*So sorry this is being posted so late! I’ve been so busy and eager to share with you new restaurants that I have neglected this! Anyways, here we go.
To refrain from a never-ending post, I decided to break it up into two. The yummy finds from Cape Town will be focused on here.
I literally think Jonty and I ate our own body weight in calamari on this trip. Not only is it one of our favourite appetizers, but it is incredibly fresh in South Africa. In Cape Town, we were told that we must visit the restaurant in The Chapman’s Peak hotel for its famous calamari, so we did just that. To accompany the calamari, we decided to go healthy and opt for a Greek salad. The vegetables and feta cheese were so crisp and fresh, which was a perfect balance with the fried calamari.
Another spot I was encouraged to try was Steers, a fast food hamburger joint. The burger was pretty good for fast food, and the fries (known as ’chips’ in SA) had this unique seasoning salt with all sorts of spices and flavours which added that extra zing to ordinary fries.
I sound like a broken record, but Jonty also hasn’t stopped talking about this little fish restaurant in Hout Bay called Fish on the Rocks. He recalls it being his favourite meal in South Africa. Coincidentally, we were staying at a flat basically around the corner, so we obviously stopped by for a bite. We chose a calamari roll (go figure) which was fried calamari topped with fries surrounded by a hamburger like type bun. Jonty was onto something, insisting we try this little spot on the water, and I’m glad we did.
Since I was in South Africa, a traditional South African treat is something called koeksisters. Imagine twisted, deep fried dough which has been dunked in syrup. I do enjoy them, but only in very, very small doses because they are extremely sweet and rich. Since I was in South Africa, it only made sense to try a number of their traditional treats. First was a koeksister. Next I tried milk tart which is a pie crust filled with a milky custard, and topped with cinnamon. I am not a custard lover, but I definitely stole a few bites here and there from Jonty.
A little breakfast by the beach never hurt anyone. A little french toast for breakfast also never hurt anyone. I guess you could say I enjoyed my french toast on an outdoor patio near the beach, which was accompanied by assorted fruits, including the ever popular South African fruit, a grenadilla (passion fruit). The portion was a little on the small side for my liking, but I was able to savor each bite and still feel satisfied when I finished.
Piri Piri sauce is basically everywhere in this country. It is made from the spicy piri piri pepper and poured onto pretty much anything. At a Portuguese restaurant that we visited, we ordered piri piri chicken which was delicious, but a little too spicy for me. We also ordered a prego roll with an egg on it which is a piece of steak on a bun. This meal was quite heavy, yet totally enjoyable.
I guess you could say most of our restaurant choices were based on recommendations, and there is no exception for Willoughbys. It is mainly a sushi restaurant, but they do serve non Japanese dishes as well, which you will see in a minute. On any given night you can find this place, also known as the best sushi in South Africa, lined up, as they do not take reservations. As for sushi, we ordered prawn fashion sandwiches which just look like mini sandwiches but made out of rice, seaweed and seafood. As well as the 4×4 which is four spicy rock shrimp tempura rolls and four rainbow reloaded rolls which were both to die for. Seriously, I’d give up a lot for these rolls. A little strange for a sushi restaurant, but the butternut squash gnocchi in a basil pesto sauce caught our eye on the menu. I was a little hesitant about having gnocchi at a sushi restaurant, but the waiter informed us that there are a few different kitchens and that it is truly incredible. I took his advice, and am super glad that I did! It wouldn’t be a meal in South Africa without some fried calamari, so we ordered a small portion as well.
While in Cape Town it would almost be a crime not to visit the wine country. We drove through beautiful Stalleanboch, passing winery after winery, each more stunning than the next. We stopped for lunch at a restaurant called Cafe Bon Bon at La Petite Dauphine hotel in Franschhoek. The outdoor patio surrounded by mountains and beautiful wineries was breathtaking. The sun was shining, the wine was being poured, and it was time to enjoy. The bread that the waitress brought out first was incredible. Some sort of whole grain bread with nuts and dried cranberries was so tasty that I could have eaten just that!
For the main course, Jonty and I shared a vegetarian risotto with dried cranberries and a salad with chicken. Although both of these dishes are simple, it was a nice, light meal which was perfectly paired with a refreshing Sauvignon Blanc. I will also mention that it was extremely peaceful and quiet at this restaurant, with just the sounds of nature in the background. I never wanted to leave!
I know this is getting quite lengthy so I will try and wrap is up soon. The winery we visited was called La Motte. I expected nothing less than for it to be beautiful. Vines of grapes, surrounded by a little river was the perfect location for some wine tasting.
Next we were off to Kruger National Park to see some wildlife. This is one of the best national parks in the world, and I feel extremely privileged that I got to visit there. We saw tons of wild animals such as elephants, lions, giraffe, monkeys, hippos, rhinoceros, crocodiles, to name a few. We stayed over for a couple nights and made our own dinner each night. Below is a picture of the prawns that we put on the brie (BBQ to South Africans).
Our last and final place we visited back in Johannesburg before heading to the airport is called The Dollhouse. It has been around for years and years, and used to be the “it” place for teens late at night. Jonty’s parents recall basically growing up there. You stay in your car and someone comes to take your order and delivers your food right to the car. Jonty has been there before and knew that I would love the milkshakes that they are known for. He got a chicken mayonnaise sandwich and I opted for the extra thick chocolate banana milkshake. I now see why they are famous for these thick, indulgent drinks! It was soooo thick and creamy that I had to eat it with a spoon, but I loved every minute of it.
You have now seen our food adventures during our trip to South Africa. I literally felt full the entire time. I was definitely ready for a detox slash healthy eating plan when I got home!