Café Extrablatt, which is situated near the top of Somerset Rd in Green Point, had the bru’s visiting it on yet another Thursday night. On arrival, we were disappointed to see that we were one of only two tables seated in the restaurant. We didn’t let that disappointment get in the way of good banter, however.
We soon began playing the memory game in recalling exactly what had transpired at one of the brus’ engagement party the weekend before. Our collective memories of that night helped to piece together what Jose Cuervo had, until that point, erased. By this stage we had already ordered our first beers of the night from our friendly waiter. We all went with CBC’s as this was predominantly what was on offer on tap, no surprise given that the restaurant has a great relationship with CBC. Café Extrablatt also offers, on their menu, a “Guest Tap” which is a seasonal beer offered by CBC and which changes through the course of the year (hence it being labelled a seasonal beer, duh – I literally just figured that out now!) One of the bru’s ordered this “Guest Tap” beer (which was a dark lager), whilst the rest of us went with the normal lager. We were soon extremely peckish and began perusing the menu for starters to order. At this point the other table in the restaurant had left and we were alone in the restaurant whilst a sprinkling of people were seated at the bar. A number of people kept arriving through the night but kept disappearing upstairs – more on that later. For starters we chose their Mix of Spring Rolls (two each of chicken, beef, and vegetable, served with two Pizza Rolls and sweet chilli sauce) and a portion of, you guessed it, Jalapeno Poppers (six poppers served with two Pizza Rolls and sour cream). What are Pizza Rolls, you might be asking? They are small rolls with a hint of a Margarita mix (cheese, tomato, and dried herbs) baked onto the bun. The starters swiftly arrived and our initial thoughts were that the portion sizes were massive! The spring rolls were, easily, twice the size of what one normally receives at restaurants (and there were six of these) – and there was still the two buns with it. The poppers, although being normal in size in comparison to what one normally receives at restaurants, were six in a portion (which is quite a bit more than the standard 3-4 one expects) and had two pizza buns additionally.
Once we were over our initial shock, it was down to the serious part of eating. The poppers were delicious and were not over-filled which is handy when one prefers the filling not to fall onto ones lap when eating. There was great heat in the pepper but the heat didn’t linger for too long. As for the spring rolls, they were incredible! The crust was perfectly crisp and the centres were generously filled whilst packing incredible flavours. These were definitely the standout of the starters. We all attempted to eat the Pizza Rolls but could each only manage a bite, or so. There was just so much food, as far as starters go, and we still had the burgers to come. We all felt that the Pizza Rolls were not necessary. The portion sizes are big enough on their own (indeed, VERY BIG on their own) and does not warrant needing anything additionally. For the customer, the Pizza Rolls may add to the value-for-money aspect but, if truth be told, they really don’t add much else to the dishes at all – my opinion. We ordered another round of drinks while our plates were being cleared (this time an entire round of lagers) and were surprised to see two men enter on their way to what must have been a fancy dress party – they certainly looked the part as they were fully kitted out as cyclists. Great effort for a Thursday, chaps! Then confusion set in as they were joined for dinner by another six people, also dressed up as cyclists. Was it, perhaps, a Tour de France finale party? Surely not as the race had ended the previous Sunday already. A bout of eavesdropping soon confirmed that we had been wrong all along. It turned out that they were REAL cyclists and were out for an ACTUAL ride when they stopped for a meal. After 9pm on a winters night….completely normal, of course!…?
Now, onto burgers! An extremely clever offering is that one is able to choose any of the burger options to be served with either a Beef, Chicken, Crunchy (pine nuts, oats, walnuts, soya sauce, baby marrow, tomato sauce spices), or Broccoli patty (chick peas, goji berries, pine nuts, broccoli, carrots, chick pea flour, fresh ginger, garlic, mild curry and spices). We all chose beef patties when choosing The Germanizer (Mustard mayo, tomato, lettuce, onion, sauerkraut, bacon, gherkin) and the Biltong & Brie Burger, ordered by two of the other bru’s, while the third bru and I would share our choices of the Bacon Burger (topped with crispy bacon and a cheese slice) and the Feta, Peppadew and Avo Burger. With the sides, again we were impressed with the choices offered. Not only can one choose sweet potato fries (which the other two bru’s went for) or regular potato chips (which the third bru and I went for) but you can choose the potato ones cut thick (which we chose) or cut as thin fries. The burgers soon arrived and, again, the first thing that struck us was the size of the portions.
They were very large which we felt would be a struggle to get through after the starters and beers had already been consumed. The burgers were, in a word, superb, and in another word, delicious. The patty was tender and tasty whilst the toppings were flavourful and fully complimented the patty. The bru who had The Germanizer thought that the toppings, although far from conventional for a burger, worked very well together and that the sweet potato fries which he ordered worked a treat in combination. The sweet potato fries had a sweet, cinnamon flavour which was akin to a pumpkin fritter. The other bru who ordered these was not enamoured with them at all and he rather wished he had ordered potato ones, which were perfectly cooked and delicious. We all agreed that the burgers were incredible, definitely worthy of our invisible Burger Brews stamp of excellence.
The entire restaurant is rather large when you take into account that there is an upstairs area which is virtually the same size as the downstairs. This upstairs space acts as their smoking area, as well as a space that the restaurant rents out for functions. It is a popular space, as evidenced by the fact that there were a fair amount of people seated there when we popped our heads up.
Café Extrablatt is a restaurant that I feel really goes all out to cater for its customers. The menu choices, which has something for any taste, is indicative of a place that truly cares for and wants diners to be happy. Even the small things, such as being able to order thick or thin fries, speaks volumes to customers.
Overall, apart from the lack of buzz on the night, not much to fault from our experience. If great value for money, delicious spring rolls, poppers and burgers, good beer, great service, friendly management, great surroundings, (oh, and did I mention the delicious food?) is what you are after then give Café Extrablatt a try!
Beginnings – Great variety on offer with the execution and portion sizes really impressing us! Could’ve done without the Pizza Rolls, though. 4.5
Burgers – Again, very good variety on offer. Nice that one can customise the choice down to how thick the chips are cut. Great execution of flavours, although the one bru didn’t enjoy the sweet potato fries very much. 4.5
Beers – If you enjoy CBC then this is your place! Besides these on tap, along with imported Paulaner, other craft beers are available in bottles only. 4
Bringers – Very good, friendly service throughout, blighted only by the initially slow service when serving us that all-important first beer of the night. 4
Background – Very quiet when we were there, but definitely a place that has its own core of regulars. When busy it must have an incredible atmosphere, however we can only give this rating based on our experience on the night. 2