Spasie Underground

CRUSH VISITS - February 2015

'…it feels almost as though you have stepped into the trendy, and yet inviting, loft apartment of a friend.'

Opening hours:

97 Church Street, Bo Kaap, Cape Town

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Julie Velosa visits…

‘Say yes to new adventures’ says the sign inside [Spasie] Underground, and this experience definitely has a bit of that magic…

We had some trouble finding the spot initially, but this is kind of the point – it’s a bit underground, hidden behind an industrial steel roller door, with no obvious signage. The delay in finding it admittedly was also due in part to my less-than-great map reading skills, and the fact that Church Street crosses the entire width of the CBD. In any event, finding the spot and racing to get there on time, gave the start to the evening a bit of an amazing race vibe… our reward when we arrived, though not a million bucks, was a delicious, punchy cocktail and on a very hot city evening it runs a close second…

We enjoyed our welcome drink in a reception room – the actual venue itself was kept under wraps until it was time to be seated. The Spasie room itself is minimally decorated – in the centre a long wooden table dominates and everyone is seated together. While the room would effectively be an industrial work area, it feels almost as though you have stepped into the trendy, and yet inviting, loft apartment of a friend. The lighting from vintage filament bulbs is soft and strings of Polaroid photographs hanging from the roof complete the feel.

The idea behind Spasie is an intimate dining venue with seats that are limited and only available by booking. The chef changes every few events and features local talent in the form of both private and restaurant chefs. It’s a space to creatively conjure up a menu without any rules… and the food does not disappoint.

As with all of these types of pop-up dinners, you will find yourself chatting to people from all over the city, each with their own reason for attending. As I have found, Cape Town is a village and invariably the gaps between the seven degrees of separation narrow and you’ll meet someone who knows someone, who knows someone. The atmosphere is convivial, with a shared appreciation for a menu that is fun, experimental and delicious.

Private chef, Hayley Weston, prepared the meal the night we attended and the menu was five courses of comfort food reimagined. The stand out dish for us was the ‘Soup and Sandwich’ course – a ‘toasted cheese sarmie’ with a delicious soup – herb gel, smoked tomato and truffle espuma and a tomato sorbet. Sorbet in my soup? Well, why ever not! The combination is surprisingly delicious. Following that were four more courses, each of which delighted.

Our evening at Spasie felt totally unpretentious and the team looking after us sincere and relaxed. We loved the decor and feel of the space, and enjoyed an evening of wonderful food and company. We look forward to seeing who else pops up to cook in this fun space!

Photography by Angelique Smith & STPhotography

Lovely decor, vibe & wonderful food