Set in a beautiful Cape Dutch style building in Paarl’s Main Road, Tafel & Tap Bistro and Bakery brings a bit of the big city to the small Wineland’s community – offering a casual, laid back atmosphere complemented by an inspired bistro-style menu, speciality wines and cold craft beers on tap. The perfect destination for locals, day-trippers or visitors to the Cape, Tafel & Tap also includes an amazing bakery with the most delicious breads, muffins, bagels and pastries, all baked on the premises.
“The concept for Tafel & Tap is inspired by the beautiful building in which the restaurant is housed, as well as the strong Dutch heritage of the winelands where we are based,” says Erlank Erasmus, Tafel en Tap and Cape Wine Company’s Proprietor/Winemaker. “In the Netherlands, the term ‘tafel en tap’ (or ‘table and tap’ in English) refers to a no frills restaurant where you can expect a good bistro-style menu and cold beer on tap.”
Although the concept promises old favourites, Tafel & Tap takes it up a notch offering a selection of culinary delights that are comforting yet sophisticated – created with the locals and open-minded food and wine enthusiasts in mind.
“We want to offer our guests delicious, unexpected flavours without breaking too far away from classic bistro dishes,” says Truter, T&T Exec Chef. “I aimed to keep the menu simple and compact, with slightly unusual combinations, yet enough variety to appeal to everyone.”
The menu includes a variety of gourmet pizzas, pastas, sandwiches and salads, along with speciality tapas such as pan-fried halloumi skewers, prawn tempura and pork croquette, and to-die-for mains including pulled pork with grilled vegetables, ginger sauce, sweet potato and apple mash, and fried kale; Cape Malay chicken curry with spinach tzatziki, pineapple and tomato chutney and toasted nachos, as well as beef fillet tagliata with rocket, caramel root vegetables, sundried tomato coulis and grated parmesan. A not-to-be-missed favourite is Tafel & Tap’s take on the humble burger, which is served with onion confit, halloumi, grilled tomato and oreganum.
Tafel & Tap also has a separate brunch menu (served before 12 noon) which offers power breakfasts packed with superfoods like chia seeds, smoked trout, sautéed kale and haricot beans – ensuring that patrons are getting that “little bit extra”, to feed their body and soul.
“All of our ingredients are carefully sourced and change from time to time, depending on the seasonal offering,” adds Truter.
Along with the bistro and bakery, Tafel & Tap is the home of the Cape Wine Company, where tasting room manager, Natalie Visser offers tastings and in-depth knowledge of all of the Cape Wine Company’s brands including the Eramus Family, Home of Erasmus, The Nature Reserve, Fruit Wines and Juno, as well as low- and no- alcohol brands like Ega, McGarry’s and Little Tipsy. The restaurant also houses a fully licenced wine shop which stocks all of the Cape Wine Company brands as well as a range of quality wines from the region for patrons to take away.
“As a winemaker: wine is my passion, so a lot of the flavours on our menu have been specially crafted to work well with the wines on offer – but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy them without!” adds Erasmus.
As an attraction in Paarl, Tafel & Tap offers various weekly events and themed evenings. Every Thursday night the bistro presents live Jazz & Blues from 18h00, featuring local Paarl musicians Riaan Niewenhuis and Nico Erwee, and every Saturday night is Pizza Night, with a host of specials that change from week to week.