It's worth venturing out on a cold winter's night to eat at The Shop
Cape Town's iconic Buzbey Grill has been reinvented as The Shop, an owner-cheffed eatery serving up heart-warming bistro fare, writes Kit Heathcock
Taking over such a Cape Town icon as the Buzbey Grill in Sea Point can’t have been easy, but chefs Gabi and Kyle Knight have emerged from the transition period smiling and have evolved a fresh new identity as The Shop.
Continuing the tradition of a friendly owner-cheffed local eatery, The Shop embraces a contemporary ethos of responsibly-sourced ingredients, a frequently changing menu and everyday food cooked with love. It’s already attracting a new following as well as winning over many of the old regulars.
“It’s simple, honest, fuss-free food,” says Kyle. “It’s just Gabi and me in the kitchen, we play around with flavours and change the menu as we go.”
It’s simple, honest, fuss-free foodKyle Knight of The Shop
There’s an old-school French bistro feel to the interior, with only minor décor changes since Buzbey Grill days, but the chalkboard specials attest to the new energy: encompassing Jerusalem artichokes, butternut soup, springbok shank with mash, and carpenter (sustainable fish comes directly from the fishermen through the Abalobi programme).
Calamari and steak and chips still feature on the menu, but now the meat is free range and grass fed – Kyle and Gabi feeling strongly about quality and provenance.
Our starter of grilled Jerusalem artichokes was meltingly tender, lifted by the piquancy of fried capers and a lightly acidic buttermilk and brown butter dressing.
Next, beautifully light potato gnocchi revelled in a lively tomato and rosemary sauce, with mushroom chunks and crunchy fresh corn for textural contrast.
A glorious bouillabaisse was done the traditional way with reduced fish stock, the thick soup tasting of the ocean, with generous chunks of carpenter and calamari. This definitely was one to go back for often, a generous bowl would make a wonderful winter mid-week supper on its own.
The chicken schnitzel was another easy weeknight staple with mustard sauce and tiny crunchy brussels sprouts that completely changed our perception of this much-maligned vegetable.
Gabi’s desserts are homely comfort food at its best. We dug happily into the deep dark chocolate pot with condensed milk ice cream and tasted the retro rum and raisin parfait, both unpretentious and wonderfully indulgent.
Open evenings only for the winter months, The Shop is the perfect place for a heart-warming meal on a cold winter’s night.
This article was originally published in Sunday Times Neighbourhood, a must-read property and lifestyle guide. Visit yourneighbourhood.co.za