Review: Famous bakes and bold flavours at Roast Café in Melrose Arch

A cappucino and red velvet cupcake at Roast Cafe. Photo supplied.

A cappucino and red velvet cupcake at Roast Cafe. Photo supplied.

An exciting addition to the Joburg nightlife is the recently opened Roast Café, presented by The Goliath Comedy Club. Not only has the comedy club got an ever-growing fan base, but the chic café has now developed a following of its own. Roast Café may be famous for the cannonut, the love child of a doughnut and a cannolo, but its honest menu and bold flavours are not to be missed.


For breakfast, try the individually prepared frittata topped with sweet-potato gratin along with exciting combinations such as mature cheddar and maple bacon or roasted heirloom tomato with spinach and feta. For a healthier option, enjoy homemade granola with yoghurt and fruit, or the hot power oats made with either soy or almond milk. I’ll be back for the brioche French toast with maple pancetta and camembert, which sounds positively sinful.

Delicious lunch on-the-go options like a Sicilian meatball sub or the panko-chicken sandwich with tonkatsu sauce will certainly hit the spot, and the veggie burger will make you forget you ever needed meat – made with a beetroot-and-sweet-potato rösti smothered in melted camembert in a brioche bun, it certainly makes for a good change to basic options generally offered to vegetarians. The Vietnamese chicken noodle salad is packed with flavours of Asia, including notes of ginger, honey and soy.

For more social eating, the small plates and boards selection is ideal for sharing with friends during a comedy show. Make up your own board with zucchini fries, jalapeño poppers, freshly baked focaccia and Italian cured meats and mezze accompaniments.

The cannonut at Roast Cafe

The famous cannonut at Roast Cafe. Photo supplied.

The desserts, cakes and pastries are the real treat at Roast Cafe, so make sure you leave space or take some home. The cannonut (the cannoli-doughnut love child) filled with a creamy Oreo centre or coconut cream is an absolute must, with a revelatory pillow-like centre and slightly crispy exterior. They also do a baklava cappuccino served in a clear glass with layers of baklava and mascarpone cream. If those don’t catch your attention, the large display table of freshly baked cakes and cupcakes certainly will.


A comprehensive range of coffees, blended frozen drinks and flavoured slushies like the rooibos and peach option will quench your thirst. Nutella and biscotti cappuccinos are interesting alternatives to the regular options, and well worth temporarily ditching the diet.


Management and staff of Roast Cafe are well versed on the menu and will ensure that you’re well looked after.

23 October 2015 Comedy team, Goliath and Goliath, launch Goliath & Goliath Comedy Club together with The Roast Cafe in Melrose Arch, Johannesburg. PICTURE LAUREN MULLIGAN

The Goliath Comedy Club team. Photo by Lauren Mulligan.


For a bit of people watching, grab a table on the tree-lined avenue of Melrose Arch or inside the cosy café. Partitions fold away to reveal the large comedy club behind the restaurant, and pictures of comedy legends adorn the walls in the mood-lit atmospheric space.


The Comedy Club’s official opening is this week, so make sure you get a ticket to enjoy some great food and good laugh.

Have you been to Roast Café in Melrose Arch? Write a review and we’ll pledge a meal for a hungry child through Stop Hunger Now SA.

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

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