Croque monsieur at The Breakfast Room.
Croque monsieur at The Breakfast Room.

'Karibu’ to a great breakfast on the Point

By Staff Reporter Time of article published Apr 3, 2021

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The Breakfast Room

Where: 162 Mahatma Gandhi Road, Point

Open: Tuesday to Sunday 8am to 3pm

Call: 063 948 9227

Point Road is a mess. The roadworks are never ending and meander all over the road. There’s deep holes and earthmoving equipment all over the place and no one seems to know what all of the construction is for.

But there is a point to negotiating this massive obstacle course. And that is The Breakfast Room, a newly opened all-day breakfast spot in the old Point Police station (Ciao Bella premises). If you pop in this morning you will be able to visit the Durban Vintage Market which is in the old Point Jail behind it.

Parking is awkward, but it’s best to park in uShaka and walk the half a block. The first hour is free.

It’s a brave woman who starts a new venture in the middle of a pandemic, but Wanjiru Kinyua is that. Born in Kenya before her family emigrated to South Africa, the Silwood graduate had been looking to travel the continent and the world gaining experience in the kitchen. Instead the pandemic hit and she saw an opportunity in a corner café not rented out in an area that is changing and has huge potential. “It was a spontaneous thing,” she says.

The Breakfast Room has kept much of the clean-lined decor from the previous restaurant, livened up with a mural of silhouetted people dancing with banana leaves along the back wall. It’s quirky.

Her style is reflected in the simple menu that focuses on good ingredients and good cooking. You build your own breakfast with eggs, bacon, sausages, tomatoes, mushrooms, beans etc all available. So it can be as grand as you want to make it. There’s rolls with eggs and avo, and a full English or a full vegetarian, not forgetting some Benedicts. In February there was even a Valentine’s three-course breakfast special.

For those with a sweeter tooth, there’s pancakes, or buttermilk flapjacks, or French toast served with either bacon and syrup, berry coulis and sweet cream, or Nutella. And then there’s a range of toasted sandwiches on great sourdough bread.

I opted for the croque monsieur (R100) ‒ the traditional French café snack of a toasted cheese and ham sandwich topped with bechamel and garnished with a fried egg. It was delicious and a lot more than a snack. It was all the better for using a good quality white cheddar and top notch ham.

I had wanted to try a beignet for which The Breakfast Club is reputedly renowned. “A must,” a journalist friend had said. These are the French style deep fried choux pastry parcels, made famous by New Orleans and served dusted in powdered sugar. Served straight out the fryer, these are mouthwatering, but I couldn’t fit another morsel in. There is also a vegan option.

I did, however, enjoy the imported Kenyan coffee. Africa produces the best coffee beans, so I’d visit again for that. And coffee is served in beautiful hand-made ceramic cups glazed in shades of soft pinks, greys and blues. There are also ice-coffee options, including one with salted caramel.

Lunches are served from 11am and may include the likes of butter chicken or vegetable curry or chicken salad. The menu varies widely. And then there are the home baked cakes stacked under domes on the counter with, I’m told, salted caramel, mixed berry and chocolate being favourites.

With good food, good coffee and free wifi, the restaurant already has a local fan base.

“As we say in Kenya, karibu (welcome),” says Kinyua.

Food: 4

Service: 3

Ambience: 3 ½

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