Last Saturday I woke up to a cold and grey Cape Town. I grew up next to the sea, in the ocean and constantly on the beach – I have severe separation anxiety with the sun and therefore, I am prone to the winter blues. I like lying in the sun and doing nothing. I like warm summer evenings with friends. I even like being a little bit sun burnt now and then. There isn’t much I don’t like about summer and consequently there are few things I like about winter. If there is one – and only one – thing winter has going for itself is the snug coffee shops. Therefore, not all hope is lost – waking up to cloudy skies, a light drizzle and a grey Cape Town is okay if you have the dream and ambition to seek out the best coffee and pastries in town.
Jason’s Bakery situated on the attractively (or unattractively) hipster and emerging Bree Street in Cape Town. Who hasn’t heard of it? Notorious for their bacon croissants, which are truthfully just normal croissants filled with pieces of crisp bacon. If you want to get one on the weekend, forget about having that lazy Saturday lie in. The early bird gets the bacon croissant. As good as pastry and bacon put together may sound to some, I am more of a doughssant gal myself. Part doughnut, part croissant, all heaven. Jason’s Bakery has cheered my icy winter heart up. Because, even at the height of a low-carb pandemonium, they make sickenly crazydeliciousscrumptious-to-quit-the-bikini-diet-and-run for pastries. It’s the small things!
The Menu: To drink I went for a red cappuccino because I am truly South African and love rooibos more than caffeine induced anxiety attacks. It was good and gets a 5 out of 5 star rating. The group I was with ordered lattes and weren’t overwhelmed with joy. They all explained that the coffee was neither here nor there, just average and little too cold. 2 out of 5 stars. To eat we each ordered one hell of a 5 outta 5 star pastry. A Croissant Cupcake filled with Dark Chocolate, Peanut Butter and topped with a Toasted Vanilla Marshmallow. I’ll break this down one detail at a time. The Croissant Cupcake had crisp layers, a crumbly texture and was impeccably baked. The dark chocolate was good because chocolate is always good. There could have been more of the stuff, but there could have been more of this pastry in general throughout my entire life. The peanut butter filling was my favourite part. More of a peanut butter mousse, the sweet and salty combo had me at the first bite and kept me coming back for more and more. I inhaled this pastry in a couple of minutes. Lastly, the vanilla marshmallow was made for American campfire and s’mores dreams. Again, I wish there was more of this. Of everything.
The Vibe: I have read more than one review that the staff at Jason’s have been unfriendly and “too cool.” I didn’t sense this at all. We ordered our warm drinks and pastries with one of the nicest and friendliest barista ladies. I didn’t catch her name, but I wish I did. She took the time to describe all of the pastries available that morning and got super excited with us when she started explaining what exactly a cupcake croissant entails. She was great. The overall ambience was dark and snug – perfect for a wintery Saturday morning.
The Overall Consensus: Go to Jason’s Bakery. Right now. Run there. Not only to conquer the winter blues or to eat innovative pastries, muffins and bacon croissants. Go to enjoy the beauty that is Cape Town in winter, a warm drink with friends and free wifi when you don’t feel like talking to them. That’s all you really need in a dark and lonely winter – croissants, wifi, coffee and friends. In that order.