Bakery fare, Bistro fare, Buffet, Deli fare, Modern
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For nearly two decades, twins Clare and Fiona Ras have been serving dishes, baking, canning and pickling foods from their restaurant and store, Sprigs, in Kloof. It’s a bakery and food retail space that offers unpretentious variety in food, including breakfasts, light lunches and a decadent pastry and lunch harvest table. The menu changes every second or third day, with a variety of items available on the day to satisfy most cravings.
An antipasti board of the day can contain something like their antipasti kebabs, skewered salami, gammon, artichoke, cherry tomato and olive, served with dukka feta balls, Moroccan roasted vegetables, baby spinach and their own artisan bread. There’s always a banting option on the menu, for those so inclined.
Gourmet sandwiches are on offer, some with a twist, such as the delicious Mediterranean-inspired Greek roasted pork neck with tomatoes, cucumber, olives and whipped feta, served on a pretzel.
Don’t miss the pastry table. Cakes, tarts, meringues, muffins and other treats are piled high and impossible to avoid. The meringues are enormous, and despite their size, baked perfectly. A satisfying shatter as you bite into them, they aren’t powdery or eggy, or soggy in the middle. They are just right.
Coffees, teas and freshly squeezed juices are available, as well as a limited list of wine by the glass.
Staff are welcoming and the food arrives promptly. Be advised to confirm prices on the board of items not listed on the printed menu, as the staff can confuse the pricings.
It’s a bright, bustling open space, centered around the pastry and harvest table, with a focus on the food shop.
Browsing through the food shop is a must. Various products, such as pestos, jams, dried pastas and cured meats are available. For those who need to graze on the go, the deli fridge has a tasty selection of gourmet sandwiches.
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Owned and run by the sisters Clare and Fiona Ras, Sprigs’ doors opened in 1998. Their obvious love for food, flavours, seasonal produce and constant product innovation has gained them a following of serious foodies. A basic breakfast menu is available, averaging R50. Patrons so seem to favour the market table that sisters set up for the day, brimming with food that is seasonal in produce as well as in mood. It’s mostly vegetarian, with some meat options available. Take your pick between salads, vegetarian dishes, a quiche or whatever takes the chef’s fancy that day, dish and weigh in to pay. But leave some space for the baked goods, which offer pure decadence – that baked cheesecake with caramelised nuts and caramel is straight from heaven, and a big slice of milk tart, set to perfection, will leave the Ouma’s wondering just how on earth Sprigs have managed this!
Help yourself with some of the fresh, fruit-infused water in decanters on the market table, or order some of their special homemade cordials.
Friendly and welcoming staff are on hand to assist.
The open space offers a clear view of what’s happening in the kitchen. The venue has a contemporary look, and the ambience is very relaxed.
The food store has so much to offer, from pestos, infused oils, relishes, ready-made meals, baked goods, kitchen utensils and more. The sisters have also published a recipe book, Fresh Kitchen Inspiration, and do six recipe sheets per annum to continue inspiring their followers in their own kitchens. Catering services are also offered, with the caveat of collection.
The sisters Clare and Fiona Ras have a dedicated foodie following. This deceptively simple café spearheaded the local veggie revolution and celebrated the humble pulse long before it was fashionable to do so. The vegetarian-friendly lunch buffet changes daily and usually includes a pie or quiche and hearty salads. A more recent addition to the café is the deli section, where customers can order from the ever-changing sandwich menu – think roasted pork belly with fennel and apple chutney and salad leaves, or parma ham, roasted aubergine, pesto and taleggio cheese on artisan bread; and there’s a cheese or meat board. The cakes and baked goods will silence any doubting thoughts about calorie consumption.
A succinct but thoughtfully compiled wine list that offers good quality options to appeal to most palates. All wines are offered by the glass. Fresh juices are also available and the coffees are outstanding.
A young team of waiters adeptly covers the floor, although a degree of self-service is required. Once you’ve been taken through the lunch dishes on the harvest table, help yourself and have your plate weighed. All other orders are placed at the counter and are then delivered with a genuine smile.
Ambience Happy huddles of diners gather on the verandah while those at inside tables are presided over by shelves of delicious deli goods. The café is awash in natural light and, with some rustic elements and homely touches, exudes a homely warmth.
If you enjoy the food, purchase one of the Sprigs cookbooks.
Why can’t all delicious food be so healthy? Sisters Clare and Fiona Ras have created menus that take in the best, freshest and (where possible) organic ingredients and created a lunchtime buffet that is as tempting as it is sinless. Think fantastic salads like beetroot, feta and rocket with pumpkin seeds, or pea, potato and fennel. Plus there are always warm vegetarian and meat options. The cheese and thyme bread and butter pudding is heavenly, and if the roast chilli sweet potato salad is not on, expect a riot. The sisters have also produced three acclaimed recipe books, so here’s a chance to taste their style.
A limited list includes some organics. The coffee here is a winner.
It’s pretty much self-service at the buffet, or you can order at the coffee bar. The sisters are always at hand to make sure everything flows smoothly.
Join the ladies of Kloof sipping cappies on the open front veranda. It’s a relaxed vibe.
With a superb deli, cooking classes and a variety of kitchen gadgets, Sprigs has it all. (FC, October 2011)
Had the weirdest experience here. I told the young man behind the counter that I was allergic to eggs and what did he have on the menu that would suit me. He suggested quiche and then said they made wonderful omelettes! Suggest they get rid of the young man behind the counter. Coffee and cheesecake was excellent though we didnt eat any meals here.
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Stores and Markets
This is a foodie institution run by the enigmatic Ras sisters. The deli section is a treasure trove and an array of Eastern ingredients shows their predilection for these cuisines. Baked goods include the likes of rusks and biscuits and whatever fresh cakes are available on the day. Pestos, homemade jams, olive oils, rubs and baking accessories adorn shelves and the fridge is filled with delicious heat-and-eat meals. Kitchen Aid, Cuisipro, Wüsthof, Mermaid, Zak! and Le Creuset ranges are kept and cooking demos are held regularly.
Smart shopper tip: Sprigs also offers a catering service (they prepare, you collect), which includes their obscenely popular cakes and tarts.