With Warm & Glad and Guru having closed their doors for some time now, there are few places left for freelancers and creatives to have meetings, a quick bite, or to set up their laptop and get stuck in, without being disturbed every 10 minutes about ordering something more. But, thanks to photographer and editor team Antoine de Ras and Mantombi Makhubele, there’s a new space for this group to call home: The Richmond Studio Café.
Best for: A working meal with coffees and cakes
Average main meal cost: R67
Star ratings: Food and drinks: 3; Service: 3; Ambience: 4
It’s a simple affair: the menu is divided into melts (proudly thick-set with corner shop bread), some simple salads and three specials. There’s the Richmond rib rack; snappers meatball sub with tomato, basil mayo and parmesan; and the Say Cheese – potato skins with melted cheddar, jalapeños and tomato salsa.
The 300g half rack of ribs is delicious: petite and easy to handle with little to no fat. It isn’t overly slathered in sticky sauce, which is a plus, and tears off the bone in succulent strips. The chips could do with a little longer in the fryer – just a few more minutes and they’d be golden brown and crisp.
The balsamic chicken salad is less impressive. The choice of salad ingredients (green beans, tomato, cucumber, lettuce, parmesan, peanuts and sprouts) are a little on the dull side and the parmesan lacks depth. It’s a good idea to add avo, but the ingredient combinations could be more dynamic, even if they’re aiming at unpretentious and homely.
There’s a lovely selection of cakes and pastries if you’re going the coffee and cake route. The rich, dense carrot cake is highly recommended.
They make a fine cup of coffee. You’ll find Origin as the base for all the usuals, with a few different offerings like Vietnamese iced coffee (espresso with condensed milk) and some Aeropress items to keep the yuppies happy. Freshly squeezed juices are also on the cards: beetroot, apple, carrot and orange.
They’re still finding their feet when it comes to being smooth operators, so don’t be surprised if you have to call on someone for cutlery after your food’s been served, but service always comes with a genuine smile and a spring in the step.
The Richmond Café has a similar feel to Service Station which, funnily enough, is the closest restaurant in the vicinity. It’s full throughout the day, but it isn’t loud and bustling – it’s laidback and invites contemplation. Think retro furnishings, exceptional photographic prints, hanging plants and Edison bulbs edged in Café del Mar beats.
Eat Out critics dine unannounced and pay for their meals in full. Read our full editorial policy here.