Last weekend I was lucky enough to be invited to a mainstay of Cape Town’s food culture in the heart of the southern suburbs. A bustling and rather charming little bakery and café combo, Martins in Diep River has been around for 34 years.
Originally established by Firmino Martins in 1970 as a small convenience store, this native Madeiran family has built it into one of Cape Towns most well loved local bakeries. They are one of the “early adopters” in this whole LCHF revolution happening in Cape Town and this sets them apart in the local food scene.
They have long since been ahead of the curve when it comes to producing gluten free products for their customers and they have done it again now having introduced Banting friendly options as far back as the end of 2013. Martins is not just a bakery, but a business with its finger on the pulse of modern trends, moving swiftly to position themselves as leaders in the new markets.
The Café Itself.
As I arrived there last week, for the first time in many years, I introduced myself to Teresa Martins, the current matriarch of the Martins business. She was all smiles, and so evidently proud of their work as she pointed out what I assume are the usual customer favourites.
Rosina (my girlfriend) and I took our seats at a table outside. By this time it was around 11:30am and I was beginning to feel the hole in my stomach growing as lunchtime was approaching.
The first thing I noticed was that they have an entirely seperate Banting/Paleo menu which is not something you see many places and is definitely a major draw card for the growing number of us LCHF adherents.
I was recommended the Banting burger (which I was really wanting to order anyway so was grateful when they recommended I try it) and Rosina ordered the Chorizo and Mushroom omelette. Both of these meals were delicious and well worth making a trip out for.
The burger was COVERED in cheese (this is an immediate WIN in my book) with a healthy topping of avocado and some sweet potato chips on the side. I’m a huge fan of chips, anyone who knows me will attest to this, and it has been one of the hardest things for me to give up since I have started Banting. So I was really looking forward to trying these sweet potato fries. When they arrived they were unfortunately a little bit soggy but still had that hot potato chip texture that I long for so all was swiftly forgiven.
When the meal was done Teresa herself brought me a slice of their incredibly more-ish Banting cheesecake (see below) as I had cunningly slipped it into one of my emails to her that the following day was my birthday. Yup, Sneaky me!
I have nothing but praise for this incredibly homely bakery with it’s wonderful smells and even more eye catching shelves, stocked to the ceiling with the most mouthwatering baked goods you could imagine.
I have only one word of caution for anyone who would make the trip out there : somehow you will leave having spent more money than you would have hoped to because everything there is just too good to pass up!
I ended up purchasing over R250 worth of Banting goodies (including my favourite: Carrot Cake!) just while I was trying to get out!
Recommended Purchase :
They have an absolutely incredible Bacon & Feta Loaf for sale which tastes like you’re eating a combination of bread and the most delicious quiche you’ve ever had. The recipe contains no flours of any kind and uses LOTS of eggs as the binding agent. Along with the eggs it is jam packed with bacon, feta, sunflower seeds, coconut oil, courgettes and so much more. Well worth the R75 price tag.