Twins Jamie and Jesse Friedberg made a name for themselves with Cape Town’s cool crowd in 2011 when they opened Skinny Legs & All, an inner-city café. They were only 21 at the time. The sisters sold the business to try their hand at movie-production catering, aiming to “elevate the food on set”. But four jobs in, it was declared a mismatch. The duo then private-cheffed for a German family for a while.
Now the Friedbergs are back: their new restaurant, Between Us, opened in Cape Town’s Bree Street in June, offering weekday and Saturday breakfast and lunch. From October, the bar is also open for craft beer and gin, small-batch wine labels and sophisticated snacks at night.
Kiaat tables service an older, stylish lunchtime clientèle of confident women and men wearing crisp white shirts and denim. I spotted a well-known artist-photographer and a big-name industrial designer among them.
Between Us has the freshness of youth, plus the polish of having grown up. “Our general approach to food is to make what we love,” says Jamie Friedberg. “When we started Skinny Legs it was baptism with fire. Now we know more what we’re about.”
The small lunch menu tempts with cauliflower velouté soup, a niçoise of yellow-fin tuna poached in olive oil and champagne vinegar, or oxtail ragu with homemade pappardelle.
Alternately, Jamie’s breakfast menu speciality is muddled eggs, soft-boiled and mashed with homemade aioli.
There are almond-milk smoothies and porridge bowls with various exotic toppings. Everything — from ingredients to bread rolls — is meticulously sourced or created in-house.
I recommend the moist, hot-smoked Norwegian salmon, on micro leaves in sesame seed vinaigrette, with pickled artichoke and a smear of salsa verde mayo.
Ditto the cavalo nero dish, a poached egg oozing over crispy and cooked-til-soft kale, on comforting black rice with warm bagna càuda anchovy flavours. A sparkling apricot and sumac spice “shrub” drink was refreshingly different.
The Friedbergs petitioned their landlord to modify the heritage building’s structure. The new dining space binds original Cape sandstone in white cement, against a terazzo floor. Jesse is on the floor. Jamie is the cook: concocter of creative salads and happy baker of scones. Visit Between Us for perky, flavourful food with a personal stamp.
- From the October 2018 edition of Wanted.