The hip little Goodwood Road shopping strip has come a long way in recent years. The cornerstone businesses here – the Art-Deco Capri Cinema, the pub and the fruit-and-veg guy – have been joined by a patisserie, a couple of coffee spots and even an African restaurant. Ginger’s is the pick of the crop, with laid-back retro vibes, happy staff and arty walls.
It’s easy to spot – just look for the beaut mural of neighbourhood types: the muso, the woman lying on the bench, the rambunctious kids… not that you’re gonna meet all of them inside, but it’s a portrait that nods to community spirit, and Ginger’s is in the thick of it.
As we push through the front door, the crowds are indeed thick, coming, going or waiting for takeaway coffees – we’re lucky to snare a table by the window. The hard surfaces around the room make it noisy, but the mood is inclusive and upbeat.
Staff seem a little stretched, dealing with a barrage of requests (but never losing their smiles), so we source our own menus from the end of the counter. Big, all-day breakfasts (omelettes, muffins, muesli and bacon-and-eggs) drift into lunchtime, where burgers make up half of the menu.
Then the table service kicks in, and it’s clear the place is well-run. Good thing we’re burger boffins: we zero-in on the house special (with smoked jalapeño aioli, tomato, lettuce, provolone cheese and a generous blob of sweet caramelised onion), and a salad from the specials board – a heaped bowl of grilled haloumi and eggplant with lettuce, chickpeas, beetroot and a few plops of rich tzatziki. The burger hits the mark, but the salad feels like something you might throw together from a fridge full of leftovers, embellished with a few back-of-the-cupboard tins. That being said, there’s plenty of it and it’s totally filling.
Meanwhile, the coffee is kickin’. Blackboard caffeine specials include Kenyan ‘Makwa’ and Dominican ‘Baharaona’, while fresh juices have their own mini-menu (try the excellent ‘Mellow Yellow’ with pineapple and ginger). It's a fitting choice considering the décor: '60s wallpaper, vinyl swivel chairs, a funky old TV, chunky vases filled with bodacious blooms, vintage tea-sets.