No matter where you come from or what your background is, if you’re a man or woman, young or old, most of us appreciate the liberating feeling of throwing in a Yiddish word or two in our everyday convo’s, especially when we’re complaining about something. In fact the Yiddish word for complain or moan is quite satisfying to say, especially when gesticulating… kvetsh, go on try it… Then there’s another favourite, schlep, as in ‘what a mission, to schlep to Sea Point,’ (always said with an eye-roll).
And talking of Sea Point, otherwise known as Cape Town’s urban shtetl, the vibey seaside neighbourhood is where everyone from Rondebosch, Oranjezicht, Camps Bay, Kraaifontein, Salt River, Lagos and even Kinshasa lets their inner Yiddish bobba hang-out. The place to do this is at is Kleinsky’s, a quintessential Jewish-food deli that’s unlike the stereotypical Seinfeld kind with decaying vinyl counters, shmaltsik sweaty chefs and stale filter coffee, no, only the unbelievably stylish and equally hipster, as well as alter kaker-friendly, will do for this urban abode of neo-Yiddishe-cool.
For starters the decor is minimalist with a slick Scandi vibe; monochrome and wooden furnishings with brass accessories and lights and the very on trend terracotta pot plants filled with succulents lining the walls. The intricately designed bar counter made up of geometric timber tiles will have anyone worth their weight in back issues of Wallpaper Magazine, stand up and take notice. The walls of the deli act as a gallery for regular exhibitions of local artists’ work, all of which are for sale. And then there is the food…
It must be stated that, Kleinsky’s owners, brothers Adam and Joel Klein are adamant that the deli is more about Jewish culture and traditional food as opposed to dogma, so their offering is 100% NOT kosher. Having said that, it doesn’t make anything on the menu less authentic and aside from their daily freshly made bagels in various incarnations, as well as other soul-food favourites like chicken and matzo-ball soup, some other favourites include contemporary twists on classics like; Latke Ben (eggs benedict on traditional potato latkes) or Challah French Toast (Friday night’s left over sweet Challah bread with all the lashings of French Toast deliciousness) or the California bagel which looks like a traditional smoked salmon bagel but with a Japanese twist thanks to the Wasabi cream cheese, pickled ginger and soy dressing.
On the drinks side of things there’s the expected artisanal coffee, as well as freshly pressed juice, craft beer and wine. Oh, and before you ask for the bill from the cashier who’s laden with city-bowl hipster chutzpah, to leave on a sweet note, do yourself a favour and order a plate of blintzes to share… with the lemon infused cream and sugar-cinamon sprinkle it’s totally geshmak!
Parking in Sea Point’s Regent Road is tricky, so park across the road underground at the Piazza De Luz Centre.
Better yet, why not catch the My Citi Bus from town or Camps Bay, Number 108 or 109 stops right outside Kleinsky’s.
alter kaker- old geezer
latke- potato pancake
chutzpah- daring, audacious, ballsy
blintzes- thin, rolled blini