If you know Cape Town and know Capetonians, you know that when the rain comes down, we stay home. Something happened on a rainy Saturday in July that enticed quite a few of us to leave our homes. Something French. It was the media / family / customer launch of the Tour Through France menu at Societi Bistro.
In the beautiful city of Cape Town new restaurants open all the time. There are some aimed solely at the tourist market, a few that open with a flourish and close in despair. The restaurants that remain open season after season, year after year, are the ones that have dedicated owners, loyal staff and happy customers. Sounds like a simple formula, but it’s not.
Thankfully the good people from Societi Bistro have executed the formula very well over the years. The venue at 50 Orange Street (near another institution, The Labia Theatre) was packed with happy customers trying out the Tour Through France menu.
What struck me about the event was the feeling of family. Quite a few of the locals seem to view Societi as their own dining room, with The Snug, (possibly the most perfect place to enjoy a cigar, indoors, in Cape Town) as their private lounge. Societi is popular with the foodie crowd and I noticed a few of the regulars have dishes named after them. I’m aiming to have a whisky cocktail named after me…but I need to visit more often;)
The day wasn’t only about the menu – there was a competition on social media for two Woodbender chairs. Woodbender is another example of a business that has the longevity formula sorted out. They make great furniture, provide professional furniture and have happy, repeat, customers. The competition – snap a selfie in the chair, post the photo and the photos with the most likes, win. The winners were the owners of the @oitnb.tv and @tarryno accounts. Well done to them!
What I really enjoyed about the day (apart from the incredible food and wine) was the quality of the people behind the tables, serving wines. Often nowadays wine farms send out untrained and unenthusiastic people to present wines. Not that day. Every presenter was top-notch – probably because the wine farms hold Societi and its clientele in high regard. It is a sign of respect for the restaurant and customers.
Societi is a real gem of a restaurant and a standout in the crowded Cape Town scene. Go as a patron, leave as family.
Telephone number: 021 42 42 100.
50 Orange Street, Gardens, Cape Town, South Africa