The Crypt Jazz Restaurant - Cape Town, South Africa
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member denben
S 33° 55.491 E 018° 25.180
34H E 261471 N 6243177
Quick Description: The Crypt Jazz Restaurant is Cape Town’s newest venue for live Jazz. It is located below St. George’s Cathedral on Wale Street.
Location: Western Cape, South Africa
Date Posted: 1/24/2014 5:17:32 PM
Waymark Code: WMK0CE
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Team GPSaxophone
Views: 1

Long Description:

"When Dutch-born entrepreneur and pianist Derk Blaisse and local restaurateur Mario Thompson, the visionaries behind The Crypt Jazz Restaurant, were first introduced to the intimate chamber below St. George’s Cathedral as a potential venue for the new Cape Town eatery, it was as if by divine intervention.

“This building is steeped in heritage [the chapel was founded back in 1898], and jazz also has its own lengthy history,” explains Mario, who met Derk only six months prior to the spot’s April 2013 launch through the dean of the cathedral, a man who was intent on turning the cavernous crypt into a space that rang with life. “So, you get the same sense of nostalgia from the place as you do from the music.”

This fortuitous link, coupled with the fact that, as Derk points out, most performers learn to play their first instrument in a church context, made the historic setting a heavenly (almost preordained) match for the jazz club concept.

Not to mention, though not quite a religious experience, there is certainly something rather spiritual about the prospect of taking in soulful melodies performed by some of finest instrumentalists in SA and beyond amidst surroundings so rich in character and so layered with the aura of days gone by.

With respect for the original structure of the site (the heavy vaulted roof, original stone pillars and pointed arch windows, for instance), the two founders, who are backed by a team of lauded jazz performers and teachers, namely Mike Rossi, Wesley Rustin, Spencer Mbadu and Diane Rossi, have endeavoured to create a warm, sophisticated space that captures the ambience of renowned clubs in London and New York. Thus, sumptuous carpets and curtains, moody lighting, a swanky bar and a deep blue and red colour scheme have been added to transform the spot into an intimate venue ideal for easy listening.

Though, the centrepiece, of course, is the circular stage, a raised platform that rests before a collection of candlelit tables and regularly plays host to an ever-changing line-up of esteemed local and international ensembles (the programme can be viewed on the restaurant’s website).

“We are first and foremost a jazz bar,” exclaims Mario, “not a restaurant that happens to offer live music.”

Thus, the simple pared-down menu is there predominantly as a tasty accompaniment to the tunes (even the subheadings given to the different sections draw inspiration from musical terminology); though, this attempt to ‘un-glorify’ the eatery’s fusion fare doesn’t mean its offering isn’t full of flavour and integrity.

Guests can opt to snack on the tapas-style Medley of Tastes (an assortment of pâtés, dips and salsas paired with various breads); tuck into a selection of more serious starters, like a Grilled Spicy Prawn Skewer or Mini Quesadillas with Habanera Sauce; indulge in delicious mains, such as Hunter’s Chicken Stew or Grilled Hake with Spicy Herb and Lemon Butter; or complete a satisfying meal with decadent sweet options, like Pears Poached in Red Wine with Blue Cheese Gratin.

Speaking of wine, the restaurant’s bar claims a quality list of reds and whites, alongside two local MCCs and three authentic French Champagnes (Mumm Cuvee, Moët & Chandon and Veuve Clicquot)."

Opening Hours:
Tuesday to Saturday 17h00 – 24h00
Live Jazz with a cover charge of R55 (Students R30)
Tuesday to Thursday 19h00 to 22h00
Friday & Saturday 20h00 to 23h00
Closed on Sundays and Mondays

1 Wale Street
Cape Town Central 8000
South Africa

Sources: The Crypt website (visit link) and (visit link)
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Casper&Aero visited The Crypt Jazz Restaurant - Cape Town, South Africa 10/19/2014 Casper&Aero visited it