Travel and a bit of shopping
First published on http://www.westcoastway.co.za
A few years ago an overseas newspaper published an article on why ginger cats are the top cats for owners but tabbies are too temperamental.
Orange cats might be friendly and adorable according to University of California research but as far as restaurant ratings go TripAdvisor rates The Marmalade Cat as top restaurant in Darling.
Other websites describe the restaurant as ‘unique’ and ‘trendy’ with ‘comfort food’, ‘generous portions’ and ‘great breakfasts. Also as ‘a good kind of different’ and ‘a real gem’. None of this has anything to do with feline – or any other – stereotyping. What it does is to give well-deserved credit to a great country bistro with indoor seating – look before you sit; there might be an orange cat a-snooze on your chair – and an enclosed courtyard.
The Marmalade Cat has an extensive menu with quirky pastel drawings of the resident moggie – it’s ginger so not aloof like white cats or mysterious like black cats, if research is to be believed – and a full page offering breakfast options from freshly baked croissants to gourmet omelettes as well as toasted ciabatta or tramezzini served with crispy potato wedges and salad.
The main menu makes it even harder to choose. After seriously contemplating the West Coast snoek fish cakes on fluffy mash and pork belly cooked with clove-scented oranges and cinnamon our table eventually settled on the gourmet pies – choose between lamb or chicken, leek and mushrooms. These pies give a whole new meaning to homemade! We finished every morsel and went home to tell all and sundry about our meal.
The dessert list covers a full page – you’ll be tempted by baked cheese cake or carrot cake, a chocolate brownie with ice cream and lemon meringue or pecan nut pie. The Marmalade Cat has a lovely selection of local wines or you could try some of the local ale.
On their website The Marmalade Cat proclaims they stock ‘Necessities and Niceties’. It begs the question: Is your own (ginger) cat a necessity or merely a nicety?
What I did spot on the shelves of the gift shop – you can conveniently browse from your table – were leather fly swatters, tomato sauce dispensers such as those used at roadhouses in the sixties, wall clocks with images of aloes or a map of the world, cactus dryer buddies, a Sleepy Susi bike horn, mini food mixers, skipping ropes, finger tattoos and a magic frog that turns into a prince in 72 hours once you have added water to it. I kid you not!
If you are still in the mood for some retail therapy pop in to The Cat Walk next door – they stock various clothing ranges and interior items.
Among humans being a ginger sometimes leaves one open for ridicule and a bit of discrimination – not so, when you’re a cat!
Thus, when next in Darling, remember … it’s not a peppermint pig, it’s not the Easter bunny, it’s not a sugar mouse … it’s an orange-hued feline … it’s The Marmalade Cat!
The Marmalade Cat, 19 Main Street, Darling
Open 7 days a week for breakfast and lunch: 8 am to 4h30 pm
Dinner on Fridays only, by reservation only: 6h30 pm till late
Contact details: 022 4922515