Sunset in Cape Town is a time appreciated by many; it marks the end of the day for some, a scenic view for others, but for Muslims during the month of Ramadan, it announces the start of Iftar.
Iftar or “Boeka” (the Cape Malay term which is commonly used in Cape Town) is a time where Muslims are allowed to eat and drink after a long day of fasting from dawn until sunset.
During Iftar, Muslim families around the world gather around the table and enjoy a starter meal of dates, water, and if you’re from Cape Town, a platter of delicious savouries (samosas, koesisters, mini pies, hertzoggies, chilli bites, banana fritters, spring rolls and other delicacies). There is also a little Capetonian tradition before Iftar where households would share their savoury dishes and treats with their neighbours, who do the same in return.
After the starter, Muslims head to Mosque for the sunset prayer (Maghrib), before making their way back to the table for a sumptuous meal or, in some households, a feast followed by dessert.
There comes a time during Ramadan when Muslims are looking for a change of scenery, and an opportunity to avoid the kitchen. This is where the term “Boeka out” comes from, and sees Muslims flock to their favourite restaurants for a gourmet Iftar dinner.
Here are a couple of popular restaurants that are hosting Iftar dinner specials this year:
126 Cape Kitchen and Café at the Hyatt Regency Hotel
Enjoy an Indian and Middle-Eastern inspired 3-course family-style Iftar menu with 4-main courses to choose from (you may select two of the four main courses of your choice). Samosas, falafels, an assortment of homemade breads, cold mezze, butter chicken, tikka chicken, lamb kabab and more.
The Iftar special is R285 per person and R150 per child, and is on offer at the 126 Cape Kitchen and Café (located at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in the City Centre) until 12 May 2021. Click here to find out more.
Turkish restaurants have become the go-to cuisine for many Cape Town locals looking to indulge in exotic foods, and Cappadocia has the perfect Turkish Iftar special to mark the occasion. Break your fast with a platter of dates, samosas, and borek (puffy pastry rolled with spinach and feta) and the soup of the day.
Choose from authentic Turkish mains ranging from chicken, beef or lamb served with rice and salad, before satisfying your sweet tooth with the desert of the day. Get all this for the price of R175 per person. The restaurant is located in the City Bowl area. Head over to their Facebook page to book or call them at 073 919 7335 to find out more.
Mugg and Bean
If you’re looking for something familiar, Mugg and Bean in Kenilworth Centre is fully halal and are offering a special set 3-course Iftar menu from 14 April – 14 May 2021. The menu includes Moroccan Chickpea & Butternut Soup, Halloumi Fries, Macon & Cheese Beef Burger, Sesame-Crusted Chicken Strips and more. The special costs R149.90 per person.
On the Square Restaurant at The Capetonian Hotel
Are you craving variety? Then On the Square Restaurant’s Iftar buffet special is the perfect choice for you. The restaurant is located at The Capetonian Hotel, and has been a go-to dining experience to locals for many years. The special runs from 14 April until 13 May 2021 and costs R165 per person.
Akamah Estate Cape Town
How about dinner with a view? Book an Iftar table at the scenic Akamah Estate in Constantia. The special costs R235 per person and includes a full buffet, along with selected drinks. Please note that bookings are strictly by reservation. Contact them at 084 401 4669 for more information.
Andalousse – Authentic Moroccan Cuisine
If you’re looking for an excellent bargain, enjoy a bowl of harira soup, harira bread, msemen, dates, Moroccan biscuits (Chebakia) and an avo, yoghurt, date and banana smoothie all for the price of R70. Andalousse has two branches in Cape Town: one in Woodstock and one in Sea Point. Head over to their Facebook page or call them at 021 447 1708 to find out more.
By Luqman Ahmed