How do you truly get the ‘taste’ of a city if you only have a few days? I set Suzanne Radford the task of gathering the best of what Cape Town has to offer reflecting the city’s culture and restaurant scene.
Here is what she came up with.
For a wide range of breakfast and lunch options with fresh seasonal salads, roasts and spicy curries try Yumcious by Jenny Morris located at Green Point. Jenny creates her favourite dishes for the table and on Saturdays you can enjoy brunch and listen to live jazz.
Jenny brings a lot of joy to her cooking as the Giggling Gourmet. From the menu I chose the French toast with orange honey butter and caramelised oranges, then I hit the kilo table, a Cape Town favourite, where you weigh your dish of food and are charged accordingly.
Jenny takes inspiration from ingredients travelling the world writing cook books, running her cookery school, appearing at food festivals and presenting for the Food Network.
So is there anything that doesn’t make Jenny smile?
“Large carbon foot prints where food is concerned takes the smile off my face. I wish everyone would buy and cook seasonally. This way we have more sustainable food chains and it would lower the cost on local, seasonal ingredients.”
Look out for Jenny’s sixth cookbook coming out soon where she shares recipes and stories from Yumcious and you can discover what goes into running such a delicious restaurant.
For a Taste of South Africa?
Jenny recommends the award winning Karubu (which means ‘welcome’ in Swahili) for a traditional, authentic South African culinary experience. Carefully curated by Executive Chef Jamie Rowntree who has been at the helm of the kitchen for many years. You can find Karubu in the vibrant V&A Waterfront which is popular with locals and tourists alike, you can go for one of the set menu options for lunch and dinner or go freestyle.
Smoked Snook fish pate soaked in Rooibos (which is fynbos).
Karu lamb chops on a bed of gem squash.
Classic Cake Malva pudding baked in apricot jam and served with a toffee and cardamom sauce.
Check out the cheeses too, South Africa are delivering some tasty gems on the cheese front.
Its always good to tap into the local minds to find the best places and if you are short on time you can sign up for a food tour or guide. I signed up the services of Jared, tour guide, writer and social media ‘influencer’.
I gave Jared my brief: a day covering the best eateries in town from street food to the cultural, to the trendy and fabulous.
This is what he put together.
Vegan Breakfast at Plant Cafe
It came as a bit of a surprise that a French man would open a vegan restaurant but that’s how strongly Pierre Lambret feels about food and where it comes from. Leaving his corporate life behind he took over Plant Cafe in November 2017 changing up the extensive menu and keeping it #deliciouslyconscious. I went for the chia pudding and Jared the Plant Benedict with Lox.
So, first up:
What is lox?
Its a combination of carrot and beetroot marinated in sugar and salt with olive oil and lemon to create a smoky flavour vegan’s miss.
How do you make Benedict without the eggs?
We couldn’t get chef’s complete recipe but tapioca flour is used instead of eggs/flour/milk and soy replaces mayonnaise and cashews used to create the creamy texture.
I know vegan chefs don’t like talking about replacing or recreating ingredients but sometimes it helps for the purpose of understanding this art of cooking (without the heat) that is becoming so popular as a lifestyle choice across the globe.
For more on vegan/raw cooking see how Riath and I got on in Bali.
Award Winning Coffee (and that’s the truth)
Voted the worlds best coffee by the UK’s Daily Telegraph newspaper two years running walking into Truth Cafe is like entering a live performance of theatre. With lots of activity built around the vintage probate coffee roaster the waiters are on hand to help tell the story and share the taste experience which is rich and dynamic. They use green beans that are micro roasted in house. I went for a rich blend flat white but one to try is the Sunrise espresso, a double shot with a splash of orange juice! I always find a spoon of honey helps put a spring in my step.
A Walk Through
The Eastern Bazaar, an alleyway in the heart of the city serving from ten different counters reflecting the diversity of the city. From curries including butter chicken and bunny chow to Chinese and Turkish. Proper street food attracting anyone and everyone to eat well for very little.
Lunch, Cape Malay Style
High up Signal Hill in the Bo-Kaap area of brightly coloured houses and cobbled streets is the family run restaurant, The Bo-Kaap Kombuis, serving traditional Cape Malay cuisine and a fine view of the city and Table Mountain.
Steeped in history, community and Muslim culture favourite Malay dishes include tomato bredie (stew), biryani and babotie (like a spicy shepherds pie). Cumin, coriander, cardamom, turmeric, tamarind and star anise are regular ingredients.
Going Casual is Fine
Cape Town does ‘casual fine dining’ well and Foxcroft is a great example of it. Located in Constantia, you sit in lovely surroundings tasting award winning food without it breaking the bank or having to dress up to the nines. Its what I believe a dining experience should be.
Jared and I chose off the set lunch menu and had a chat with Senior Sous Chef Tim Pick.
Chef’s recommendations include:
Seared Tuna Tataki which marries flavours bringing a little fattiness to moisten the fish with a nice lick of lime and a rice puff crisp.
Cured Yellowtale bringing complexity and a local flavour with mango atchar with ‘slangetjies’ which means little snake in Afrikaans and refers to the shape of the chickpea flour noodles.
I went for the game fillet which was robust in taste and rich and dark in colour and flavour with a smoky cherry jus.
Lunch at Foxcroft was a perfect way to spend an afternoon just outside Cape Town in the countryside.
Special thanks to Jared for putting together the whole day experience, and for the history lesson along the way.`