I like to believe that I have explored Western Cape a decent amount – have laid my head amid a varying array of divine hospitality finds & gorged myself on suspenseful sensuous feasts – but it turns out that there is a world of secreted away eateries still hidden from me here.
After finishing a photoshoot recently, my friend decided we had to have lunch somewhere different. See, while I am a serial chronicler of foodie escapades I happen upon through leisure travel, she vlogs her culinary crawls even more than I do, and she’s never shy about sharing her discoveries, thank goodness!
A road trip through the expansive green vistas that reach out alongside the wine county’s highway, twists and turns through a more industrial part of Strand (a place that’s said to be more adventure town than it is a passable neighbourhood), and we arrived at a warehouse building that absolutely threw me.
Pajamas & Jam Eatery is a hardy establishment at its welcome, that then proceeds to give off the most genteel visage as soon as you enter.
I’m immediately hit with a bout of nostalgia for my time in New York’s Williamsburg and SoHo districts – known and endeared to brunch crowds, with eateries that have: scrumptious straightforward menu choices, pretty neat Pinterest (wanderlust) decor, and artisanal sensibilities.
Reclaimed & repurposed wood, metals, as well as sturdy ceramics, make up the bulk of the visible foundations fortifying Pajamas & Jam Eatery design and decor. Suspended dehydrated flower bouquets, and singular light fixtures decorate above, while leading display shelves filled with artisanal glass wares, vintage collectables (labelled “Pappa’s Vintage”), and timeless suitcases occupy a number of viewable spaces.
Hosts will seat you if you’re lucky enough to visit at an opportune time. I’m told the cortado-pouring eatery is quite popular with crowds both near and far, so goodluck with securing a sit-down dining opportunity without booking!
Past the winding queue of pastry and market shoppers waiting to pay for their purchases, you’ll be directed to a weathered table in the open-plan restaurant, and handed this eatery’s unequivocally unique, seasonal menu.
At Pajamas & Jam, the menu is ever-changing, and lets its visitors choose from an array of traditional and adventurous breakfast offerings (like Aioli creamed avo), and an Afternoon section divvied in two – why?
Well why not, when you offer everything from bowl foods to quesadillas?!
Foremost food critics point to their inventive sandwiches too, while other food lovers favour the rotis or poké bowls. Pajamas & Jam Eatery is not one-dimensional; opening up their diners food journey to savoury offerings like Aubergine, chickpea+date Tarts, and Shiitake+Goats Cheese Frittata.
I’m kind of a fan of the easy grace of the Pulled chicken + honey bacon wrap, filled with mozzarella, caramelised onions, honey glazed bacon and avo, and the Creamy chicken livers + mosbolletjies, served with: slow cooked tomatoes, a toasted mosbolletjie, and parmesan.
While the drink choices are plenty, including my favoured French Early Grey Tea, and freshly-pressed juices, I have not ventured deep enough in their options, to tell you much.
One thing I know many a visitor comes here for though, are the desserts.
By divine display and vast distraction, these beautifully presented temptations are strategically lined up in glass cases, near the start of the eatery to its centre.
You’ll probably give yourself a mental tongue-lashing if you don’t exit with atleast one De Nata, a Cardamom+White Chocolate bun, or the Salted Fudge Cheesecake.
My friend tells me that you’ll see the same faces greet and serve you – that Pajamas & Jam Eatery knows its regulars and what they’ll leave with, and warmly welcomes newbies to their fold.
I feel…enthused, that this place exists so far from the bustling metropolis of the City of Cape Town.
I spend a good lot of my time seeking out corner cafes, and restaurants lacking pretension, to sometimes settle into for the day – whether for people-watching, or catching up with blogging as a Digital Nomad. However, I never seem to find what I need of cafes and eateries (sustainable humble charm?) when I travel beyond my cityscape.
This eatery has revealed that they have the essential ingredients to appeal to those needing a place for: miscellaneous shopping, a catch-up with friends, a special celebration, a meeting place to make an impression, for families on their errand runs, and creatives wanting to work.
Its soundtrack is murmurs, and its look has the charming finish of an editorial draw, while its flavours meld sometimes humble peasant dishes with pleasant technical culinary expertise and powerful contemporary plating.
This is no small plate-only restaurant, nor does it have any raw-bar fare for edge.
Here at Pajamas & Jam, they’re much more about comfort cuisine taken up a notch. Quality local ingredients make it a bit more homespun, while the freshness of the tasty dishes tempt all manner of glutenous gluttons, carnivores, vegans, and the substitutes crowds too.
I’m almost 100% sure I will return to try the Winter slow roast pork, that is served on a buttery flatbread, with grilled aubergines, a cumin hummus, a red wine poached pear – and all this drizzled with a fresh herb oil.
How this places manages to be both low-key and high-key, is frankly a feat in my eyes. In a province seemingly teeming with food lovers chasing both tasty grub and trendy Instagrammable spots, I’m confused why I’ve not heard even a whisper of this amazing find, until now.
By my recommendation: Pajamas & Jam Eatery
This is not a place where the food will stop you where you sit. This is where food will dance with your taste buds, and keep pace with your best food memories.
Monday – Friday • 08:00 – 15:00
Saturday – Sunday • Closed
Public Holidays • Closed