The Marmalade Cat is simply marvellous! A few years ago an overseas newspaper published an article on why ginger cats are the top cats for owners but tabbies are too temperamental.
Orange cats might be friendly and adorable according to University of California research but as far as restaurant ratings go TripAdvisor rates The Marmalade Cat as a top restaurant in Darling.
Other websites describe the restaurant as ‘unique’ and ‘trendy’ with ‘comfort food’, ‘generous portions’ and ‘great breakfasts. Also as ‘a good kind of different’ and ‘a real gem’. None of this has anything to do with feline – or any other – stereotyping. What it does is to give well-deserved credit to a great country bistro with indoor seating – look before you sit; there might be an orange cat a-snooze on your chair – and an enclosed courtyard.
The Marmalade Cat has an extensive menu with quirky pastel drawings of the resident moggie – it’s ginger so not aloof like white cats or mysterious like black cats, if research is to be believed – and a full page offering breakfast options from freshly baked croissants to gourmet omelettes as well as toasted ciabatta or tramezzini served with crispy potato wedges and salad.
The main menu makes it even harder to choose. After seriously contemplating the West Coast snoek fish cakes on fluffy mash and pork belly cooked with clove-scented oranges and cinnamon our table eventually settled on the gourmet pies – choose between lamb or chicken, leek, and mushrooms. These pies give a whole new meaning to homemade! We finished every morsel and went home to tell all and sundry about our meal.
The dessert list covers a full page – you’ll be tempted by baked cheesecake or carrot cake, a chocolate brownie with ice cream and lemon meringue or pecan nut pie. The Marmalade Cat has a lovely selection of local wines or you could try some of the local ale.
On their website The Marmalade Cat proclaims they stock ‘Necessities and Niceties’. It begs the question: Is your own (ginger) cat a necessity or merely a nicety?
What I did spot on the shelves of the gift shop – you can conveniently browse from your table – were leather fly swatters, tomato sauce dispensers such as those used at roadhouses in the sixties, wall clocks with images of aloes or a map of the world, cactus dryer buddies, a Sleepy Susi bike horn, mini food mixers, skipping ropes, finger tattoos and a magic frog that turns into a prince in 72 hours once you have added water to it. I kid you not!
If you are still in the mood for some retail therapy pop into The Cat Walk next door – they stock various clothing ranges and interior items.
Among humans being a ginger sometimes leaves one open for ridicule and a bit of discrimination – not so, when you’re a cat!
Thus, when next in Darling, remember … it’s not a peppermint pig, it’s not the Easter bunny, it’s not a sugar mouse … it’s an orange-hued feline … it’s The Marmalade Cat!
Find The Marmalade Cat in Darling on the West Coast Way Culture Route
Open: 7 Days a Week 08:00 – 14:30 | Dinner on Fridays only, by reservation only: 6h30 pm till late
Where: 19 Main Road, Darling
Contact: +27 (0)22 492 2515 | www.marmaladecat.co.za
Written by: Ilse Zietsman
I’m a freelance journalist – I love writing about travel, food, and people. Travel is my passion – I’ve traveled to 44 countries and I’m always planning my next trip.
I have a curious mind, I love learning new things and doing something different. And yes, I confess, I listen to Boney M over Christmas.
West Coast Way is South Africa’s road trip with the most twists. South Africans and visitors can explore a unique collection of themed routes to do adventure-filled Cape West Coast self-drive trips or a West Coast Holiday. The new West Coast Way “basket” of free routes on offer include the West Coast Way Scenic Route, the West Coast Way Berg Route, the West Coast Way Foodie Route, the West Coast Way Cultural Route – as well as the newly launched West Coast Way Wild Route, all of which are designed to showcase the many attractions and activities that are already on offer on the Cape West Coast and inland areas – but may be unknown to many. For more information on West Coast Way’s #WestCoastTwist and the list of 101 Things to Do on the West Coast visit www.westcoastway.co.za or call West Coast Way on 0861 321 777. Connect with West Coast Way on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter at WestCoastWaySA.