Restaurant Design: Discover earthy tones and Saharan sunset hues at Boma on Bree

Time spent in the desert around open fires and the rich flavours of Africa inspired Boma on Bree, an urban oasis on Cape Town’s favourite city centre dining strip.

Walking into the slightly sunken bar area, guests are immediately immersed in a fusion of desert themes from across the globe – think earthy tones and Saharan sunset hues. Owner Reg Macdonald, head of restaurant group The Firm (responsible for local hot spots such as Harringtons and The Village Idiot), explained that the concept was born out of the love of sun, wide spaces, the enchantment of an open flame, a sense of storytelling, a passion for South African food and the comforting flavours we call home.

The wrap-around patio surrounding Bree makes Boma a sure choice as a summer outdoor cocktail spot to try their impressive cocktail list which gives firm favourites a cheeky twist – try Eugenes Stout Sours, a clever local take on a familiar stalwart. In winter, cosy up next to the wall-length fireplace in the elevated dining area. “The design was all done by myself, relying on my experiences venturing out into the deserts of South Africa, Kalahari, Karoo into Namibia, and also many trips to American deserts and national parks like Joshua Tree and Death Valley and Texas was all the inspiration,” explains Reg. “Everything was locally and custom-made by small business owners and craftsmen, nothing was store-bought.”



The desert theme is also accentuated by a live cactus garden that cleverly divides the dining and bar areas without cutting the space in half entirely. “Each Cactus, Quiver Tree, and succulent was sourced from the West Coast to the Karoo and specifically chosen,” Reg continues.

The food, speared by Head Chef Vusi Ndlovu and his partner Absie Pantshwa of Edge Africa, celebrates open-fire cooking and uniquely South African flavours – kicking pretension in the presentation to the curb, letting seasonal produce and flavour combinations speak for themselves. “As one of the premier chefs in Africa, Vusi and myself have worked tirelessly to bring together a very unique menu and dining experience,” says Reg. “When the kitchen closes at 11 pm large cocktail bar becomes the focus with craft cocktails and a great sound system playing an eclectic mix of music that we all grew up with.”

On the changing menu, you can currently expect gooey cheesy Comaté jaffles, lip-smacking chakalaka, smokey lamb ribs and crispy golden calamari. Each dish brings an element of char and open-flame ashy flavour to the plate without the formality of fine dining. Definitely a fire we’d like to sit around.

This article first appeared on VISI.

Images: Aaron Polikoff

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