British architect Thomas Heatherwick’s restoration and reinterpretation of the old grain silo in Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront as the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (MOCAA) was always going to be a head-turner. From afar, its pillowy bubble-wrap façade is a striking contrast to the area’s industrialised silhouette and since its recent opening, it’s been drawing an appreciative audience as much for its soaring cathedral-like interiors as for the views of the surrounds, harbour and the imposing backdrop of Table Mountain.
Rather cleverly, Aleit Swanepoel – founder of the Aleit Group, the country’s leading wedding planner and, therefore, a man who understands a thing or two about making dramatic statements – has been tapped to capitalise on those views, the top floor given over for the new Zeitz Café.
Local design firm K/M2K has resisted the temptation to go off-script, cleaving, instead, to the building’s industrial origins through the use of hard surfaces like steel and polished concrete with lashings of timber for warmth.
Executive chef Christopher Law unfurls a menu of modern bistro-style dishes accented with modern African flavours. To wit – a Reuben sandwich filled with lightly smoked South African beef that’s spiked with kimchi, and seabass flavoured with fennel, saffron and orange.