I was privileged enough to watch South African singing legend, PJ Powers live at Café Roux in Cape Town recently and at the end of her performance, PJ thanked Café Roux for considering and creating a venue that works well for musicians. And this, I believe is a huge part of why this new spot on Shortmarket street a success.

Café Roux (with its flagship venue in Noordhoek) has opened a sexy sister version in the city and the acoustics are great; guest artists are loving it and therefore customers are happy! Sitting in the 100-seater live music venue, the atmosphere is of respect for the artists and the sound resonates with clarity through the vibey venue. (A number of top musicians are lining up to play at this hotspot, so be sure to keep an eye on upcoming acts.)

However, it was not only the music that impressed me, the bistro–style food was delicious too! Vanessa Bisschop-Louw, together with husband Michael have their finger on every pulse (or should I say beat!)… Service is seamless, food is delicious and the atmosphere is warm and friendly (sharing is caring as guests are encouraged to share tables to maximise space which inadvertently adds to the cosy ambiance).

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I enjoyed the handmade pasta – a butternut ravioli with parmesan; burnt butter and sage, whilst my husband relished a crispy, thin base pizza topped with fresh ingredients. The menu is cleverly considered and concise. There’s something for everyone (even gluten free pizza bases) without being extensive – it’s perfect!


And dessert is simply Creamery ice cream served by the scoop – I chose the purple fig flavour and it was sensational.

Dinner is generally served between 6:30pm and 8:30pm and then servers are encouraged to simmer down to a low hum as the music takes over.

The drinks menu is right on trend with an artisan gin section – I enjoyed the ‘bloedlemoen’ which consisted of a handcrafted, local citrus-infused gin with Fitch & Leedes Indian Tonic, mint & fresh orange!

Café Roux is all about local, quality food, drink and entertainment in a warm atmosphere that makes you want to go back for more!

Long may the music play on at this stunning new spot – it’s just what the city centre needed!

Be sure to visit their website for the line-up of top live acts coming up at the city venue (or venture out to Noordhoek – the original farm-like venue – if you prefer!)


  • Café Roux Cape Town – 74 Shortmarket Street.
  • Phone – 061 339 4438

Blog post by: Bridget Gardiner

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