corner of Kloof Street, where he and that other much-missed character, the late Leonard Wichtman, practically invented and certainly defined for Cape Town, the phenomenon “shabby chic”. In an age which has seen recycling become an urban article of faith, no young homeowner should think of furnishing a new dwelling without regular visits to this more recent incarnation. Replete with an always changing selection of period furniture, light fittings, vintage household appliances, metalware, ceramics and glass (Bruce frequents all the local household auctions and fleamarkets), as well as a scattering of the bizarre and unashamedly kitsch. I have often walked out with a real bargain or a genuine find.
Don’t leave without giving Zulfa your details and what you’re after. Chances are you’ll get a call sooner than…
Opening times Monday – Friday, 9.30am – 5.30pm
Saturday 9.30am – 2pm
Sunday 10am – 2pm
Contact 021 423 6280

8. Blue Collar White Collar

Why we love it From design-and-branding maven Peter Pan Paul van der Spuy (Frank B Ernest, Wylde Oscar), this cool space, as the name suggests, juxtaposes industrial- and uniform-inspired workwear with the sartorially swankier and more corporate look.
Don’t leave without a beautifully fitted shirt.
Opening times Monday – Friday 9.30am – 6pm
Saturdays 9am – 3.30pm
Sundays 10am – 2pm
Contact 021 426 1921


Studio 8 at Stock Exchange

Why we love it No, I don’t have a secret penchant for cross-dressing in the attire of the ladies who lunch! But as a Kloof Street habitué for the past 20-plus years, I have spent many a pleasant moment gazing into the window of this local institution musing on the former lives the rails full of gorgeous recently owned and nearly new garb must have enjoyed, and the pleasure they will go on to give to their next grateful owners. This is recycling at the high end, and owner Uta Brummer and her assistant Val Fowler have selected imported designer labels with discernment and rigour for nearly 30 years, long before pre-owned apparel became a standard retail phenomenon. Their style and approachability has earned them a well-deserved and
devoted cult following among local fashionistas. Look out also for their exciting collection of footwear and handbags.
Don’t leave without getting to know the lovely Val. Let her know what you own, and what you hanker for. It could well be the start of something beautiful…
Opening times Monday – Friday, 10am – 5pm
Saturday 10am – 1pm
Contact 021 424 5971


Why we love it I have lived in the apartment block above these premises for 18 years and watched various eateries come and go. When Arnolds opened I watched proprietor Arnold Bettendorff set about creating a local neighbourhood saloon that, 12 years later is going stronger than ever. It is difficult to identify exactly why Arnolds has achieved iconic status. Is it the daily presence of the genial hands-on owner? Always a good sign. Or the perfect mix of superb local and north-of-the border wait-staff crucial to a rapid turnover operation such as this? Anyhow, almost uniquely, Arnolds is home-away-from-home to all colours, ages, nationalities backgrounds, owing to its relaxed, come-as-you-are atmosphere. Perhaps it’s that view. The menu of light fare and game are always consistently good value and carefully prepared. I call it my office – ‘nough said!
Don’t leave without ordering the all-day Michael’s Breakfast (half-price before 7 am!) – simply the peninsula’s best breakfast deal.
Opening times Monday – Friday, 6.45am – 10.30pm
Saturday & Sunday, 8am – 10.30pm
Monday – Sunday happy hour, 4.30pm – 6.30pm
Contact 021 424 4344


The Inside Guide has made every effort to ensure that the information in this post was correct at the time of publication. However, we do not assume any liability caused by errors, such as price, cost, time, and location.

Time of publication: 08 August 2014

3 Responses to “Kloof Street’s Hidden Gems”

  1. Elna

    39 Kloofstreet is also very special

  2. Susanna vorst

    I look for the sheep made by beats …?

    • The Inside Guide

      Hi Susanna

      We don’t know what you are referring to?


Add new comment