Don't Visit South Africa Without Trying Its Cuisine

Top 10 favourite South African food

  • Biltong and Droewors:
    Before fridges were invented the indigenous tribes would preserve meat by dry curing. Biltong is a thinly sliced air-dried meat, usually made from beef or game such as springbok. Droewors are an air-dried sausage that's traditionally eaten as a snack. Before being hung to dry the meat is cured using a mixture of vinegar, salt, sugar and spices such as pepper and coriander. They are highly prized by health enthusiasts because of their high protein and low fat content. Modern producers of these often add chilli or garlic and also use other meats such as wild boar and ostrich.
  • Cape Malay Curry:
    The Dutch and French landed and settled in Cape Town in the 17th century bringing with them slaves from India, Malaysia and Indonesia. They also brought with them their spices and traditional cooking methods. Using local produce this dish also uses aromatic spices such as saffron, cinnamon, turmeric and chilli to create a range of fragrant curries and stews.
  • Boerewors:
    This is a traditional South African sausage made from a mixture of beef with either pork or lamb and the addition of different spices. They are served in a coiled shape, much like a Cumberland sausage, and cooked on a barbecue (braai). The word for this delicacy comes from the Afrikaans and Dutch words boer for farmer and wors for sausage.
  • Malva pudding:
    This is an import brought by the Dutch. It's a sweet and sticky baked sponge pudding made using apricot jam and smothered in a hot cream sauce. You can find it in many restaurants but is traditionally served at home for Sunday lunch.
  • Bunny chow:
    Not a dish made using rabbit as you might expect from the name. Instead it's a popular Durban street food that is made using hollowed out loaves of bread, stuffed with spicy curry. Traditionally it was created by the immigrant Indian community in the Natal area of Durban. And served to workers for lunch.
  • Braai/Shisa nyama:
    This is an experience not to be missed and is more of a social event rather than just something to eat. Braai or shisa nyama originated in the townships of Johannesburg where butchers would set up barbecues in front of their shops at the weekend. They would grill their meat and sell it on the street. It has now become a community event with families gathering at braais at the weekend to share food, listen to music and socialise.
  • Amarula Don Pedro:
    This is a cocktail-come-dessert that uses a cream liqueur called Amarula. It is made from the marula fruit and then blended with ice cream.
  • Melktert:
    This is a dessert that's very similar to a British custard tart. It consists of a pastry case filled with milk, eggs and sugar, that's generally thickened with flour. Traditionally, the finished tart would be dusted with cinnamon.
  • Bobotie:
    This is a another dish thought to have been brought to South Africa by Asian settlers. It is now the national dish of the country and can be found in many restaurants as well as a favourite for serving up at home. It is a dish made by simmering minced meat with spices, usually curry powder, herbs and dried fruit. It is then topped with a mixture of egg and milk which is baked until set.

There are plenty of places you can enjoy these dishes. For example:

Harvey's – an award winning restaurant with an ever changing menu that offers contemporary and fusion food. The atmosphere of the restaurant is very stylish with an interior that features original oil paintings and mounted buffalo trophies.

9th Avenue Bistro – run by a worldly-wise husband and wife team this restaurant is well-known as one of the top dining spots in Durban. The food served is fusion styled with an emphasis on seafood and fresh seasonal ingredients.

Ile Maurice – With 40 years of experience this restaurant has been popular from the moment the doors were opened in 1976. The view of the ocean make it an ideal spot to soak up the city's seascape. Mauritian and French cuisine is served under the watchful eye of the original chefs son.

Craft Trattoria – serving up traditional Italian food in a trendy and atmospheric setting that surrounds diners with rustic wood and stylish design. On the menu are irresistible pizzas, delicious antipasti, a wealth of pasta dished and Italian hamburgers.