This blog post is well overdue as I have been shopping at this market now for over 2 years now. From its first sessions in Oranjezicht Farm itself to its move to Zilla Villa (Leeuwenhof) and its final (hopefully) residence at Granger Bay by the Waterfront, this market has gone from strength to strength and is by far and away my favourite food shopping experience in Cape Town. It caters for us foodie locals and also for the continuous tide of visitors that Cape Town attracts to its shores. You can get pretty much anything you would need for your weekly grocery shop here as well as delicacies and numnum’s that you would struggle to find anywhere else in Cape Town PLUS an enriching shopping experience that connects you with the people (& their passion) behind all the beautiful products. The farm to fork concept is really taking hold here in CT and I feel so much happier knowing that what I buy (whilst it may not all be organic) was grown locally and didn’t have to catch a plane to make it to my table.
Friends and family have been harassing me for my favourite bits of this market so I have decided to put together some of the highlights for me, although I really wish I could include everything as its all SO Lush and Yummy. I have left out the pre-made food or restaurant tent as I just didn’t have time to eat there myself yesterday, what with all the photo taking and grocery shopping, but my favourites there are the gourmet Samosas (think Thai Chicken Curry – light, crispy and NOT oily) and the Savoury Buckwheat galettes (pancakes) with all the trimmings. The genuine Frenchie from Brittany has a stall called “La Rozelle” and displays the black and white flag proudly in front of his stall supplying the crowds with crispy Buckwheat, smoked cheese, egg and Parma ham pancakes to DIE for (naturally gluten and grain-free for those of you who care). Sababa, Spades & Spoons as well as Kleinsky’s amongst others all have presence there and its all delicious – get there early to avoid the summer heat – and the queues 😉
The “Restaurant” tent at the market
Get yer seasonal veg on in the produce tent
Smoked Mozzarella Balls from Puglia in the entrance tent – they do the BEST Nodini (creamy fresh mozzarella balls) and Ricotta. I love adding a little of this smoked mozzarella to my wholemeal pizza’s and also as a stuffing in chicken breast (and the kids love it as is)!
There are always so many surprises at the market and I am revisiting some old favourites I havnt seen in years (like Swede) as well as discovering new veggies and salads – like Mizuna and Kholrabi just to name a few. Be brave – choose different veggies and then ask Google on how to prepare them!
If you think mayonnaise couldn’t possibly be addictive …. you would be wrong! This is seriously the most delicious home made mayonnaise available. With nothing but wholesome natural ingredients this will take your salads, egg sandwiches and dressings to a whole new level. It comes in both garlic and plain – and make sure you buy the large jar – because it will be finished quicksticks! If you bring back the jar you can get R5 of your next purchase… another thing I love about the market is that everyone is on the same page with recycling and minimal waste.
I could really devote a whole post for these unctuous, silky, crispy and heavenly custard tarts. They don’t look that pretty, but I have never had better. On a recent trip to London I was dragged to apparently THE Portuguese deli to sample some that my friend insisted MUST be superior. They were not even close…. They are just the right amount of sweet with the slightly savoury flaky and buttery puff giving them a level of sophistication that belies there appearance.
Thank goodness for Thank Goodness Foods 🙂 If you are looking for a wholesome and healthy slice of Cake (think Pear & Cardamom with a creamy frosting) or some Vegan Bounty bites or Gluten Free Brownies to die for then look no further then this stall in the entrance tent. The people behind the brand know loads about eating & living well and just darn lovely to boot – They also have a great tasting range of Keifers too!
Okay so I did TRY to take some pictures of the fantastic array of proper free range Chickens, Sausages, Duck, Lamb and other meats – but to to be honest they didn’t look pretty enough so I decided to offer up the signage instead. I have not mastered the art of taking pictures of plucked birds uncooked, nor perhaps will I ever. I buy my Chickens, Poussin, Sausages and Duck here and these purveyors generally only sell to restaurants and chefs. So you wont find them anywhere else. The Chook’s are the way they were when your grandma was little and the Merguez (Spicy lebense lamb sausages) are my fave here.
The Woodstock bakery also have a concession here and the very long queue is testament to its popularity. My man NEVER queues for ANYTHING but stand here he will for a good 5 minutes to secure his cache of olive breadsticks and their most incredible Sourdough rounds.
First time I have ever seen Samphire here in Cape Town (a sea vegetable that grows abundantly on shorelines, in marshy shallows and on salty mudflats. It has a crisp texture and tastes of the sea) and is LUSH panfried with a little butter and served with roasted Salmon. This little table filled with foraged goodies called First Light will have your taste buds dancing with their Porcini dust and flavoured salts amongst other epicurean yumminess.
Proper Ice Cream is not easy to find here in Cape Town, with most brands (even the premium ones) using whipped up vegetables fats and other nasties to pad out their product. The guys from Moro Gelato take their roles in supplying us mere mortals with their frozen ambrosia VERY seriously and the Marchesa (a pecan praline vanilla extravaganza) flavour and Pistachio are my two favourites here. Their sorbets (Vegan & using fresh seasonal fruits) are also exquisite. We have started buying a VERY large tub to take home so that we never have to eat the sub standard supermarket stuff again!
And so there you have it – my OCFM highlights. There really is so much more to this market and I really had to hold back and keep out a few things so as not to overwhelm you all with my unbridled enthusiasm. The whole experience for me is inspiring and uplifting and has changed a feeling of duty to grocery shop to one of anticipation and pleasure! The market is on every Saturday – come rain or shine and is held near the Lookout at Granger Bay. You can’t miss it. Show some love and support for local – you wont be sorry 🙂
Great article! You have inspired me to do my food shopping there…
Another brilliant review.
I will follow it by the book on my visit to the market.
Come join us in Somerset West at the Paardevlei Farmers Market, old school, real in a beautiful 1950 year old Warehouse
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