Fynkos Tea Room at Kirstenbosch

Fynkos Kirstenbosch Tea Room at Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens, Cape Town

This is my second visit to Fynkos this month since my talented wife, Ann Jorsh Rabinowitz’s art features in the art exhibition running at Kirstenbosch until the end of July. My experience with tea rooms at national monuments and places of interest has always been that they were overpriced and sub standard just because they have a captive audience, but thankfully Fynkos is definitely not one of those! I’ve had a great meal there twice now.

The staff are brilliant and very friendly. The food is good, and the menu is diverse enough to cause newcomers a little menxiety (the feeling of anxiety you get when you’ve looked through the menu twice and you can’t decide what to order but you get the feeling everyone else at the table knows what they want which causes even more anxiety and possible brain freeze so you order the first thing closest to where your finger is pointing and you end up wondering why you did that for the next four hours, and also wishing that it was in fact possible to re-eat lunch).

Portions are generous, and everything we’ve ordered there, even the humble I-can’t-make-up-my-mind-so-I’ll-just-go-with-the toasted chicken mayo sarmie is delicious.

It’s pricey, can’t disguise that, but excellent food.

You can take a picnic and stretch out on the grass, so f course, but I’m a little too mature to find lugging blankets, cooler boxes and bags full of food to a perfect spot under a perfect tree a relaxing endeavor. Plus I don’t like sharing my food with the ants, the bees and the Cape Starlings. Then there’s the (dis)comfort factor of eating a meal with your ankles wrapped awkwardly around one another while your lower back cries words of agony that not even Lewis Capaldi or Alanis Morrisette could conceive. And then there’s the packing up and lugging everything back to the car again afterwards. And don’t forget you still have to precede all that with a visit to the shops (usually Woolies because they have a picnic selection) where you spend a small fortune buying food you don’t normally eat because you’re planning on eating at a place you don’t normally go to so you can sit in positions your body wasn’t designed for.

Fynkos has a hella wide menu to appeal to literally anyone from the lettuce conscious to the menu-neutral to the conne-serious. Plus you don’t have to do all that pre-picnic shopping and lugging.

One thing I did love about Fynkos is the sign at the door saying this place is a no-tech zone – no cell phones or laptops, please. I wish every restaurant would have this at their door. Few things annoy me more than some idiot watching videos on their phone with the speaker on instead of using headphones, or when people raise their voice to have a conversation over the phone so that the rest of the restaurant can’t hear themselves chew the crostini. My gosh how did we end up here, I was talking about the great food at Fynkos…

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