Thumbs Up/ Thumbs Down: Thumbs Up
Price Range: Avg. Price R80 (R14 Breakfast is a hit!)
Type: From a light eating Cafe by day to a quality offering Restaurant by night
Crowd: 20’s – 30’s Tamboerskloof locals/ a little hipster – a little not!
Day Of the Week: Friday
Address: Kloof Nek Road, Tamboerskloof (At the intersection of doom)
Beleza is an awesome little spot, whether you are keen for a quick R14.00 breakfast on-the-go or a really impressive dinner, certainly of a higher quality than what you would get at most spots which are similarly priced.
From an identity point of view, Beleza is very unique in my opinion, in that it is fairly minimalist in its decor but at the same time does not feel sparse and cold. It seems to me that the ownership has not tried too hard to create the restaurant’s identity, but rather that the identity comes quite organically from those who frequent it, as well as the quite intelligent identifying of the likes and dislikes of these customers and tailoring the “Beleza” offering to suit, as the brand has evolved.
As an example, the Tamboerskloof crowd are renowned for being quite an arty/ media/ hipster/ refined type and so whether by chance or purpose I am not sure, but what you will find alongside you wherever you are positioned in the restaurant, is vintage clothing for sale. If you don’t see the linkages – I can unfortunately not help you. You will simply have to spend a day in the area to be able to see for yourself what I am referring too. Perhaps as a more defined vision of this crowd, peer across the road to The Power and the Glory and you will soon see what I mean.
From a food perspective, it appears to me as though their is quite a strong Portuguese influence in the menu. Having seen the owners in passing now and then, I could imagine this to be the case.
Whatever the reason, this has done wonders for the menu, as you will find a host of delicious meals including ingredients like prawns, chorico and prego steaks. I may have a little bias towards these ingredients, with a slight history for Portuguese cuisine. However, in my experience, few places who claim the Portuguese identity do a good job of turning these ingredients in to decent meals. Beleza I feel is certainly not one of these places and I would in fact encourage ordering an item such as the prawns to see what I mean.
My one gripe with Beleza is the sometimes non-existent service. This I should qualify is normally for the breakfast service, as the restaurant packs out with the younger crowd trying to recover from a heavy night out on the value-for-money R14.00 “Beleza” breakfast. It can obviously be frustrating but in their defence, this has not occurred to me when having been there for dinner.
As a final thought, I would say that Beleza’s strongest card is its great positioning in a very vibrant and populous area of Cape Town. If it can maintain its standards and continue to build the brand identity it has garnered, I see a very fruitful business life ahead for the ownership.