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2019 Food Trends: African Cuisine

South Africa is king if you’re looking to sample the best of African cuisine.

Feast on food and wine fit for royalty in one of the many restaurants, food markets, wine estates, cafés and pop-ups on offer. VIVID Travel’s Africa expert Zoe shines the light on her favourite South African gastronomy experiences, including a few insider tips.

What is South African cuisine?

The food of South Africa is all about variety, with flavour influences from all over the world. But one thing’s for sure: meat plays a huge part, and no one does meat like the South Africans! A braai (like a barbeque but always cooked on an open fire) is a huge part of family culture, and typical local dishes include ‘boerewors’, an extremely meaty sausage; ‘potjiekos’, a small hot pot; and many curries full of exciting colours and flavours. But no trip to South Africa would be complete without tasting the local bush meat. Choose from springbok, kudu, warthog, zebra, or a personal favourite – ostrich!

Vegetarians – fear not! The droughts of the dry season in recent years have led to a change in many menus, as chefs consider developing dishes which use less water in the production and preparation. This means more vegetarian dishes are popping up, and restaurants are becoming innovative in ways that they can reuse water as they prepare dishes. Fresh local produce is a mainstay of every menu; head to the wine estates (such as Babylonstoren) for seasonal produce picked from their extensive gardens. Stay there and bake bread with the bakers, join the morning harvest with the gardeners, and of course sample the product of their extraordinary vineyards!

VIVID Travel Designer Zoe’s favourite spots

Don’t worry if you don’t manage to bag a reservation on the three-month waiting list for the world-famous Test Kitchen in Cape Town – you certainly won’t go hungry with the city’s vast array of superb restaurants. I love heading to Kloof Street (away from the more touristy hotspots). Kloof Street House offers a secluded garden, perfect for dining al fresco, and the eclectic decor inside the Victorian house comes complete with charming chandeliers and Chesterfields. I highly recommend the pistachio-crusted goat’s cheese, ostrich fillet, kingklip fish or truffle risotto.

Not many Wineland hotels offer restaurants, due to the enviable collection in Cape Town itself, however, La Clé des Montagnes offers a homely touch if you don’t fancy heading to the city. The two managers are trained chefs and take pride in sourcing local ingredients and serving fantastic family-style feasts around the table.

For a classic street food dish native to Durban, I like to head to The Oyster Box for a bunny chow. Flavoursome curry is served in a ‘bowl’ of hollowed-out bread and topped with the bread lid ‘bunny’. Eat like a local, scooping the sauce with chunks of bread by hand!

Break bread with the locals

To really experience the heart of the local cuisine, join ‘Auntie’ Zainie and her son for a Cape Town food experience with Bo-Kaap Cooking Tours. Explore the streets of the Cape Malay neighbourhood, with houses every colour of the rainbow, and visit local shops to source the spices you’ll cook with. Then return to Zainie’s home to learn the secrets of mixing masala, flipping rooti and folding samoosa, before enjoying the fruits of your labours with a communal lunch bursting with flavours. You’ll leave with a unique insight into their culture and turbulent history, as well as a recipe book and spice mixes to recreate the magic at home. A truly extraordinary experience.

Find out more about bespoke holidays to South Africa with VIVID Travel

Or speak to Zoe on 020 3510 5777 to find out more

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