Between MG leather and Passions Gallery hidden in a secluded Corredor stands Karoo Kafe. Welcome to Karoo, the brainchild of Sanette Groenewald you also happens to be the chef. The name “karoo” comes from a South African word which applies to an area outside of Cape Town which Sanette describes as “semi – arid and unpretentious and where diamonds in the rough can also be found.” She adds with a smile, “that’s my vision for the restaurant: unpretentious, a diamond in the rough.” Walking into Karoo Kafe immediately all of my senses are enticed. African music plays, the drum beats beg me to move my feet. Scrumptious odors waft through the air dripping with exotic spices teasing to the palate. While waiting, I admire an interesting collection of ethnic art hanging on the walls.
Sanette Groenewald grew up on a win farm in Cape Town, South Africa. While there she attended Cape Tech where she studied Food Service Management. Upon finishing school she hitchhiked across Europe and Asia, all the while collecting ideas for her future dream. “What brought you to the Cape?”, I asked. “I came down to visit during Easter week seven years ago and fell in love with it” she responded. A smile grew on her lips as she described the beauty of the Cape and her love of nature. When not cooking she enjoys fishing in North Truro.
Sanette started out working at the Boatslip, then later at Chesters and for the past three years at the Dancing Lobster. “I’ve always had my eye on this location, I knew this spot had potential and I wanted to do something different,” she beamed. So here it is, Karoo Kafe. The restaurant offers a delicious combination of South African, Middle Eastern and Indian dishes. You can get anything from a falafel to curried beef pot pie to Bobotie (South African meet loaf). Their menu covers vegetarian to carnivore, and everyone can find something.
Sanette explains with her savvy accent how she really wanted to get back to the community as best she can and that meant through food and culture. “I got a tremendous amount of support while I was struggling to get my green card,” she said. Now the time has come to show her appreciation. She really wanted a place that was year-round where both local and tourist diners can come and have a good meal at a reasonable price free of attitude. Come check out Karoo Kafe, you won’t be disappointed.