UPDATE: As of April 2014, I am sad to report that Amamus Café is closed. Read about my new favorite croissant in Jozi.
I’m in a food rut. I used to enjoy food-shopping and cooking, but since I’ve been on my own I can’t be bothered. I love eating out, but I’m on a budget and lately I’ve been too lazy to leave Melville. And as much as I love my suburb, I’ve become slightly weary of the Melville dining scene. Don’t get me wrong: There are several Melville hangouts where I love to eat and drink coffee. But I need to expand my horizons. Jozi is full of quirky suburbs, each with its own set of quirky dining establishments. Time to start discovering them. When my friend told me about a café in nearby Parktown North that serves the best croissants in town, I insisted we go there, pronto. We went to Amamus Café Bakery the following weekend and I’m glad we did.
Instagram of Amamus Café Bakery on 4th Avenue, Parktown North. Amamus means “We Love” in Latin.
Good croissants (meaning croissants that are decedent without being greasy and soggy) are difficult to come by outside of Paris. Amamus has them, and the atmosphere at Amamus is the closest thing you’ll find in Jozi to a street-side Paris café (minus the arrogant waiters).
Croissant and coffee at Amamus.
Amamus also offers a full menu of Mediterranean-style fare, with a North African-Cape Malay twist. Fatima, the owner and chef of Amamus, comes from Cape Town.
After my croissant and coffee on Saturday, I couldn’t stop thinking about the rest of the menu. I was back with more friends on Wednesday afternoon.
Moroccan lamb and cous cous.
A Turkish-style tramezzini called the Magic Mushroom Boat.
Fatima has also designed an entire menu of gourmet burgers, which I have yet to try. I hear the pizzas are good, too. The prices are reasonable: If my memory serves, most items on the menu cost less than R70 ($8). I didn’t look carefully at all the prices but I know my mushroom boat was R45.
I don’t think there is wireless internet at Amamus. But if you like reading National Geographic (which I do), you can hang out there for hours and never get bored.
Entertainment corner at Amamus. The dog bowls are a nice touch.
Amamus is nothing fancy. It’s not trying to be something it’s not. It’s just nice. Nice food, nice ambiance, nice location, nice owner.
Fatima is the best thing about Amamus. She is an exceptionally lovely person with a fantastic sense of style.
For those who want to learn how to make the best croissants in Jozi, Fatima offers croissant-making and bread-baking classes. Call 078-011-3222 for more information.
I can’t be bothered, of course. I will just go to Amamus and pay R15 for a croissant and a free chat with Fatima.
Amamus is at No. 17, 4th Ave., Parktown North. It’s open for breakfast and lunch all week, and has extended hours for dinner on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.