Cape Town offers a wide variety of world-class eateries and restaurants. From those who are Michelin Star holders, to Instagrammable spots that offer amazing interiors and food, one is spoiled for choice.
Situated on Kloof Street, Italian-Inspired Eatery and Bar Club Kloof is the latest addition to the city and the inside will teleport you to Italy’s Amalfi Coast.
The food comes in simple and scrumptious small-plates which is perfect for sharing, and the interior is bold with crimson walls, big wall mirrors and cool artworks hang on the walls.
I visited there on a Tuesday night, and I enjoyed the fluffy mini pizzas and the cocktails are so good!
Founders of Club Kloof and Our Local Shayne Schutte and Michael Carter chat to GLAMOUR about their new Italian-ish restaurant and bar.
Let’s start at the beginning. Tell us about your life before restaurants and what led you to the industry.
Originally from Durban, Shayne paid his dues working his way up in kitchens around the country to become a private chef here and in Europe. Creative Director Michael studied in Cape Town and Milan before returning to Cape Town 15 years ago. Their shared love of food and eating with friends led to the opening of a small spot on Kloof Street named Our Local.
Although neither of us is Italian, a love of travel, Italy and the Mediterranean has influenced how we cook, entertain and eat.
Our Local is your much-loved spot on Kloof Street. What have you enjoyed about curating that space and how will it differ from your new venture?
Our Local happened organically. We started with a small offering of coffee and pastries in the corner of an antique store and nursery. From private dinners during lockdown it slowly grew in a really special environment.
With our new spot, Club Kloof, we started with a completely blank slate. The space had been destroyed by a fire in December 2021, and this gave us the opportunity to start from scratch and create what we felt was really missing in the Cape Town food scene.
Located in a fully restored heritage building on Kloof street, the restaurant is spread over 3 areas, allowing people to gravitate towards what suits them for that particular visit. Linger on the front stoop for morning coffees and pastries, lunch in the sun or afternoon drinks with a view of Kloof Street’s hustle and bustle.
As you enter the main dining area and bar, you’re taken back in time with bold scarlet hues, upholstered seating and crisp white table cloths, ready for aperitivos sipped over shared plates. Find the hidden bar in the back courtyard for Spritzes at small marble tables amid pops of yellow.
Club Kloof is Italian-ish but really, it’s more about the dishes you know and love, but with a hint of modern playfulness. What can diners expect from the menu?
We were inspired by the Italian food scene; its diversity from region to region, and how Italian food is eaten and enjoyed in and out of Italy. We focused on flavour and produce, and on celebrating Shayne’s unique combinations and layering of flavours. We brought in Motherdough and their 113 year old starter fransina to help us train and perfect our sourdough recipes and processes in our new small bakery, looking at Italian classics you’d find in the heart of Milan. The menu allows people to curate their dining experience vs having to commit to a single dish; who has time for food envy these days? From pizzettes with asparagus, lemon ricotta and mint, to a garlic confit bianco base with marinated tomato and bocconcini, to salads with woodfired beet, baby carrot, whipped feta and tomato dressing, or baby gem, parmesan and mint with a citrus dressing. Think plates of fillet and prawns, or a take on cannelloni with grilled zucchini-wrapped feta – the menu is a continuous experience.
We also have killer sweet stuff, fried specialities, and some good old-fashioned meatballs for when you want a classic.
Mmmm maybe the prawns with lemon and paprika... or our heirloom tomato and goat’s cheese salad with mint and white balsamic dressing; or our pork fennel stuffed arancini, or maybe the broccoli with caper and green olive salsa, or the anchovy and caper pizzette… or for the sweet tooth, our Maritozzo - a bun filled with mascarpone and sprinkled with pistachio praline.
Let’s talk about drinks, what’s on the menu?
From easy-drinking spritz to slow-sipping spirit-forward martinis to beer on tap, we aim to cater for whatever your palate desires. We also have a great wine list with about 30-ish wines.
In this era of social media-driven everything, interiors are essential to the success of a space. Tell us about your décor inspiration.
We knew from the beginning we wanted to be bold with something. We had travelled to London to see how Italian food was interpreted outside of Italy and loved the strong use of colour in interiors. David Hicks’ famous use of bold colour and mixing of antique and modern furnishings inspired our design direction. We brought in Tiziana Giardini, who grew up in Milan and is the go-to paint expert, to work with us on the inside spaces. We roped in friend and Creative Director Ilana Swanepoel to help springboard ideas and curate the space. Almost too much time was spent together staring at different colours on walls, layered in different ways and techniques until we finally all agreed – we’re going red, ish. From there, we added multiple mirrors to bounce the designs around the space.
Throw in some neon lighting to illuminate original pressed ceilings, white tablecloths for a classic feel, and the interior was done. We wanted to contrast the boldness of the interior with a very stark exterior, so we kept it completely white. The back courtyard is a burst of yellow, inspired by hidden streets in Italian seaside towns.
Best seat in the house?
The mirrors in the main dining room reflect different spaces, allowing for a voyeuristic feel. There is a spot where you get a partial view of what’s happening in the bar in a reflection - and it's great!
Oh, and we have a second floor that is coming soon. Ish! Watch this space.
Location: 84 Kloof Street
Opening Times: Tuesday – Sunday, 8am – late
Contact: 072 415 3752, [email protected]
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