The Bay's Vintage Side: Sjiek Shack

  • 11 May 2016 | By Anje Rautenbach

A good cup of coffee, a peaceful atmosphere and good food go hand-in-hand and Sjiek Shack in Nelson Mandela Bay got the balance just right.


Inside Sjiek Shack


Sjiek Shack: A Vintage Coffee Shop between Uitenhage and Despatch

Sjiek Shack, a coffee shop in Algoa Road (opposite Volkswagen), is less than a year old and has already climbed their way into the hearts of many Uitenhagers, Despatchers as well as out-of-towners with their scrumptious light meals, variety of decadent desserts, special vintage high teas, unique décor and gifts.


Lemon Meringue in a dainty tea cup.


It all started with a dream...

The old-world charm, rustic design and greenery around the coffee shop all started about six years ago with a dream the one half of the Sjiek Shack’s duo’s father had. That dream was set into motion in May 2015 when two creative minds, Nadia and Marlise, joined their artistic forces and talents to create a magical get together spot between Uitenhage and Despatch.  The initial plan was to open only on Saturdays for high teas, but within two weeks the demand grew bigger and they made the decision to open the tin shack’s doors to the public 6 days a week. Now, it is almost a year after the opening... a year after they've searched their own kitchen cupboards for vintage tea cups, a year after it all started with a dream. Today, there is no looking back for the two crafty masterminds of Sjiek Shack; it is one of the most-visited and most-loved coffee shops in the area and it is a hot spot for kitchen teas, birthday parties as well as the perfect quiet getaway for a quick breakfast and caffeine break.



It only takes one bite of their Lemon Meringue or Biltong Quiche to understand why they are so loved. The menu is simple; breakfasts, light meals, salads, baked goods and desserts, but within their simplicity is a delightful gourmet journey filled with edible details, beautifully displayed. There is a heart at the end of your teaspoon, a little bird atop the milk jar and an intricate fine lace tablecloth over the table with chic decorations hanging from the tin walls.


French Toast with Bacon and Banana


The initial idea Nadia and Marlise had of a Saturday Vintage High Tea is still going strong and visitors have the opportunity to have a royal experience out of a dainty vintage porcelain tea cup beautifully painted with delicate patterns and aromatically filled with refreshing blends of tea on an elegantly-styled table. Sweet and salty bite-sized gourmet delicacies join the tea party and add that extra queenly touch to the unique experience with pinky fingers delightfully in the air.


High Tea (images courtesy of Sjiek Shack).


A stroll around Sjiek Shack is like going on a treasure hunt with exclusive finds of ornaments, cutting boards, earrings, necklaces, scarves and notebooks along the way;  to walk out empty-handed is quite a challenge.



The items are hand-made and uniquely South African.



Gifts and trinkets catch your eye inside the tin shack and a quick browse quickly ends in buying a few presents, usually for yourself.



After a quick chat to Marlise, one of the creatives and the one in charge of all the sweet treats, it became quite clear that passion played (and still plays) a big role in the success of Sjiek Shack. They love what they do, they are open to new things and they will never say no to challenge.



A good cup of coffee, a peaceful atmosphere and good food go hand-in-hand but at Sjiek Shack there is a royal cherry on top. Sjiek Shack is a dream come true, a royal little haven tucked away from a busy road and a true example of the creative and entrepreneurial spirit of the people of the Bay.

Stop by Sjiek Shack for a light bite or a fancy tea party, they are open from Mondays to Fridays (08h30 to 14h00) as well as Saturdays (08h00 to 14h00).


A vintage car: Rust in Peace.


Words and photos by Anje Rautenbach, travel blogger at Going Somewhere Slowly - follow her journeys around South Africa on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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