August 17, 2012
#LoveCapeTown:The Best Places to Find Local Capetonian food
Fazielah Williams has lived in and loved her Mother City since birth. Having lived all over the Peninsula during her childhood, she now calls the picturesque City Bowl home and likes nothing more than watching the sun set over Table Bay from the window of her apartment.
A lover of the arts and proud Cape Town fanatic, Fazielah began her writing career by spending many hours as a child conjuring fantastical stories that featured independent heroines from faraway lands who saved the Prince instead. This Capetonian princess has enjoyed stints as a magical arts PRO and TV publicist before finding her calling as a travel writer.
When not waxing lyrical about the Fairest Cape’s most loved attractions and activities and embarking on unexpected adventures, Fazielah can usually be found taking in a show at one of the City’s fabulous theatres.
The Mother City has been described by many as a cultural melting pot that offers locals and visitors an experience of sights, sounds and tastes. Good food has always been one of the city’s major offerings, and there is no shortage of good eateries and fine wines.
But it is the culinary offerings that remind us of mom’s cooking that we crave most, and in Cape Town you’re bound to find a multitude of restaurants and cafes that conjure up the most delicious home-made meals. Sink your teeth into the following:
For spicy Cape Malay cuisine
The Cape Malay influence can be traced back to South Africa’s early days, when the Dutch East India Company needed a provisions station to supply ships bound for Malaysia.
Some examples of Cape Malay cuisine that have survived to tempt palates today include smoorsnoek – snoek cooked over a fire or simmered with onions and tomatoes; oumens onder die kombers (old person under the blanket) – meat patties wrapped in cabbage leaves; denningvleis – slow-cooked leg of lamb with chillies, spices and vinegar; and bobotie – meatloaf with onion, sultanas, almonds, bay leaves and spices, topped with egg custard.
My absolute must-haves and visits are:
Restaurant and dish: Bredie at Biesmiellah Restaurant
Breyanis and bredies have long been a part of Cape cuisine and, while you may have tasted breyani before, you should try out the popular tomato bredie. At Biesmiellah in the Bo-Kaap, it is made with braised lamb cubes, onions and fresh tomatoes, a dish sure to leave you satisfied and wanting more. They also have an assortment of other curries and treats on offer.
Restaurant and dish: Salomies at Cosy Corner
Roti wraps, or salomies, have always been a firm favourite in Cape Town. The butter chicken salomie at Cosy Corner Restaurant in Cape Town is tasty and good value for money. There are other fillings and you can also get your hands on some of their delicious samoosas while you wait.
Location: 119 Ottery Road, Wynberg
Contact: +27 (0)21 797 2498
Be a Cape Malay Master Chef in Your City:
If you are looking for a unique way of exploring some of the Cape’s culinary history, this Cape Malay cooking safari is sure to be just the experience. This acclaimed tour starts at the Bo-Kaap Museum and includes a walking tour of this historic area that was also declared a national monument. Your group (maximum 10 people per tour) will be taken to shop for ingredients for a typical Cape Malay dish, before participating in an interactive, cooking workshop at a Bo-Kaap family home. Here you will discover the art of mixing masala, folding samoosas and other Cape Malay food secrets, before enjoying a tasty traditional Cape Malay meal.
Location: Bo-Kaap Area
Contact: +27 (0)21 790 2592
Cost: Half-day tour R660
For the ultimate fish and chips parcel:
No visit to Cape Town is complete without enjoying an authentic Cape Town-style fish and chips experience along the harbour-side. Wrapped in newspaper, drenched in salt and vinegar and served with buttered rolls, a snoek or hake parcel at the following establishments is too good to miss out on:
Restaurant: Kalky’s Fish and Chips
Perfect for people soaking up the Capetonian sunshine and enjoying some live music occasionally, the 15-year-old Kalky’s is the best place to get your parcel, for as little as R38, this side of the mountain.
Location: Kalky’s, Kalk Bay Harbour
Contact: +27 (0)21 788 1726
Restaurant: Wharfette Bistro at Mariner’s Wharf
A drive out to Hout Bay is rewarding in more ways than one, with unbelievable views and the tasty delights of the Wharfette Bistro. While their speciality is fish and chips, you can also indulge in grilled lobster, prawns, lekkerbekkies, sole, snoek and much more. Enjoy your feast on the quaint benches provided outside or while dipping your toes at the water’s edge.
Cape Town’s takeaway must-haves:
Restaurant and dish: A Gatsby at Golden Dish Restaurant
This unassuming eatery in Rylands on the Cape Flats is always abuzz with locals and patrons from far and wide. A weekend in the Mother City would be incomplete without tucking into a popular Cape Town delight called a Gatsby, and the Golden Dish is known for making some of the best. This long bread roll comes with a filling of hot chips and anything from masala steak and chicken to polony and Vienna sausages. The portion size is large and a full version can easily feed four adults. They are open until the early hours of the morning, so it’s also the perfect spot for a late-night bite.
Location: Corner of Hazel and Klipfontein roads, Athlone
Contact: +27 (0)21 633 7864
Restaurant and dish: Masala steak sandwiches at Wembley Roadhouse
Somewhat of a Cape Town institution, Wembley Roadhouse is well known for its tasty treats. One of the most popular items served here is the masala steak sandwich, which is made with braised onions and extra strong masala. If you’re wishing for a tasty sandwich with a spicy bite, you can’t go wrong with this.
Location: 21 Belgravia Road, Athlone
Contact: +27 (0)21 697 1430