Food review: Go Greek at YIAYIA’s Table, Cape Town- Greek savoury, sweet bakes, salads, eggs, yoghurt and excellent coffee

YIAYIA’s Table- Cape Town

What: Bakery, specialising in Greek confectionary and pies, artisanal coffee – take-out and on-site dining

Where: 41 Durban Road, Mowbray 7700, Cape Town
Trading hours: Mon-Fri 07:30-16:30   |   Saturdays 08:30-14:00   |   Closed Sundays and public holidays  

Takeaways: Heat & Eat at home. Free delivery within 5 km radius
Good to know: Free Wi-Fi in-store with loads of power points for electronic devices
Website: Menu
Holiday trading hours: Closing on December 23, 2021 and reopening on  January 5, 2022  

Yiayia is Greek for grandmother and Eli – aka Yiayia -was the much loved matriarch of the Parolis family in Cape Town. In May 2021, the pandemic year two, in homage to their grandmother, Elli, YIAYIA’s Table – was launched by the Parolis family– in Mowbray, Cape Town- on premises which have been in the family for many years. YIAYIA’s Table is a bakery – with dine-in options. It is not a restaurant but the stylish interior is inviting with spaced out tables (Covid compliant), counter tops, ample power points and free Wi-Fi. With reasonable prices, the venue has become popular as an “office” with morning clientele, pulling in for a coffee (own blend) and a koulouri -ring-shaped breads- savoury and sweet options.  

Koulouri – a Greek ‘bagel’

The koulouri reminds me of a bagel but it is not a bagel. It is a koulouri – crunchier than a bagel. I loved the sesame koulouri, which I reckon would go brilliantly with smoked salmon and cream cheese and pickles – Jewish/Greek fusion of a lox bagel.

Greek inspired baked goods and artisanal coffee

The emphasis at YIAYIA’s Table is on Greek inspired baked goods- confectionary and pies (spanakopita) and artisanal coffee (house blend). There are some continental offerings – Italian influences but Greek cuisine is the baseline. I polished off the Greek salad. An “authentic” Greek salad- means no lettuce, explains Dimitri Parolis.  If it has lettuce – it is not a Greek salad. Dimitri Parolis says that the secret to an excellent Greek salad is the origanium. They import their own origanium, from Greece. I tasted the rocket salad, which includes goat’s cheese and cranberries- yummy. There are plenty vegan and gluten free offerings on the menu. The Greek salad can be served without the feta for the vegans. It is the origanium that is essential. Since I was there, a chicken coleslaw has been added to the menu.

New menu additions for summer

I first visited YIAYIA’s Table in winter 2021 and the menu was limited. I wanted more dine-in options. It is great that new menu items have been added. There is now hand strained creamy Greek yoghurt –served with a sour cherry preserve (imported from Greece) and/or organic raw honey and baklava nuts.  Eggs are now on the menu – and go very well with the koulouri. Scrambled, poached or fried eggs – are plated with feta, fried tomatoes, rocket and that pungent origanium. They have also added a koulouri sandwich with options of fillings – grilled vegetables, hummus, chicken slaw and Greek salad.


Desserts include Kataifi, Ekmek Kaitafi and baklava. Mini orange-shortbread biscuit are served with the coffees. I love that. The mini biscuits are availed for purchase, by the bag. Interestingly, Dimitri Parolis says that when they opened, they made the biscuits larger and people asked for a nibble size, so they listened and made bite-size versions. It is a lovely touch, to get a sweet treat with a coffee- very continental – as one would expect in Greece, Portugal and Italy.

The journey to YIAYIA’s Table

The Yiayia of the Parolis family was Elli. She passed away at age 96. Her kitchen was the place where everyone gathered. During lockdown, the idea came to Dimitri Parolis, to launch a bakery in Mowbray, on the premises which have been in the family, for a long time. Way back, the patriarch of the family, Jimmy Parolis. Dimitri’s grandfather operated a butchery on the premises. Dimitri was using the premises as warehouse for his lingerie business. Much of the lingerie went online, during hard lockdown and there was floor space. He had the vision that the room would be perfect for a bakery. YIAYIA’s Table was conceived. They dipped into Eli’s recipes and went about testing and creating the menu. When kitting out the eatery, they retained original some original features such a ceiling fan which was part of the butchery.

Closed for the holidays

YIAYIA’s Table is closing on December 23, 2021 and reopening on January 5, 2022. Another new addition is their mini pies – which are ideal for festive home catering. It is wonderful that mini pies have been introduced to the menu. The ‘normal’ size piece are large – enough for two it share. Heat & Eat – at home. They also have biscuits on sale – such as R72 for a pack of 18 cinnamon and orange yummies. No delivery charge, within a 5km radius of the bakery.

Greek baked goods: Dimitri Parolis with a selection of koulouri – savoury and sweet options- available from YIAYIA’s Table, Cape Town. ©TheCapeRobyn/Robyn Cohen.

❇ TheCapeRobyn was hosted by YIAYIA’s Table. Featured image of Greek Salad – proper Greek salad – no lettuce- lots of origanium © TheCapeRobyn/Robyn Cohen.