PERTH | Kalahari Wanneroo Cafe is a family owned cafe, offering an assortment of breakfast and lunch dishes, informed by the owners’ South African heritage. It’s a friendly space, the main counter in the centre surrounded by small and large tables, along with a retail section towards the back.
There are dishes on the menu that’ll be familiar to non-South Africans, like omelettes, salads, and toasties, many of which have a bit of a South African twist. There’s also straight up South African favourites that you likely haven’t seen before if you’re new to the cuisine.
A must try is the vetkoek (literally ‘fat cake’ in English), a traditional South African fried dough bread. It’s popular throughout the country, commonly served at take away cafes, hawkers, and roadside stalls.
Vetkoek is served hot, and enjoyed either plain or with assorted fillings. At Kalahari you can get several versions. These include, but aren’t limited to, traditional with beef mince, chutney, cheese, tomato and onion; lamb curry; peri peri chicken with lettuce, tomato, aioli, and cheese; and one filled with biltong, tomato, onion, cheese, chutney, and avocado.
I opted for the lamb curry version, which is brilliant. A beautifully spiced, rich, fragrant lamb curry with generous chunks of ‘fall apart in your mouth’ slow cooked lamb and potato. The bread, soft and fluffy inside and perfectly crispy on the outside, not at all oily.
Also delicious is the boerewors, pap, and sheba. Pap is a popular braai (BBQ) side, similar to polenta, served with a rich tomato relish (sheba). It goes great with the boerewors, the famed spiced South African sausage. You can also enjoy Kalahri’s boerewors in a variety of hot dogs.
If you want to spice up your food, there’s an assortment of varied heat level Brave-Fart chilli sauces. They’re spicy Portuguese chilli sauces made on site, inspired by the Maputo Peri sauce that the owner enjoyed eating on chips from a little cafe near where he grew up, close to the South Africa/Mozambique border.
There’s a great selection of coffees, espresso and filter, available with your choice of milk, along with a small selection of house made juices, smoothies, and milkshakes. If you’ve got a sweet tooth, check out the dessert cabinet. It’s filled with things like South African milk tart, peppermint crisp tart, and koeksister. The latter is a traditional Afrikaner confectionery made of fried dough infused in syrup or honey.
Before you leave, head over to the retail section at the back of the cafe, there you’ll find an assortment of South African groceries and cooking products, and bottles of Brave-Fart chilli sauce.
Kalahari Wanneroo Cafe
617 Wanneroo Road
Western Australia 6065
Mon – Fri: 9:00am to 5:00pm
Sat: 8:30am to 3:00pm