The bistro is co-owned by music curator and brand activation specialist Sibusiso Mahlangu and French-Congolese designer Marien Mel who co-developed Xavier and Bertrand Café in Maboneng. Marien brings his eclectic Xavier style to 44 Stanley with touches of Parisienne street café – in black iron chairs and red and white stripes.
The name Saint Germain is borrowed from Marien’s favourite neighbourhood in Paris and coincidentally Sibusiso’s favourite band, and sets the tone of a quaint street café with simple but delicious food.
The menu, explained to us by the happy and friendly head chef Blu Baba, involves light bistro meals including roast beef baguettes, Niçcoise salad, and filled croissants. We tried the Yogurt Surprise, a beautifully presented bowl of vanilla yogurt, homemade granola and seasonal fruit with a drizzle of Chef Blu’s own berry compote made with a dash of chardonnay.
When a new menu launches in winter, Saint Germain will introduce warm and spicy West African flavours to some of their French dishes. And in the next few weeks, they’ll be stocking their lime green shelves with deli goods and pantry staples, and ready-made sandwiches for those of us that never have time.
The café (open for breakfast, lunch and dinner) serves delicious coffee and features an excellent wine list of both classic and new wave wines.