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South Africa closes the food gap to the world

Trendy world foods are featuring in Cape Town, Jozi, Durban, Stellenbosch and all around the country.

05 Dec 2013
Trendy food gap, food south africa

‘Mind the gap’ is still ringing in my head on return from a bitterly freezing and very grey London. Oh, how I do love sunny #CapeTown.

I was there for part-wedding and part-eatathon. Well, the eatathon I put down to my own, delicious life’s obligation to the never ending research in the world of food.

So here’s the scoop:

1. Tapas – it’s huge, it’s massive. Spain is taking over. Hooray! I just love this style of eating and who can say no to some gorgeous chori-tho (I love saying it that way) or calamari cooked in sweet paprika and garlic?

Tapas is so big that a lot of restaurants are adopting the ‘tapas’ style of eating. They are calling it ‘little plates’ on their menus and serving small portions of their starters and mains. Much like our wonderful Pot Luck Club in Woodstock and The Grazing Room in Joburg.

My 2 best dishes (and I ate quite a few *burb*) were both at Spanish-style restaurants. The first was from Brindisa - a slab of warm goats cheese draped in orange blossom honey with crispy beetroot chips. *drool*. The other was simply chargrilled pork with a salted walnut praline *faint* at Opera Tavern.

2. Butchery -  this is very prevalent and is becoming the new cool. Borough market (a famous food market) and London is teaming with all sorts of purveyors of meat and cured pigs legs adorn the stalls to be sliced at will and taken home in a treasured packages.

We can boast the wonderful Frankie Fenner Meat Merchants in Kloof and the Butcher Man in Sea Point.

I saw plenty of hare, wild boar, rabbit and pheasant, which has become business as usual and no one bats an eyelid. Hooray for venison!

3. Street food – you may have read my other trends article, earlier in the year and I mentioned its popularity here. I delved deep into the gritty areas of Shoreditch and Brick Lane in East London this time and lo and behold, food truck and street food Mecca.

Young people have taken to the streets of the hip industrial areas and are soaking up a more casual dining feel with gourmet food trucks and exotic vendors selling interesting food at baseline prices.

What’s not to like? Watch this space people, I have a funny feeling it's about to boom in Cape Town *taps nose*.

4. Craft beer – Simply everywhere with small Indie breweries all over town.

Take a gander past The Wembley Tap in Cape Town or the Stanley Beer Yard in Jozi.

5. Hard liquor cocktails – American-style bourbon, rum and whisky bars are a dime a dozen and this kind of tipple has become very fashionable.

Try The Orphanage in Cape Town and Harry's Cocktail Bar in Duban for some sophisticated sips.

6. Pop-up restaurants – These are still very much around and are used now more on a long term basis, rather than a once off. To see if a restaurant would actually work in that location. A kind of  ‘trial run’ so to speak.  Rather clever really.

We're not quite there with pop-ups and I'd love to see more. We have seen Merchant's Café in CT which was just fab, so bring it on!

We are right on track with all of these (if not, we're on the way) and our standard of food is right up there. We're playing with the big boys now and I'm so proud. Aren't you? Send me your thoughts, I always love hearing from you.

With bells and whistles,


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