Tucked between some of Parktown North’s most well-known restaurants, That Spot on 4th is a charming, unassuming café that’s perfect for work and play.
That Spot on 4th serves up wholesome dishes that work from the crack of dawn through to a late lunch. There are two things that will have you coming back for more: the freshness of the food and the ability to effortlessly tweak items according to your dietary requirements (without having to make up allergies).
Breakfast offerings include familiar favourites with a twist: omelettes with homemade onion-and-bacon jam plus brie and spinach; a breakfast flatbread with chorizo, caramelised onions, mozzarella, roasted rosa tomatoes and a runny fried egg, which is the perfect excuse for pizza in the morning; creamy oats with spiced maple-poached apple; and, for the-carb conscious, cauli rice with poached eggs, spinach, roasted tomatoes and mushrooms.
But back to the flatbreads, which are easily the highlight of the menu. You can substitute any of the options with a gluten-free base. Must-try toppings are definitely the lamb meatballs, with minted tzatziki, red onion and pickled cucumber; and the honey-roasted aubergine with hummus and a double helping of cheese – feta and mozzarella.
There’s a selection of speciality items that are sure to grab your attention. First up is the honey-mustard pork fillet with a macadamia nut crumble and butterbean mash. Secondly, the satay rice bowl with a fragrant coconut peanut sauce, carrots, spring onion and sesame seeds. For something much lighter for lunch, the salmon salad is a crunchy feast that comes poke-bowl style with a generous helping of smoked salmon and large shavings of cucumber, carrot, a tomato hunk and loads of red cabbage. For the little ones, there’s a kids’ menu with scrambled eggs and toast, a mini flatbread pizza, toasted sarmies and a fresh and healthy platter of ham, cheese, cucumber and fresh strawberries.
Over at the bar and food counter are freshly pressed juices, an assortment of Gouda cheese (Dutch, cumin, and sundried tomato) and other deli goodies. Unfortunately, the cakes on offer have been whittled down to one – carrot cake. But you could also satisfy your sweet tooth with one of their indulgent waffles, such as lemon meringue, choc chip or gingerbread. The café also offers a range of homemade family meals to take home.
The drinks menu is what you’d expect from a café: good coffee and a decent range of speciality, herbal and fruit infusion teas. A special mention goes to the refreshing homemade ginger and lemon, as well as lime and lemongrass cordials, mixed with soda. The likes of Spier, Kleine Zalze and Fat Bastard feature on the reasonably priced wine list.
That Spot on 4th isn’t always busy and it’s almost better when it is, as floor staff are more attentive on those occasions. Otherwise just sit back, get on with your work or chitchats and someone will come and serve you eventually. Sometimes it’s faster to just take yourself to the bar counter with your order or query…
It’s quiet enough to work and also relaxed enough to have a mid-afternoon coffee catch-up with a friend or colleague. Wooden tables and duck egg blue-and-white chairs give That Spot on 4th a familiar café feel, with extra pops of colour from the bar’s tiled turquoise accent wall at the bar and canary yellow pendant lights. Cups and saucers, pot plants and chalkboards dotted along the wall add extra charm. And the free wifi doesn’t hurt either.
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The Hangover Cure savoury waffle will most certainly gratify anyone longing for a hunger buster. Topped with Spanish chorizo, caramelised onion, mozzarella cheese, roasted rosa tomatoes and a fried egg, it’s for the woman (or man) on a mission.
In addition to a breakfast flatbread with the same toppings as the above (when a formula works, it works!), there is a number of varieties, each sounding as mouthwatering as next. The most popular is the harissa chicken flatbread with crème fraîche, avocado, roasted cherry tomatoes and red onion. It does seem irresistible, but so do the lamb meatballs (with tzatziki, red onion and pickled cucumber) and the shredded beef short rib (with corn, mushroom pâté, tomatoes, mozzarella and coriander) options. I settle on the latter, given my bias towards anything with coriander, and I do not regret it. The beef is tender, and the whole combination so perfect, I intemperately snarf it all up, without much chewing or breathing.
Although That Spot on 4th serves freshly baked cakes (there are brownies, traditional baked cheesecake and carrot cake on display), my dessert choice is very much influenced by my earlier waffle experience. The Belgian dark choc-chip waffle, with fresh strawberries and vanilla ice cream, sounds compelling, and so does the lemon meringue one with homemade curd, toasted marshmallow and coconut. However, my eye is caught by the waffle ice-cream sandwich filled not with any old ice cream, but with vanilla peanut-brittle ice cream. Needless to say, I now know where to go when my next craving hits.
That Spot on 4th has a respectable wine list with a number of good wines available by the bottle or glass, including the likes of Kleine Zalze, Creation and Reyneke. With sparkling wines, beers, ciders and gins also part of the offering, there’s quite enough choice for a long, indulgent lunch of satisfying food and drinks. If you’re a tea drinker, you’ll be taken by the speciality herbal and fruit infusions on offer. The pot of Fireside Tea, a combination of cinnamon, orange, apple pieces and spices, and a slice of freshly baked cake is enough to see me being a regular, although I might add that the proper dark hot chocolate is probably its own ensnarer of souls.
With warm and effusively friendly waiters at the ready to welcome you, guide you through the menu, seat you at the table of your preference, and ensure the enjoyment of your meal, the service cannot be faulted on any point.
A perfectly charming street-side café with the comfortable character of an old familiar favourite in the neighbourhood, the spot casually entrenches itself in the eclectic cultural milieu of the area, enhanced by understated and cheerful blue-and-white décor and pleasantly wholesome and original menu.
Frozen meals can be ordered here for your family supper or small dinner party.
Eat Out critics dine anonymously and pay for their meals in full. Read our editorial policy here.