Venues

Olami – (Previously Sababa Kitchen & Deli)

Olami – (Previously Sababa Kitchen & Deli)
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Cost
R60 – R75 avg main meal
Ambience
Groups, Kids, Quick meals
Food
Bakery fare, Café fare, Health food, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern
Payment
Mastercard, Visa
Corkage
R40

Critic's review

Zola Nene

Food

Customers are encouraged to create their own combination to make a personalised lunchbox takeaway or plate. There are a few choices of proteins available – meatballs, curries, stews and a plethora of brightly coloured salads sprinkled with seeds and scattered with herbs. The idea is that you choose your protein and a selection of three salads or vegetable dishes to make up your lunchbox. The Durban-style chicken curry is lightly spiced and filled with a tender chicken breast. The whole roasted cauliflower with its burnished exterior and soft creamy interior is sublime. The sweet roasted beetroot scattered with seeds and tossed with herbs is a consistent feature on the salad offering.

For something sweet, there’s a selection of sweets and confections on offer, all displayed beautifully in jars and on cake stands to entice you. The almond Florentine is a must-try, baked until beautifully golden and crispy. The sesame-rolled date balls are one of the signature confections on offer too.

Drinks

Choose from a selection of fresh juices made to order. The apple and lemon combo is deliciously tangy and refreshing. There is also a choice of sparkling or still water and limited soft drink options.

Ambience

The restaurant is small and can get cramped during the lunch-hour rush. If you’d like to sit inside, there are a few bar stools inside lined up against the wall. Otherwise there’s limited seating available outside.

Service

The staff is friendly and efficient, serving each customer in turn as they dish up your food choices to make up your desired lunch selection. Since most patrons come to this spot for takeaways, the staff understands the importance of speedy service and delivers accordingly.

And...

The delicious dishes on offer are all compiled in a cookbook also named Olami and written by owner Nirit Saban. It’s available for purchase at the restaurant.

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

Have you eaten at Olami? Write a review and tell us what you thought.

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

(May 2018)

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  • Anelde Greeff

    Food
    The reason for this daytime eatery’s inclusion on this list is its interesting Middle Eastern and Mediterranean-inspired fare – not its staff and service. The former is beautiful and abundant, be it the breakfast or lunch buffet, the latter not so much (more about that later).

    Breakfast has warm and cold options, including the likes of slow-roasted tomatoes, frittata, chipolatas and creamy yoghurt, fruit and honey. Lunch is a daily changing smorgasbord of great protein options – perhaps salmon, lamb knuckle stew, fish cakes, moussaka, chicken schnitzel or chicken curry – alongside colourful and tasty sides and salads.

    On offer might be crunchy broccoli with cottage cheese and a subtle lemon dressing; a beautifully ripe tomato and rocket salad; soft roasted beetroot and baby corn topped with sesame seeds; grilled courgettes with torn, fresh mozzarella; chickpeas with green beans, spring onion and a creamy dressing; and deliciously roasted butternut with cinnamon.

    The dessert buffet is equally enticing and may include decadent dark and white chocolate brownies, baked cheesecake with slivers of almonds, orange Florentines, cranberry biscuits, poppy cakes and strawberry friandes.

    Drinks
    It’s a very small selection – two white, two red and a bubbly – all budget-friendly and easy drinking. Non-alcoholic options include fresh juices, ice tea and tizers.

    Service
    Unpredictable is probably the best adjective. Friendly the one day, snappy (and we don’t mean speedy) the other. The annoyance of selecting your food from the buffet, but having to wait for it to be dished and then heated for you, makes the whole process cumbersome and doesn’t do them any favours on busy days.

    Ambience
    Not much to speak of. There’s a glimmer of London’s Ottolenghi in the all-white room with counter seats, and a handful of small tables overlooking hip Bree Street.

    And…
    They do their bit for the environment by using a solar-heated water panel, and eco-friendly and bio-degradable packaging.

    (July 2014)

  • A favourite for quick lunch. Their harvest table groans under the weight of salads. The hummus is spectacular as are the salads and the date balls.

User reviews

  • I am absolutely IN LOVE with this place. I have been popping in for lunch for over 3 years and the food has blown me away EVERY SINGLE TIME. The table is always brimming with delicious salads and the meat selections are so well done and flavoursome. The team are always super friendly and the vibe is infectious. THANK YOU!!!!
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  • One of those confusing restaurants where you don't know what the protocol is, and it is not explained to you, so you just hover around looking lost. The food was on the bland side but I guess if you work in the area it is the ideal spot to grab lunch. It is not however the perfect spot for a relaxed lunch with a friend.
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  • Love the food! Busy and quick with a lot of action and can be a bit overwhelming for a first - especially falling in the right line, and knowing how the system works. But always a solid, super healthy stacked plate. Interesting, fresh foods. Great meat options and more than enough filling veggie/salad options. Worth every penny!
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  • So, the Mother City is very busy on the first Thursday of the month...every month, that is. This is what must have set me up for disappointment when myself and my fiance decided to pop in at Sababa Kitchen and deli to enjoy their Falafel night. There was one food server, and one lady manning a drinks station. The buffet was laid out with no protective covers, open to flying pests. The food server was over-run, and wore no protective gloves, nor did she tie up her hair while flitting between till and handling food.View their Facebook profile for artistic shots of the above mentioned server's untied hair, over food. I was horrified to see her loading up a pita pocket with goodies bare-handed, right before cashing up a sale and then resuming with her work behind the buffet. There was a yellow cloth which she periodically wiped her hands on, but no other sign of hand sanitising stations. I mentioned my dissatisfaction at her lack of hygiene protocol, which elicited a grumpy and curt:"Don't worry,I will be washing my hands before touching YOUR food." Well that gave me no confidence in her hand cleansing ethic, and I chose not to order food that evening. I raised the issue with the owner/manager, when she arrived, 10 minutes later. He was even more dismissive and curt. When I pointed out that all food severs should be wearing gloves, her response was:"Right, *claps hands together in a dismissive gesture* thanks for your concern." I don't care how trendy or unpretentious your restaurant is penned to be. Rudeness and blatant lack of concern for hygiene is a no go in my book.
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  • A GREAT place to kick off your evening- especially with the Bree street location now open. On a Thursday night pair early falafel offerings with the first Thursday art walk (as the name implies, it occurs on the first Thursday of every month). A bit short-staffed my last visit, but the food is consistently of good quality and good value for money. The staff (unlike many of the customers) are not pretentious in the least bit and they have a nice selection of craft beers, wines and of course- lovely Mediterranean and Middle Eastern foods.
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  • I have not been to this restaurant but it would appear that it is a shameless copy of Ottolenghi - even the decor. While I think he is really onto something I would have hoped to see at least some original aspect. I will visit - perhaps there is something a bit different.

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Menu

Set menu - Menu currently not available

Facilities

  • Accepts credit cards
  • Alfresco
  • Breakfast
  • Child friendly
  • Food
  • Licensed
  • Lunch
  • Parking
  • Serves food
  • Smoking
  • Takeaways
  • Vegetarian
  • Wheelchair

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