Most Capetonians will know Obz Cafe as the dark bar in the ‘Give that man a Bells’ ad, but this Cape institution has come a long way in its give-or-take 24 years.
Set on the vibey Lower Main Road in Observatory, the area for which this restaurant is named, it’s a lively haunt with exposed brick walls adorned with rows of black and white photographs, a cement floor and huge windows – usually open on warmer nights – that reveal the busy street. A hatch window beneath lights bearing the establishment’s name gives patrons a view into the kitchen, conveniently situated next to the bar where you can grab a comfy bar stool or a couch for a drink and tapas with your mates before heading to one of the clubs just a stone’s throw away. Or skip the bar and niceties and head straight for a booth or table for some bistro-style fare with the family.
The menu itself is both diverse and family friendly. Think starters of deep fried Camembert and peri-peri chicken livers to salads, pasta, sticky ribs, chicken wings, and pizza and burgers that offer a smorgasbord of interesting and yummy combinations.
If you’re feeling particularly hungry – or adventurous – take a bite of the Nacho burger, which, as the name suggests, is a burger with nachos – including the guac! It may seem like a weird combo but it’s actually mind blowing, and we’re not just talking about the portion size. All burgers are served with crunchy slaw and a side of fries, onion rings or a side salad so take your pick of a beef, chicken or veg patty and prepare to never look at another burger the same. Plus, the fries are amazing!
Wash it down with a cold one or a cocktail, such as the likes of a basil and cranberry mojito or the signature Obz Island, a blend of grenadine, vodka, Bacardi, tequila, triple sec, lemonade and orange juice served with a slice of orange, a wedge of lime and a sprig of mint. Then prepare yourself for dessert.
Chocolate lovers can’t go wrong with the chocolate fondant served with vanilla ice cream but if you’re craving something a little more fruity, try the Berry panna cotta made with Greek yoghurt and mixed berries, which owner Hannah has kept with her in all her years of being in the restaurant business – and that’s a popular choice amongst young and old alike.
Whether you’re popping in for after work drinks or want to indulge in classic dishes with a twist surrounded by your nearest and dearest, Obz Cafe has a meal – and cocktail – for you. And you’ve got no excuse to give it a go – after all, it is a Cape institution.
Photography Sean Dollery/HMimages.co.za