Get the best steamed bread and ulusu at African-themed Noble on Long in Cape Town
So it is Heritage Month and I am constantly looking for more African inspired restaurants that serve traditional African food or at least, a fusion of African and Western. Noble on Long is the sweet spot between the two.
The restaurant itself is very homey. A place I imagine I'd go to when I am homesick and in dire need of food that reminds me of home. However, it is also very modern, with African paintings on the wall and rich mahogany furniture. You feel ridiculously important because at some point, one of the owners will come up to you and chat for a bit; also making sure you are enjoying the food. It is situated right in front of a MyCiti bus station and has street parking in front of the restaurant as well.
With windows facing the Long Street hustle and bustle, if people watching is your thing then I'd suggest you sit right at the front of the restaurant, closest to the entrance. If, like me, you prefer to be 'hidden' in restaurants, then the tables closest to the bar should be great for you. Speaking of the bar, it is a welcoming space, with a female bartender and bar stools; perfect for when you're just going for drinks and not a meal, although I would suggest you don't leave without trying something from their gorgeous menu.
I was predictable and had ulusu: tripe, with a side of steamed bread and a veggie stir fry. One of the 4 (female) owners I was chatting to suggested a cocktail, which I ordered and didn't regret one bit. The tripe (ulusu) was peppered or curried. However it did not take away from the meat itself and the feeling of nostalgia took over after the first mouthful.
The steamed bread reminded me of my mother's bread; made on a paraffin heater on Sunday afternoons. To say that the food took me home is an understatement.
They have two chefs, a South African and a Nigerian chef. This not only means that you can get a mean Nigerian Jollof rice and maybe chin-chin, but also that they are truthful in saying they serve cuisine that connects people from different cultures and different walks of life. This was also very evident in the customers who walked in during the dinner.
The menu does not only stick to African cuisine, in fact, they have an impressive variation of meals. You can choose between risotto or ribs, springbok (subject to availability) and veggies or ribs and many more mouthwatering mains. Desserts include the South African firm favourite: Malva pudding and they also serve panna cotta.
The drinks are incredibly varied as well. Beer, wine, vodka and even whisky.. They also cater to people like myself, who love a great orange juice or even a cup of tea sometimes.
As mentioned before, you are bound to meet and chat to one of the owners at some point and this is a great touch to the service of the restaurant as a whole. They are very welcoming, the service is quick and very efficient. They feed off of your mood, if you are keen to chat, they will take a few minutes and talk to you but should you feel like not talking and just eating your food in peace, the same applies.
The experience was beautiful and the food was delicious. A bit more 'decor' on the tables would be nice; they did look quite bare and 'masculine'. An additional staff member or two would help a great deal, especially on busy nights. Other than that, the food was amazing and I will definitely be going again, and I won't eat the whole day in anticipation of the mouthwatering meals they have on offer.
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