South Africa shows the new face of its traditional cuisine
South Africa is a gourmet’s dream! The country offers a wide selection of dishes reflecting the infinite variety of landscapes, colours and populations from cultural influences from the entire African continent. In addition to a traditional cuisine full of flavours, South Africa is developing a modern and contemporary gastronomic offer. The warm atmosphere of the local places makes it possible to appreciate more the incredible savour of the South African food.
Cape Town and Johannesburg are among the main protagonists of this trend. Both cities are seeing their culinary scene grow rapidly with new and emerging restaurants and chefs offering innovative cuisine.
In Johannesburg, the culinary offer is incredibly varied. One of the country’s specialities, barbecuing – braai – is served in the city’s restaurants such as Marble Restaurant, Sandton, or Che in Maboneng, Joburg’s new up-and-coming district.
Fine pucks can be taken to the Four Seasons Hotel The Westcliff at the spectacular View Restaurant. In 2017, the hotel recruited a new chef: Farrel Hirsch. The Chef prepares dishes with a variety of seasonal ingredients and local flavours. He grows his own herbs and vegetables in the hotel gardens in order to offer his guests the freshest produce. The View is certainly one of the most popular addresses in the city.
The township of Soweto hides many treasures: there are charming little restaurants and wine bars with a unique atmosphere. Visit the Wine Bar, located in one of Soweto’s most famous streets on Vilakazi Street, a restaurant that offers a varied menu with a fusion of African and international cuisine. For wine lovers, the cellar conceals excellent South African wines. The Roots restaurant offers delicious local cuisine without pretension. Roots is also a gallery of local and African art that customers can purchase.
In Pretoria, the administrative capital of South Africa, the culinary scene is exploding. The Heritage Lifestyle restaurant, whose motto is « African taste with an attitude », offers an elaborate menu around traditional South African cuisine.
From beef stew to red wine, from mogofu (tripe) to chicken curry; all these dishes are served with a choice of pap (local polenta), umngqusho (Xhosa pea accompaniment), ravioli, rice or mashed potatoes. Their wine list includes some of the best vineyards in South Africa and some champagnes.
At Black Bamboo, one of the star restaurants in the Gauteng region, Chef Pellie Grobler is proud never to offer the same dish twice. Each dish is delicately flavoured and the flavors respected. For example, you can find fish marinated in pickles, cooked carrots in salt crust and seared scallops as starters. For the dishes, it proposes Abadèche du Cap aec prawns or springbok with chickpeas and a croquette of marrow.
A meal at the Mosaic restaurant leaves no one indifferent. Chef Chantel Dartnall’s kitchen has become an institution. A warm zucchini velouté around a plate of glazed asparagus topped with bean mousse: an inventive and simply perfect recipe. One of the favourite dishes on the menu is coquilles St Jaques and its bouillon de la mer with radishes confits. Finally, he proposes a dessert that looks like a preparation to make yourself.
In Cape Town, there is a very interesting variety of restaurants, bubbling with flavours and fragrances. For those who are passing through the capital, The Stack opened last July is a place worth a visit. This elegant two-storey house located in Leinster Hall offers creative and tasty dishes, in the midst of a clientele of young artists.