The 27th of February marks #NationalMilkTartDay. Table Mountain Cableway rounded up a few local celebs and personalities to partake in an exciting milk tart bake-off to celebrate one of our national culinary treasures at Table Mountain Cable station, another celebrated local treasure.


Table Mountain Cableway claim that the milk tart made by head baker, Octavia Nkomombini is the very best in town, and it lives up to its name the “Wonder of Nature Milk Tart.”

To test this statement, they invited a few Capetonians to participate in a Milk Tart Bake Off at the lower Cable station.


Team 1. Hitesh Panchal from The Next 48 Hours and Abongile Dulini from TMC

Team 2. Carleen Luyt from TMC and Dylan Moore aka Mr. Cape Town.

Team 3. Dilshad Parker aka Hungry for Halaal and Fuad Peters from Cape Town Travel Massive

Team 4. Jon Meinking from I Shot Images / Hashtag Radio and Guy McDonald of Magic 828 Radio

Team 5. Di Brown aka The Roaming Giraffe and Vicki Smith from Splash PR.


 Enver Duminy (Cape Town Tourism CEO), Wahida Parker (Cableway MD) and Dhiren Laljith (Cableway Head Chef)

The Master of Ceremonies was funny guy Yaaseen Barnes.

Also there was Berno Du Plessis from Unox Ovens, known as Big Scary Oven Guy as he stood with his arms crossed and scowled. He said his job was to intimidate us, and make sure we did not break the fancy Unox oven. Octavia the Head Baker wandered from table to table watching our efforts, answering some questions, but not permitted to help us.

The Bake Off.

Each team has a table with a hot plate, kitchen utensils and a basket of ingredients. A helpful recipe was printed out, but it did not specify the quantities required to make three milk tarts, so it was guesswork for some as quite a few contestants were baking for the first time in their lives.

One table had a tense Eskom moment when their power tripped but at the end of the allotted time, each team managed to produce three dishes that looked like milk tart.

The Presentation.

The Judges all wanted to be Simon Cowl with a trademark scowl, but the contestants got their revenge as some of the milk tarts were not that easy on the palate. 

Jon and Guy’s tart had so much milk in it that they served it in a wine glass and presented it as a deconstructed tart, best consumed through a straw.

Mr. Cape Town’s offering was pretty good although he insisted there was a vital missing ingredient, alcohol. He was quite keen on adding tequila to it. 

Vicki and Di presented a charcoal infused tart to compliment a braai, with a very distinctive charred taste to it, a result of too much heat. 

The Winners

The competition was fierce and finally 2 teams were awarded first prize. 

Hitesh Panchal from The Next 48 Hours and Abongile Dulini from TMC. Hitesh was ecstatic to win “we are not bakers, this was the first time we met, but we worked well as a team and a whole lot of fun and love went into making our milk tart”

Dilshad Parker aka Hungry for Halaal and Fuad Peters from Cape Town Travel Massive. Fuad Peters joked that his mom might have killed him if he did not win and Dishard says” winning is a big thing as I have my mom’s recipe to live up to and she is the Milk Tart Queen in our family”

The four winners were awarded with a Table Mountain Cable Card which allows them access to the cable car once a day, every day for a whole year. That’s a lot of milk tart!

All the other contestants received 2 tickets each to take a friend to the top for a Milk Tart treat.

About Octavia

Originally from Worcester, and a confectioner for 12 years, the 43-year-old loves all aspects of baking, and abhors the use of ready-made cake mixtures. 

“I love creating – making something out of nothing, from scratch,” says Octavia. 

Octavia joined the Table Mountain Cableway in 2011 moving from a retail bakery. “I was not challenged enough in retail. I wanted to take control, experiment and make my own decisions and creations,” she says.

Bringing the milk tart to the mountain top is an action packed affair, with Octavia leading the way in the Lower Station production kitchen. “When the first visitors arrive around 8.30am the Table Mountain Café and Wi-Fi Lounge need to be ready to serve them,” says Octavia. “Starting at 6.30am our milk tart is freshly baked, with 12 – 15 tarts being sent up in the cable car daily.” 

“Our Cableway milk tart is a simple but delicious treat. I have been a baker for 12 years and this recipe is one that I have developed along the way. It is original, and made with a whole lot of love,” says Octavia.

Cableway’s milk tart, as well as a range of other confectionary items including Octavia’s favourite two-layered lemon meringue cake are available from the Table Mountain Café daily.

The Conclusion

Great as the winning milk tarts were, Octavia retains her crown as the Milk Tart Queen.
If you don’t believe us, take a trip to the top of Table Mountain and try it out for yourself. 
We guarantee you will not be disappointed, and the views are simply unbeatable. 

Promotion for National Milk Tart Day

On 27 and 28 February, you can buy a slice of Milk Tart and a Coffee/Tea for R55. T&C Apply

Top Tips before you go:

Check on the weather: by visiting the Table Mountain homepage, calling their weather line at +27(0)21 424 8181 or sending an email to The operations are weather dependent and they will close due to gale force winds for your safety.

Dress warmly: because it gets super chilly at the summit of Table Mountain when the sun goes down so please do bring along something warm to wear. Forgot your jacket? That’s cool – they have some excellent warm clothing options for sale at the Shop at the Top.

Ensure you book ahead

Book your ride: using the free MyCiTi park and ride shuttle which runs until 7pm only. This also means you either have to book an Uber or a metro cab for your journey home.

Get social: by posting to Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, because if you do not, then did it even happen?

We want to see your lovely photos of you enjoying the famous milk tart, so please tag us @ctbig6 and use the hashtag #CablewayMilkTartDay


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There is no one way to explore all of the Cape Town Big 6, and much of what makes each of them so special is the variety of things to see and do at each. So if possible, take your time to explore each of the city’s most visited tourist attractions in as much depth as possible – as any local will tell you, you can spend a lifetime at each of the Big 6 and still not tire of them. Find the 3 and 4 day itineraries and tips here.

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