Raith, gourmet at its best

raith 9By Herman R Gibbs and Jane Jones, Cape Dreams staffers

There is a hint that if you are in the Gardens Centre, there will be freshness around.

That freshness strikes whether you’re at the bread, pretzel, cold meat, cheese or numerous food displays.

During our hour-long visit to Raith Gourmet, in Mill Street, Gardens Centre, the selection of crispy baguettes in a display case opposite the entrance proved highly popular.

The filling was mostly a variety of hams, salamis and cheese on a layer of crunchy lettuce. There are some 12 side items to go with it such as sauerkraut, potato and garden salads, including the summer favourite cucumber dill.

You’re also free to choose from a huge selection of raw food items such as sausages, kassler or lamb chops which the counter hands cooked on a fairly big griddle – right in front of your eyes.

A favourite there, I know from friends, is grilled crispy pork belly on a salty pretzel, served in the best of German traditions.

But Raith is a butchery, bakery and delicatessen all rolled into one, and attracts a fair share of local and foreign customers. It looks a touch more up market than your usual City coffee hang-out and the seating (inside and outside) makes for an ideal social setting, even during peak times when there is plenty of pedestrian traffic in the Gardens Centre.

My feeling is that the customers really don’t arrive there with specific desire for German specialties but if it that is the case you’re won’t be disappointed.

If, however, you’re palette is familiar with a wider spread of European products, there are numerous Italian and French imported food items, especially among the cheese and liquid selections.

The offerings at the bustling deli, butchery and bakery all attracted a steady stream of customers when we were there around 11am on a Saturday.

The great thing about Raith is that you don’t have to be German to enjoy the Raith experience – your taste buds will confirm that.

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