In light of my recent post on how to make labneh from homemade yogurt, I want to also share some local inspiration for enjoying Middle Eastern food. I have mentioned this little gem of a deli in Sea Point before, but I’d like to elaborate, as my adoration for this place just keeps growing. Sababa is hands down my new favourite local deli/bakery. Owned by two Israeli sisters, Sababa (which means “great” or “awesome” in Hebrew) is conveniently located in the Piazza St. John and I just love what comes out of their magical little kitchen. Every time I try something new there, I get hooked. So be forewarned: you may develop a new addiction. Hopefully it’s to one of their healthy lunches rather than the baked goods….
I first spotted Sababa while cutting through the parking area upstairs in the Piazza. The dazzling display of desserts made its way into my peripheral vision and next thing you know I was biting into the most delectable dark and white chocolate brownie (R20). I’ve since tried some of the fresh salads (R40 for your choice of 3) and they serve the most beautiful assorted savoury hand pies, called Borekas, filled with spinach, potato and cheese and coated in lovely, white sesame seeds.
Whether you’re vegetarian or not, there is something delightful waiting for you. Their main dishes include aubergine and ricotta lasagna, lamb and lentil biriyani (a spiced rice dish), sticky plum chicken, falafels, and a variety of other stewed meats and curries (Lunch Box is R50-65 for your choice of main with 3 salads). They also serve daily soups and gorgeous quiches. The spinach, mushroom and caramelized onion bake looks fantastic (I will be trying that next).
For the sweet tooth, you’ll have to choose between date balls rolled in snowy-white coconut, massive cream-coloured meringues, almond & orange florentines, cheesecake cupcakes, and my favourite (after the brownie), frangipane cherry tart. So good luck with your self discipline. The passionfruit and maple pannacotta is starting to haunt me.
Finally, I should mention their hummus is fantastic. The price is a bit steep for a small container (R35), but it’s perfect: rich, creamy and topped with olive oil and za’atar (a mix of Middle Eastern herbs that I can’t seem to find anywhere else in South Africa, although Woolworths claims to be importing it soon).
So check it out! Sababa in Sea Point is open for lunch Monday to Friday 9am-530pm and Saturdays 9am-2pm. It’s a small shop with take-away only but they have another location on Bree Street with tables. They also do catering.