Finally Bloemfontein’s got its own über-cool breakfast and lunch spot that’s right up there with other cities’ neighbourhood cafés. Meet Jack & Jill Food Co.
Jill Nowers, co-owner and the one in charge in the kitchen, is cooking up a storm in town. Everything on the breakfast menu comes highly recommended: from the bird’s nest toast (toast pan-fried in butter with an egg in the centre, served with crispy bacon, cherry tomatoes and basil pesto) to the tres leches French toast (condensed, coconut and ideal milk French toast topped with artisanal quark, fresh raspberries, toasted coconut and honey). The quark, which is a popular soft cheese in central Europe, is made right here in central South Africa.
Also very impressive is Jill’s bunny chow with butter chicken, atjar and garlic yogurt. It’s the kind of dish that you dream of – and long for – the next day. The beef and red wine stew is delectable, served on creamy garlic samp and beans. A big thumbs up also for Jack & Jill’s wonderfully colourful salad with fried biltong, halloumi, fresh tomato salsa, peppers and garlic-balsamic vinaigrette. On the sweet side, there’s plenty to choose from. You can’t make a mistake with their homemade hummingbird cake with banana, pecan nut, pineapple and vanilla buttercream icing. It’s no wonder that this is where Bloem’s trendy crowd hangs out. Welcome to the Bloemfontein food scene, J & J. We do hope that you’re here to stay.
There’s no wine licence (yet), but you’re more than welcome to bring your own. Proper fresh coffee, supplied by a local coffee roaster, various ice teas and fresh fruit juices form the drinks offering.
This is (still) a small eatery and therefore low on waiting staff, but those who are there do a great job. It’s reassuring to see the ever-present owners greeting their clientele by name.
With its open kitchen, light warehouse feel and extremely funky décor (think small round tables with bright yellow feet, modern white bar stools, oryx skulls and black-painted antlers), Jack & Jill really ticks all the right boxes.
You might find it very hard to resist the beautifully made cupcakes.
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