Cinta is an artisan food market that’s opposite the Old Biscuit Mill but.. it’s so easy to miss! In all the years of driving past, I haven’t noticed it before (so regretfully). This cute and cosy place is a 100% sober market, and halal, making it rather one-of-a-kind. According to the Cinta Food Market website, The word cinta is Malay for love, and is actually pronounced “chinta”. The market specialises in ‘slow food’, so I was keen to taste its quality and authenticity.
Taking the steps up and into the market, you’re greeted with pot plants everywhere. I absolutely loved the decor on the outside; it was laid back and seemed the ideal place to just relax your time away with good food. There are 5 stalls inside: a coffee place, Bo-Kaap styled food place, a vegetarian place, a Thai place and a sushi place – so there’s certainly a little something for every appetite. There was a Mexican food stall but we learnt that they had moved out.
After walking around, and taking in the decor, art, and all our food options, we opted for butter chicken from The Little Bo-Kaap Kitchen, iced coffee and a strawberry daiquiri iced tea from Habb Coffee and a lentil wrap from Food With Love (vegetarian cuisine). We found a table outside with some shade, as it was a scorching day. Unless you can handle the heat well, don’t sit inside. It gets uncomfortably warm once the stoves are switched on (and there’s no aircon).
At the back where we sat, there was a lovely breeze. There’s also a little wash hand basin, toilet and bin tucked away in a corner. Everything about the Cinta Food Market was enjoyable. The atmosphere felt like a home away from home, the service was friendly and warm, and to top it all, it’s clean and tidy.
We ate leisurely and enjoyed the cool breeze in between sips of refreshing iced coffee and iced tea…And I wondered all the while why couldn’t we have found this gem-of-a-place sooner!