South Africa@ the Waterfront, Tyger Valley Waterfront, Cape Town, South Africa

@ the Waterfront at the Tyger Valley Waterfront in the northern suburbs of Cape Town

@ the Waterfront is situated at the Tyger Valley Waterfront, which is a bizarre, inland waterfront that has been built in the northern suburbs of Cape Town. I don't understand the purpose of fake waterfronts (of which there appear to be a few in South Africa), especially those that are situated in cities on the coast that have a real waterfront, so I shall say nothing more on that topic, except that, technically, it's more like a waterway than a waterfront (but it's still weird).

Inside @ the Waterfront

The establishment, itself, though, is a charming little coffee shop and deli that also sells homeware and décor collectables, such as vases and paintings, and an eclectic mix of second-hand furniture. It is a perfect place to patronise for afternoon tea or a quiet outing with friends. You can also take advantage of its catering services and order meals and platters for a special function, or you can arrange to have the venue all to yourself and hire it, complete with staff members on hand and pre-arranged catering requirements fulfilled, which is what we did for a family function in October.

Platters and cakes at @ the Waterfront

@ the Waterfront has both inside and outside seating. Due to the way that the whole area has been developed the outside seating, unfortunately, looks out onto the car park but the design of this, and the surrounding buildings, isn't too bad. The outside seating is also in a quiet little corner out of the way of a lot of foot traffic, so it makes for a pleasant spot in which to sit and rest peacefully.

While at @ the Waterfront I noticed that it offered something called a "red cappuccino", which, at the time, I had never seen before. I hadn't intended to order a cappuccino (and therefore didn't manage to obtain the prices of the regular-cappuccino options) but I couldn't resist trying out this odd concoction, which is actually not made with coffee but with rooibos tea ("rooibos", literally, means "red bush", because the fermented leaves of the plant, which is indigenous to South Africa, are a brownish-red colour, as is the tea that is brewed). Rooibos tea is not usually made in cappuccino form (until now), but rather brewed as a herbal infusion, and is very healthy. It has high levels of antioxidants and does not contain caffeine.

A red cappuccino at @ the Waterfront

I was very skeptical of what this could taste like, as I usually drink rooibos tea without milk and - preferably - with honey, not sugar. The thought of having to consume milk-tasting rooibos (or rooibos-tasting milk) made me very nervous, but my curiosity got the better of me and I ordered a red cappuccino. It took a while to make, but it was definitely worth the wait. It was served accompanied by a small biscuit and I used sugar packets that were available on the tables. The foam was accented with a light dusting of cinnamon and a swirl of honey, which is how the red espresso company states it should be served. In the second photograph you can clearly see the orangey-red colour of the cappuccino, which is also how it should look (if you are served one that is too brown or too milky, it has not been made properly).

I have since found out that the "red" range is by a Cape Town-based company called "red espresso". Its web site offers recipes for concoctions such as the red shake, the red latte, the red frappe, filter red, and the long island red. I have noticed the various options appearing in restaurant and coffee bar menus all over the city in the last month, so it seems that it is going to become a regular option and the brand is growing in popularity. Once again breaking (or, rather, complicating) the original rules of the Cappuccino Quest, we will be adding the red cappuccino to the list of items we will, in future, test, and will evaluate it separately from normal cappuccinos because there is a particular way in which the red cappuccino is supposed to be made and served. Look out for much more on this in the Cappuccino Quest section in the weeks to come.

South Opinion
Where: Tyger Valley Waterfront, Tyger Valley, Cape Town, South Africa
Hours: n/a
Phone: +27 21 914 4560
Web Site: n/a
When: 14 October 2006
Size: Regular. It's not well reflected in the photographs but the cup was of a reasonable size [6/10].
Foam: Wow. This foam was absolutely amazing. I've never tasted anything like it before. Although, at about 1cm it was not too thick, bar the lovely pile in the middle, it was creamy and tasted great. A light amount of cinnamon, of a good quality, was sprinkled on top and a swirl of honey was mixed into the foam. This is apparently how the red cappuccino is supposed to be served and it was done expertly by @ the Waterfront. The high mark is for both the taste and the style [9/10].
Heat: Quite hot: I had to wait a while for it to cool down [8/10].
Tea: The best way to describe it would be "creamy rooibos", the thought of which, in other circumstances, would make me feel ill, but in this case it is apt and it tasted great. I was surprised at how well I liked it. The liquid was a pleasant (although odd, to the uninitiated) orangey-red colour and there was absolutely no gunge [9/10].
Price: R12.00 [?] - at the time I thought this was expensive but I have since seen that most restaurants are charging a similar price, give or take a rand or two, so the value lies more in whether or not the red cappuccino is made properly as I thoroughly enjoyed this experience [6/10].
Overall: Spectacular. Although this was the first time I tried a red cappuccino, I have since had another one at a different establishment and, due to that experience [Cappuccino Quest entry], I now have a very good idea of how badly it can be made, so I feel this high score for @ the Waterfront is well deserved. Right now, this is the place I would recommend people go to to try the red cappuccino for the first time although personally I hope, in future, to find a place that's closer to my house [9/10]. Comments