Lately I seem to be doing a lot of reviews on venues behind the Lentil Curtain. This last weekend I ate at Cafe Olympia which I have been wanting to try for ages.
The reason I haven’t gotten round to eating at Cafe Olympia is not for lack of opportunities or trying, but because they are always full and I can’t be bothered to stand around waiting for a table. I know that Cafe Olympia has received several awards for their food and vibe, but that means less to me than seeing them always full even when other restaurants up and down the road are empty. My expectations were high, tempered only by the fact that I was behind the Lentil Curtain.
In typical Kalk Bay style, Olympia Cafe is very casual. Mismatched tables and chairs (not all of which are comfortable) are scattered around the different areas inside and outside. To get to the toilet you have to walk through the kitchen which is a little disconcerting (I think the only other place where I have done that is at the Daily Deli). There are some interesting pictures on the walls, interspersed with the chalkboard menus. All of this contributes to an awesome vibe and sets the tone for a very casual meal where it would be difficult to be disappointed.
The service is friendly, not 100% consistent but good enough to not draw attention to itself. They are licensed but we only drank beers and cooldrink so I can’t tell you anything about the wine list. I’d imagine it’s short and inexpensive.
The food was good with disappointing elements. I’d always imagined myself being there for breakfast but ended up having lunch there. I’ll have to do the breakfast another time. I had the lamb liver with caramelised onion on mash (R70), which was really, really tasty. The disappointing aspect was that the liver was a bit tough, either it was over cooked or it had stood for a while. One person had the steak roll with tzatziki (R55), which they seemed to enjoy. Another person had a vegetarian option, Involtini di melanzane (aubergine wrapped around butternut, smothered in a tomato sauce, R55) which they said was nice but they didn’t seem that excited about it.
We finished off our meal with coffees which were very good. Olympia Cafe is not just a restaurant, it is also a bakery. Around the corner is a little shop where you can buy there baked goods. One of their flagship items is the soft ciabatta, either plain or with beetroot or olives or butternut. I always but one when I am passing by. This time I also bought some pastries, an almond croissant and an apple danish. They were absolutely fantastic. I was intending to share them, but ended up smashing them on my own.
To summarise then, Olympia Cafe is a great casual cafe with tast food and a lovely vibe. The bakery is a treat, I’d suggest you check it out.
134 Main Road, Kalk Bay
021 788 6396