I thought it apt that as a follow up on my last post, where I tried out a recipe by Tina Bester, owner of Queen of Tarts, Cape Town, I should share with you my actual trip to the fascinating cake shop itself. Queen of Tarts is situated on 213 Lower Main Road, Observatory. For non-Capetonians, I'll share with you the best way to get there later. In any case, I decided to go explore Cape Town with my wife and finally tracked the shop down. It was a bit of a journey for us as we are new to the city and the shop does not have a massive sign outside advertising the shop. I only guessed we where there because of the street number and the sign of hearts, rather than tarts.
As we got there, I was a bit disappointed to see a big note outside saying "closed until 1230 due to a photo shoot" – we got there at 12 and as the shop is really situated in the middle of a residential/industrial area, I thought "now what ?" plus, the weather wasn't great either. However, due to perseverance and my desire to convince my wife that we had wasted a trip, I just walked up into the shop and asked if we could order something to eat and they said… "Yes!" The photo shoot had just finished so they were now open to the public. I took a quick look around and the shop might not seem like a wow, what a place, but it is homely and "comfy". It's the sort of place that has evolved organically, not pretentious with a strong focus on the food, which is what I really look for in a place to eat and drink. There's a front part with chairs and stools and of course a display of "tasty" cakes and you can walk through the inspiring very homey kitchen into a little courtyard, where you can sit to eat.
As a chocolate lover, my wife naturally went for the very chocolate tart, pictured above, whilst I with my experimental hat on, decided to taste the vanilla cup cakes with a meringue frosting (with a green marzipan on top). I'm guessing the meringue frosting was made with predominantly egg whites and sugar, given the texture of the icing. Can't wait to experiment on creating my own version….
I was tempted to try something else but had another appointment and so had to dash. On my way out, I got to meet the owner, Tina Bester, very quickly.
I must admit, Queen of Tarts is nowhere near the tourist trail and the best way to get there is definitely by car, so if you don't have a hire car (it's about 10 minutes drive from the centre of Cape Town) I advise you to take a taxi, spoil yourself with some freshly made lemonade, light lunch and of course a dessert. If you are really impressed, you can buy the new cookbook to take home and test the recipes. Until then, se more on their website, www.queenoftarts.co.za.