There are minimal trimmings and the mantra from conception until the official opening on December 1 has been “keep it simple”.
Even the name, “Food” is straightforward and unpretentious, but don’t be fooled by this eatery, because it has at least two personalities.
By day it’s a no-frills bistro called Food and in the evening the space is turned over and becomes The Venue, catering for high-end, private functions.
Two key figures are behind this unique food venue, embedded in one of the continent’s most contemporary art spaces - Aleit Group chief executive Hans Roosenschoon and chef Christopher Law.
Roosenschoon said that from the start they knew they wanted to create an accessible eatery that catered for different needs.
He added: “The hype was easy to buy into, but the pitch (to secure the management of the venue) was very difficult.
“They opened the process by saying the space was incredibly exclusive and unique. However, it needed to be accessible to every person on the continent.
“Five-star (status) was exclusive and we countered that by saying the only way to get around that was to have a daytime bistro that was still beautiful and iconic, but that made everyone feel welcome.”
At Food, during the day, you’ll be able to order a chicken caesar salad, traditional fish and chips, and smoked salmon and trout.
The food is reasonably priced so that no visitor to the museum would have to break the bank after their tour if he or she wanted to sit down and get a bite to eat.
This isn’t evident at first blush when you step out of the elevator on the sixth floor of the silo, because you’re confronted with the beautiful architecture that has become the signature of the building. The bulbous windows and even the small balcony space at the restaurant do give visitors that five-star feel.
Law said: “We have a standard menu, which is for the bistro, and then our specials will be forever changing.”
He considered the twist that they had put on the classic Reuben’s sandwich, which was a perfect example of the spirit of their menu.
“The Reuben’s sandwich was fun to do, because we do get a lot of European guests here and I thought that we’d take a look at the Reuben’s sandwich and then just work it over.
“We take our own brisket and then we braise it, roast it and smoke it ourselves,” he said.
Law added: “We use a very nice sourdough from a local bakery and then we do kimchi instead of sauerkraut.”
Food feels like a bistro that has just been born and in the very near future will be a bit more grown-up.
Right now it’s a perfect space to end your museum tour with a quick cup of coffee, a sandwich and a backdrop for a selfie that will instantly be posted on social media.
If the chef and managers so desire it, the space would be very easy to turn into a premium, if not five-star eatery that would attract food lovers with the same zeal that the museum space draws art lovers.
Zeitz Mocaa Food Level 6, Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (Mocaa) Silo district V&A Waterfront.
* For more info email, [email protected] or call 021 001 1022. Opening hours are Wednesday to Monday, from 10am to 5.30pm; closed on Tuesdays.