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Coco Safar SA

Coco Safar SA
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Cost
R150 avg main meal
Ambience
Bar scene, Business meetings, Coffee, Family friendly, Groups, Quick meals, Special occasions
Food
Bakery fare, Bistro fare, Café fare, Coffee, French, Halaal Friendly, International, Light meals, Modern, Tapas, Vegan food, Vegetarian
Payment
Diners Club, Mastercard, Snapscan, Visa
Corkage
No BYO

Critic's review

Zola Nene

Food
On arrival for dinner, we’re invited to the rooibos bar. Here the barman puts together the delicate amuse bouche: a bread pillow with olive oil tapenade and basil gel. Alongside comes a non-alcoholic blood orange and chenin cocktail. The crunchy bread pillow, with its creamy filling, pairs deliciously with the tart and slightly bitter virgin cocktail and gets our mouths watering and ready for more.

We’re then led through drawn curtains to the dimly lit main dining area where we’re presented with the menu and two options: a two-course meal accompanied by a drink, or a three-course meal accompanied by your choice of two complimentary drinks. The bread course is served immediately and comes in the form of steamed black and white buns filled with either parsnip or aubergines. Both are lovely and light in texture and flavour.

For starters I choose the boule feta dish, which I’m told is a house favourite. It’s a chilled sphere of creamed feta cheese filled with a chunky mushroom caponata served on thickly cut toast. Once the dish warms to room temperature, the delicate saline flavour of the cheese and the earthy umami notes in the mushrooms shine. We also order the roasted cauliflower steak starter, which is served in a creamy leek velouté and topped with an oat crumble. It’s well executed and beautifully seasoned; the different textures and winning combination of cauliflower and cheese give the dish a homely familiarity with an addition of elegant finesse.

Main course options include pumpkin risotto, ostrich lasagna, sea bass curry, brisket and mutton casserole. The brisket is slightly smoked and served thinly sliced with caper mash and braised cabbage. It’s reminiscent of a Reuben sandwich, with the flavour of the smoked meat and acidity of the cabbage, but it’s rather dry. The mutton casserole is extremely rich but delicious. The slow-cooked mutton is coated in a sticky jus and comes served on a bed of confit potatoes that are moreish, buttery and soft. It’s the perfect accompaniment, along with pleasantly sweet roasted baby beets.

There are just two dessert options. The botanical dessert is an olive oil ganache with mint panna cotta, pickled apple and cucumber, and thyme ice cream. We choose the tropical dessert option, which is a coconut rice pudding topped with mango and granadilla puree. Alongside it comes a lime sorbet with a dark chocolate ring. The lime sorbet is smooth and refreshing and pairs deliciously with the tropical flavours of the rice pudding. The chocolate adds a slight note of bitterness to balance out the dessert. It’s a great way to end the meal.

Just when you think it’s all over, you’re invited to the main coffee bar for an ‘after-dinner surprise’. You’re asked to choose between coffee or rooibos before an exquisite bowl emerges from the kitchen. Based on your choice, you’ll receive either a chocolate sponge topped with ganache and cardamom cream, or a citrus sponge with rooibos cream. Both are served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, onto which you pour the hot coffee or rooibos to create a specialty Coco Safar affogatto. It’s a really enjoyable way to end off the meal and a fun and interactive way to introduce diners to the specialty coffee and rooibos on offer at the restaurant.

Drinks
The dinner menu is paired with either a selection of wines or non-alcoholic cocktails. Each menu item is paired with recommended house wines from different local estates, although you’re more than welcome to create your own pairings. Cocoa Safar has its own micro-brewery on the premises where they produce their own botanical rooibos and coffee cold brews, which are available for purchase.

Service
The staff is very well presented in their smart, stylish uniforms. Our waiter is attentive and knowledgeable about the menu items, as well as helpful in recommending meal choices. The bar staff is very well informed about their craft and it’s a true pleasure witnessing them prepare the drinks with such care and precision.

Ambience
The restaurant space is truly spectacular and luxurious – you can tell that no expense was spared. The moody globe-like light fixtures set the mood as you enter the restaurant. The chocolate-brown leather seating pairs perfectly with the wooden tables, giving the space a relaxed yet elegant feel about it. During dinner, images of the botanical infusions and their components are projected on the walls, making for great dinner conversation-starters.

(September 2018)

Eat Out critics dine unannounced and pay their way in full. Read our editorial policy here.

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User reviews

  • They have outdone themselves! The attention to detail and care is just beyond me. Food is beautiful and delicious. The only thing that could make it better is a view
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  • Phenomenal international cullinary experience. The new Tapas Sharing Experience is one for the books!
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  • If you don’t start your day here, end your day here and actually spend all the time in between here, then you are doing something wrong. I’ve yet to see this standard, taste and attention to intimate detail in any global destination anywhere in the world.
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  • Coco Safar is sublime! Timeless elegance, comfortable seating, lots of elbow room and privacy. The almond latte is to die for, the patisserie is out of this world. If you want brilliant conversation on practically any topic flag down the ever-present, globally creative and meticulously caring founder Wilhelm Liebenberg and have a ball! A definite FIVE STAR experience. Will love, Joshua
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  • A delightful experience each time I’ve visited Coco Sofar SA. The menu is exciting, I’ve been for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It’s that good! The staff are always friendly, they know their products very well and it’s often difficult to choose what to eat as there is so much on offer. The owners are hands-on and this is worth a mention. Go visit them!
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  • Delicious Croissants and pastry ... and I am French ! Always a good moment to have a break at coco safar : breakfast, lunch, tea time Everything is delicious and the team always welcoming
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  • Stunning venue! From the owners to the barrista, smile and courtesy is the norm. The food is an explosion of flavors in your mouth and the presentation is a gift to the eyes. The philosophy and project behind CocoSafar is coming from the heart: Made in Africa is excellent and it is time for the world to see. The creativity is phenomenal, and the range of products, mix of flavors and colors add to the experience. The team is trained with a very thoughtful program, adding value to their professional life, teaching their palets and skills to reach unknown spheres. For a quick coffee, a croissant on the go, a quiet corner to get lost in a book, a family lunch or a romantic date... everything is possible and recommended !
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  • Their Food is honestly to die for! Their staff is so friendly! I loved every second of being there. The level of service is better than almost every 5 star restaurant I’ve eaten at. You have to give them a try
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  • Fantastic!
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  • Coco Safar is the next level. It’s a culinary experience and a flavour sensation all rolled into a perfect day with friends. Everything was a 5 star experience from the food to the drinks to the service and ambiance.
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  • Coco Safar is an outstanding experience on another level. Exceptional speciality coffee, world-class innovative food and cocktail fusions that are simply out of this world. The atmosphere, the mood, the service and every finish and detail is designed to seduce you into hedonistic escapism. I will return time and time again!
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  • Absolutely Fantastic!! Best all day restaurant / coffee shop / dessert bar in South Africa. The attention to detail and value is off the charts! The staff is friendly & knows the 100’s of delicious products like the back of their hand. I would recommend Coco Safar to anyone any day! JC
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  • Absolutely world class experience, up there with the best in Paris or New York
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  • BEST coffee in South Africa!
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  • Absolutely blown away by every aspect of this establishment. From the staff, ambiance, food and especially their sweet treats! Highly recommend.
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  • It was a new dining experience and we loved every moment. What stood out is the servers, they are very professional and passionate. Can not fault any of the dishes. The apple crumble is a must try it was amazing and such a surprise!
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Facilities

  • Accepts credit cards
  • Beer served
  • Booking required
  • Breakfast
  • Child friendly
  • Cocktails
  • Dinner
  • Dog-friendly
  • Eat Out reviewed
  • Food
  • Functions
  • Licensed
  • Lunch
  • Parking
  • Reservations recommended
  • Serves food
  • Takeaways
  • Vegetarian
  • Wheelchair
  • WiFi

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