Tucked inside the premises of Notwane Tennis Court, lies the recently-opened Lifestyle Café, which is proving to be a hit among a diverse group of customers looking for food with a different touch.
Owned by husband and wife, Lebogang and Thato Tlape, the duo is intent on changing the way the food industry operates. On Friday afternoon, Style visited the vibrant couple and from the minute that the team walked through the doors of the Café, they were made to feel right at home. This atmosphere says the couple is one of the reasons that some of their now loyal customers keep walking through their doors.
Lifestyle Café specialises in an array of dishes ideally suited for breakfast, lunch and supper. Besides their show-stopper menu which changes every week in order to break monotony, customers can also look forward to feasting on an ala carte offering. One of the brains behind the dishes that keep calling back their customers is Thato, who has a qualification in the hospitality industry. And from the minute that they brought this dream into a reality, their only wish was to take their customers on a culinary journey.
Having previously worked, the couple admits that they often ran out of options on what to eat, hence they came up with this Café that seeks to offer customers with something different to what is available in the market. “The idea behind the café is that we want to take our customers around the world through our dishes that range from Italian, Indian as well as Botswana inspired dishes,” she says. Favourites on the menu include Beef Curry with coconut oil, Oxtail and Dumplings, as well as lasagne. Tlape explains that they have one of the best tasting steaks in town. The team had the opportunity to sample two dishes. A Steak with Macaroni and Cheese and a Green Salad for this reporter and Grilled Chicken and Rice with gravy to die for, for the Photographer.
And you need to just go there and sample this wonder steak, well cooked and marinated, the steak just melts in your mouth, and if this was not a restaurant and one was in the comfort of one’s house, one would be tempted to ask for a second helping.
This reporter also took a bite or two from the other offering, and can only sing praises for the gravy. Trust us when we say that this is the sort of gravy that is ideal for an evening or afternoon with friends with a few cuts of meat on the braai stand and will go well with some meat and with pap and salads.
“Batswana love beef, and we had to come up with different ways of cooking the beef. When it comes to our steaks, we can grill it, can make a French dish or we can braai it,” she says.
She adds that they have tried to make lunch affordable for people who don’t have the liberty to go home and grab a bite to eat. Lunch costs as little as P45 and breakfast ranges from P18-P65 for an omelette. Every day, they post menus on their Facebook page, and also do a lot of direct marketing, and also rely on word of mouth. “We also do bulk sms for our regular customers,” she says. One of the things that set them apart from others is the fact that presentation is everything for them, and they also have some creations that push the boundaries when it comes to culinary delights. Take for example, their Madombi offering. This is not your usual madombi, instead they add flavour to it by adding olives and rosemary, but Tlape assures us that this is a creation that is worth trying and that once you try it, you will have a newfound respect for madombi. They also have herbed pap.
Lifestyle Café opens between 0700-22HRS (week days) and the hours are extended to 2300HRS on weekends. Every day from 1800-1900HRS they run a happy hour for their customers who might wish to take a breather from the hectic traffic on the roads and catch up with their friends before heading home.
On offer, they also have desserts and cocktails that vary from favourites such as sex on the courts, Long Island and Jack of all trades. Fridays they have a special offer where customers can opt for a mixed grill and get a piece of chicken, steak and wors. They also do events catering.
As we conclude the interview, they explain that in future they are looking to expand and find another location in town where they can open another branch. For those who wish to work while they are digging into their food, there is free wifi.