Chefs Warehouse & Canteen in Bree Street has long been one of my favourite Cape Town restaurants. It serves dependably excellent, creative and interesting food. And yet I’ve always felt a tad conflicted about the place. Its no-reservations policy, for starters, makes it difficult to get a table – a situation hardly soothed by interacting with the front-of-house manager. Deploying all the grace and charm of a Rottweiler guarding her food bowl, she gloats as she turns you away, giving you the sense that she’s doing you a huge favour by putting you on the waiting list. The unembellished interior — one-part canteen, one-part kitchenware store — certainly wouldn’t win any design awards But that’s fine: you come here for the food. Stools arrayed along communal tables means you’re bound to be cramped and uncomfortable for the duration of the meal. It’s certainly not a set-up that encourages you to linger – and perhaps that’s the point: after you head off, those milling by the door (or at t...

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