I’m inside a tiny room. The ceiling isn’t too much higher than my five feet and four inches, and is papered with maps of downtown Bangkok. Face brick walls with brightly coloured floating shelves meet a screed floor, and a little window above the blonde wood counter gives me a postage-stamp view of the street outside. I feel like I could be anywhere – New York, London, Bangkok…
But it’s better than that, because this is Cape Town. More specifically, Bree Street, and, even more specifically, its hole-in-the-wall takeaway hot spot Streetfood.
Blink and you’ll miss it (especially when driving) but this little hatch of an eatery is definitely worth a stop. An offshoot of Liam Tomlin’s Chefs Warehouse & Canteen, Streetfood offers Asian-inspired takeaway lunches, all pre-prepared and ready to be devoured either on the spot or back at the old grindstone.
There’s a daily menu, but it’s much simpler just to ogle the meals in the glass display case, while Rose behind the counter happily explains the contents of each.
Arrive early to snag the ever-popular crispy pork belly cubes with egg-fried rice, but if you’re too late (as I was) you can’t go wrong with the charred salmon with sesame beans. Though I generally prefer my salmon as sashimi rather than seared, the delicious fresh crunch of the beans works with the flavour perfectly, and the portion is surprisingly filling (especially with a R12 pork pot sticker on the side).
Fresh juice, coffee and a small selection of sweet treats ensure you don’t have to make a second stop on the way back to the office. The only downside of the whole exercise, really, is that the meals are served in plastic containers, rather than recycled or biodegradable ones.
Still – if you’re on the go in Bree Street and looking for a takeaway lunch that’s gourmet rather than greasy, this is your stop.
• Singapore chicken with basmati rice and herbs R55
• Duck broth with Sechuan chicken and egg noodles R55
• BBQ pork belly baguette with togarashi coleslaw R55
• Vegetable rice paper rolls with cucumber salad and satay sauce R45
• Tandoori chicken wrap with raita, salsa and roast pineapple R55
• Charred salmon with sesame beans and vermicelli R55
• Crispy pork belly cubes with egg-fried rice R55
• Chicken schnitzel baguette with togarashi coleslaw R55
• Miso tuna cakes with sesame beans and vermicelli R55
Where 92 Bree Street, CBD
Trading hours Monday to Friday 7 am – 3 pm
Cost Average lunch R55
Contact +27 21 422 0128
Photography Jade Cooke