Cappuccino Quest: Bad Coffee Is Probably Why The Coffee Shop At GrandWest, Cape Town, Is Now A Burger King

By: Mandy J Watson
Posted: 6 April 2016
Category: Reviews Comments View Comments


It's not only difficult to find decent food at GrandWest Casino And Entertainment World - coffee is a problem too. While The Coffee Shop seemed as though it would be the best option it turned out to be another Cape Town disaster, with terrible cappuccinos and lacklustre service.

Last year I was in the unfortunate situation of having to attend a multi-day event at GrandWest Casino And Entertainment World - a similar problem I faced again last month when I covered the first rAge Cape Town.

Cappuccino Quest: Bad Coffee Is Probably Why The Coffee Shop At GrandWest, Cape Town, Is Now A Burger King

It's one of my least favourite event venues in Cape Town but, while actual events at GrandWest aren't necessarily a huge problem (unless you're a cosplayer) - and some of the facilities are actually quite decent - it's those moments of being stuck there between items on the programme that are particularly heinous. There's nothing to do and, unless you want to spend a fortune at a sit-down restaurant, if you're hungry the food options are limited and most of them are awful.

During the event last year I thought I'd make the best of a bad situation by using the dead times to evaluate some cappuccinos, although here, again, there was a problem - there was only one dedicated coffee shop and then a few fast-food places that I was pretty sure wouldn't be able to make a palatable one. Nevertheless you take what you can get so I decided that my first stop would be at The Coffee Shop because, surely, this would be my best, and perhaps only, chance of having a great cappuccino in the entire complex.

I was wrong.

Cappuccino Quest: Bad Coffee Is Probably Why The Coffee Shop At GrandWest, Cape Town, Is Now A Burger King

The cappuccino was made very fast. I didn't even get a chance to watch it happen even though, after initially sitting down at an out-of-the-way table, I immediately moved to a table where I could see the machine. It's clear they didn't take the time to go through the steps properly and from that I can assume they didn't clean the portafilter very often. Therefore, I knew before I even tried the coffee that it wasn't going to be very good.

Upon leaving I discovered, via a menu lying at the till, that The Coffee Shop actually offered a variety of cappuccino options, including with milk or cream, in two different sizes, and in a variety of flavours (chocolate, vanilla, toffee, and hazelnut). The waiter made no attempt to inform me of this or upsell me when I placed my order - when I first arrived I paused, looking for a menu or sign board (there was nothing in sight), and the waiter then asked me what I wanted so I immediately just asked for a cappuccino. The waiter, for some inexplicable reason, never offered me a menu.

Cappuccino Quest: Bad Coffee Is Probably Why The Coffee Shop At GrandWest, Cape Town, Is Now A Burger King

The Coffee Shop was around for years but was usually emptier than other spots in the food court, though I can't say whether this is due to the often bad and slow service or the fact that most of the kinds of people who frequent GrandWest are the type more likely to gorge on junk food, which is abundantly available elsewhere. It was a pleasant spot to go to to get away from the chaos, with tables that were clean, although the furniture was a bit worn in places. The Coffee Shop also had a light food menu and dessert menu but I didn't try anything on this visit.

I guess its bad reputation caught up with it because last month I had this review all ready to go but needed to take a better photo of the exterior, which I had intended to do during the rAge media tour, and it was then I discovered that The Coffee Shop is now a Burger King.

Cappuccino Quest: Bad Coffee Is Probably Why The Coffee Shop At GrandWest, Cape Town, Is Now A Burger King

I've decided to post the review, however, for two reasons. First, there's very little about the place online - or that it's now closed - so anyone searching for it can get some confirmation that it no longer exists, and, second, this is a very good example of how, in Cape Town, there's no guarantee of quality just because an establishment positions itself as a speciality coffee shop. Opinion

Order: Classic Cappuccino: R19.50.

Service: The cup was presented to me with the spoon in front of the cup instead of behind and the handle facing to the left, rather than the right. Coffee had also been spilt down the side of the cup at the back.

Size: I don't know what the size of the cup was but it certainly seemed way too big for a cappuccino so it was 250ml or more. I asked the waiter but he didn't know and didn't show any interest in finding out.

Foam: Even though the cappuccino was made very quickly the foam was heavily degraded by the time the coffee arrived at my table and the light-dark balance wasn't very good. The ring of crema had also been broken. The foam was less than half a centimetre think and far too aerated and fluffy, which resulted in terrible bubbles. Surprisingly the foam was sweet so it was at least made at the correct temperature and the proteins weren't destroyed.

Temperature: The cup was so hot that I couldn't touch it properly. Even after waiting for it to cool down I still burnt my lips on the first attempt to try the coffee. The temperature probably contributed to the fluffiness of the foam too.

Coffee: The coffee looked way too milky when I pushed back the foam. It was incredibly sour with occasional moments of bitterness, all of which completely masked any possible flavour. There were quite a few grains on the bottom of the cup once I had finished the coffee.

Rating: 2/10.

Date Visited: 10 October 2015

Cappuccino Quest: Bad Coffee Is Probably Why The Coffee Shop At GrandWest, Cape Town, Is Now A Burger King

South Africa
The Coffee Shop
Address: Formerly the Food Court, GrandWest Casino And Entertainment World, 1 Jakes Gerwel Drive, Goodwood, Cape Town, South Africa
Phone: +27 (0)21 534 3899
Hours: Formerly Monday to Thursday: 10:00 to 23:00; Friday: 10:00 to 01:00; Saturday: 09:00 to 01:00; Sunday: 09:00 to 22:00
Social Media: n/a

Tags: #cape_town, #cappuccino_quest

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