Restaurant Of The Week: Orphanage, Cape Town

Before the name offends you, keep reading. This isn’t some wisecrack about the city’s homeless problem, or the spectacle that greets the Saturday morning after a big Friday night… rather, a nod to the historic orphanage that took in the orphans from the Spanish flu epidemic of 1918.

But enough history, the last two words of the name say just as much shares the wide streets in this upper corner of Cape Town.

Courtesy of Orphanage

Courtesy of Orphanage

This is no ordinary bar, but a “cocktail emporium” that revels in its over-the-top speakeasy feel that harks back to the swinging ‘20s. The waitresses are, without fail… ahem, not unattractive and the bartenders doff black bowler hats at punters lining up at the deep wooden bar where apothecary-style drawers hide the makings of their creative cocktail menu.

And what a menu. From the chamomile-infused Oliver’s Twist to the elderflower cordial of the Childcatcher there’s a deeply offbeat tone to the place, but one that will appeal to party-goers with a sense of both humour and style.

And nothing says style like a $200 bottle of whisky: bottle service is available if you’re settling in for the night, as are platters of tapas-style light bites. A small wine list and selection of craft beers are also on hand if you tire of the cocktails. Not that it’s likely, with over two-dozen to work your way through.

But you’ll need to be quick: it’s a small space, and the handful of tables gets snapped up early. Or, get organised and call ahead to reserve.

Oh, and one last note on the name: if you’re still feeling guilty, order the More Tea, Vicar? R15 from each cocktail goes to the modern-day children’s home that continues the good work. Cheers to that.

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