Now that I’ve finished recapping our time in Cape Town, South Africa (still to come – Bushman’s Kloof!) here’s the rundown on what I ate.
While South Africa has its own culinary traditions, most of the food we came across was not dissimilar from what we eat back home. Think lots of eggs and bacon, roast chicken, steak, potatoes and rice and salad. It was exceedingly easy to eat gluten-free, and several places even had gluten free breads or desserts.
I didn’t take pictures of everything I ate, but here are the ones I did photograph:
On our second night in town, we were invited out to dinner by some customers of Joel’s work. They took us to a burger restaurant, which we laughed about – of course they take the Americans out for burgers and fries! The restaurant (I don’t remember the name, sorry) had a number of WHEAT-free options, but not GLUTEN-free options. I ended up with a burger minus the bun, and salad on the side. It was yummy, but I kind of had my hopes up for a GF bun.
Remember how I learned at the Slave Lodge that most of the slaves in South Africa were brought in from India? Indian food, curry in particular, remains popular and was very easy to find. This was from a stall at the Market on the Wharf, where we went for lunch one day. I wandered around the market for a while, not seeing anything that I could eat, when I came across a woman with vats of curry and this, butter chicken. That’s saffron rice underneath, and a tomato relish and cilantro on top.
This is lamb dish called denningsvleis from a restaurant called Karibu – turns out, this is one of the oldest recorded South African recipes. The sauce was tamarind based, so I expected it to taste like pad Thai, but it was a very sweet, orange-y flavor. Again, served with saffron rice and tomato relish.
This is a BLT on gluten free bread from Crush, a fresh food cafe and juice bar. (If you’re thinking that bacon looks like ham, it’s what we call Canadian bacon here in the U.S., called British bacon (or just bacon) in South Africa.)
I had this sandwich and a Coke Zero, Joel had a chicken salad sandwich and a large fruit smoothie, and we each bought a bottled water. The bill for this entire meal, including tip, was 160 Rands – about $20! That would barely buy us the two sandwiches here in Seattle!
We got off the ferry from Robben Island at about 3 in the afternoon with empty bellies. Directly across the walkway was Moyo – I said “hey, that looks like a restaurant. Let’s go there.” And it turned out to be one of the best meals we ate in Cape Town.
Above is Phil getting his hands washed (in rosewater!) before our food was served. This is an African tradition to welcome guests for a meal. Yes, we felt very welcomed.
So much so that we went back for our last meal in South Africa. I had a steak with barbeque sauce, roasted veggies, and – French fries! (Sorry, I mean chips.) The folks at Moyo didn’t really know what gluten is, but they went to great lengths to make sure people with allergies (to fish, nuts, etc) could eat safely, so many items were gluten free, even if they didn’t know it.
A few of Joel’s coworkers ate at Balthazar restaurant their first night in Cape Town, and highly recommended it to us. It’s only the number one steakhouse in South Africa! I ate a Caprese salad. It reminded me of Italy.
My picture didn’t turn out, but for my entree, I ate a really delicious piece of Kingklip, a fish found exclusively in the southern hemisphere. I found out later (okay, just now when I googled it) that it’s a type of eel.
Which is not as weird as what Joel ate – ostrich steak with monkeygland sauce. It’s a sauce made with fruit and spices, but we laughed our butts off at the name monkeygland sauce.
I’ll talk more about eating at Bushman’s Kloof in posts next week, but here’s a typical tea time – my own special plate with a tomato and cucumber sandwich, an egg salad sandwich, and some mushroom quiches. I tried, I really tried, to like those mushroom quiches, but I couldn’t quite do it.
On the next plate is a lemon meringue and a chocolate cupcake. They had GF chocolate muffins for me at breakfast everyday, and chocolate cupcakes at tea. I shouldn’t have been surprised by this, but they were exactly the same thing. I averaged 3 chocolate muffin-cakes every day we were there.
And in the back is a big glass of their signature rooibos tea.
Now that we’re home, I found a tin of Tazo vanilla rooibos tea, and I’ve been drinking it every day. It reminds me of Africa 🙂