Friday, 14 November 2008
Picture stolen from here
Moemas is the hottest thing in the world of South African baked goods since... well, perhaps since the invention of the koeksister. It's a stylish patisserie in a zhooshy corner of Parktown North. The window is packed with enough good things to bring on a sugar rush: displays of creamy tartlets, eclairs, delicate little tarts topped with raspberries or mint leaves, and bowls of chocolate meringues artfully dusted with cocoa.
The high-ceilinged shop has a row of tables occupied by kugels in sunglasses, or old men with newspapers nibbling on slices of buttery goodness capped with streusel and icing sugar. The welcome is slightly distracted - I stood awkwardly for a couple of minutes while waiting staff impatiently brushed past me - and not helped by the rather odd layout of the shop: the widest counter you've ever seen, and displays so high that staff can be seen only occasionally skulking behind the plump salmon quiches and earthenware bowls of glistening hummus.
Disconcertingly, the counter is laid out with uncovered, unrefrigerated platters of savoury food. It looks beautiful, but I couldn't help thinking "sneeze-guard". And "flies". And no, half-a-dozen citronella candles dotted between the platters is no substitute for a cover; and that verdict is delivered with the full authority of someone who once held a Basic Food Handling Certificate from the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health. (I mean, that practically makes me into a doctor, doll...)
There are a couple of disappointing reviews online that infer that, in the past, the welcome at Moemas has been less than perfect for some customers. Service is polite but certainly brisk; and when I lay out R21 for a chocolate tart, I expect a smile and at least a bit of eye contact. However, the cakes are superb.
Shop 1 Parktown Quarter
Corner of 7th and 3rd Avenues
Telephone: (011) 788 7725