District SixA year ago you couldn't get into District 6 without booking. Now it seems to be falling from favour as the restaurants in nearby Greenside enjoy a seasonal revival.
But when you’re looking for something different, consistently tasty and always welcoming, District Six is as friendlier than your family home.
That’s the atmosphere its impish owner Grace Fourie inculcates, giving her regular visitors a hug as they arrive and hiring chirpy waitresses who joke with the diners.
The menu is limited to about a dozen Cape Malay classics like smoorsnoek, bobotie, green bean bredie and lamb curry, with desserts including melktert and koeksisters. The main dishes kick off at around R90. I lost the bill on the way home, but it came to about R600 for four of us, for a main course each and a shared dessert. That’s not including wine because it’s still unlicensed, so bring your own.
District Six is a small restaurant with room for about 50 people, and pavement dining for summer evenings. The walls are painted bright pink and decorated with family photos, a Cape Carnival costume and minstrel hats. The lively look continues with red chairs and pink tablecloths and a mishmash or crockery suitable for the time and place it’s trying to recreate.
Normally we begin by sharing the exotic table salad, which comes with lots of interesting bits like mango as well as fabulous meat and vegetable samosas. But we usually devour the salad then struggle to finish our main courses, so this time we dived straight into the main event.
I went for bobotie, which was moist and delicious, and the generous portion was served with a selection of fried vegetables. Two large bowls of rice also arrived, and we asked for puri breads too, which were hot and delicious and probably each contained enough calories to fend off the harshest Cape Town gale.
A friend’s prawn curry delivered quite a kick, the lamb bredie disappeared before I had a chance to sneak a sample, and the fourth dish, oxtail, was declared hearty and filling.
A selection of sambals included a spicy sweetcorn and pineapple mix and a beetroot salad that pepped up the rice beautifully.
After time to appreciate the warm glow generated by our meals we shared a malva pudding, which came with lashings of custard and four spoons.
It was a jolly evening as ever, and Grace gave us all a hug when we left.
* District Six is on the corner of Greenhill and Barry Hertzog, Emmarentia. Tel: 011-4867226. Open for lunches and dinners, closed on Monday.