Scary stories from a lovely place
(Guest post written by Stephen Reid).
I love coffee. Before myself and Kim got engaged I stumbled upon a coffee shop franchise called Vida Cafe here in Johannesburg. This franchise has a few outlets in Johannesburg, and the one that I used to frequent is in Parktown north. At first Vida Cafe seemed like paradise for a humble coffee conoisseur like myself. It has slick Italian styled interior and a takeaway coffee shop with italian/portuguese theme. However after nearly 10 trips there I have vowed never to go again.
In my family we have a drink which we invented. I have borne a lot of ridicule for it in many offices and in my own home. Its called Silver Tea and consists of 1 part milk and 5 parts boiling water. Don’t ask (Ireland, the recession – the first one). My first problem with Vida Cafe is that it seems to have incorporated the same recipe into their cappuccino.
Their cappuccino is served in a giant mug consisting of precisely 1 part milk, 4 parts foam and 1 part coffee. This results in the most unpleasant of coffee drinking experience – whereby you tilt the mug far enough back to get to the coffee, whilst snorting 3 parts of pure foam with a pinch of hot chocolate, and then a scalding sensation of the liquid right at the bottom which has been insulated by all the foam. I have thought of suggesting they add Silver Tea to their funky pre-school ‘stick on the letters’ menu board but I’m not sure how to translate it into Italian.
So why draw attention to Vida’s crapuccino’s? Well because there are numerous great alternative coffee spots in the vicinity, like Service Station on the cnr of Rustenburg Rd and 9th St in Melville or Bean There in the Stanley Avenue Complex, near Auckland Park. But does the bad cappuccino, dirty floor and broken shop fittings dampen the hoards of Parktonians on their morning jog? No, much to my dismay it doesn’t.
For some reason in Joburg branding something mediterranean with some slick interior design is a recipe for success and we find ourselves swamped by Italian sounding restaurants. This practice has become so popular that it seems they all get their menu’s from the same supplier. A is for Arrabiata, B is for bacon and Avo pizza, C is for Cappuc… you get the picture.
Stay tuned for a Joburg restaurant that is really picking up their game.
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