On the train into Seoul last Sunday I daydreamed of South African cuisine. Beyond steak and suasages, I had no idea what to expect. I was looking forward to being surprised, and I was; pleasantly!
Located on the 5th floor of a nondescript building directly across the street from the Saudi Embassy in Itaewan, I was immediately taken with the streaming light. Each tabletop was outfitted with a fun zebra patterned tablecloth. Gorgeous, glittery, beaded giraffes shared out table, added to the ambience. A large, beautiful shot of two giraffes graced one wall.
We were a group of twelve, and we had the place to ourselves. On offer was an array of South African dishes that the owners had prepared especially for us.
First out was a delicious plate of sliced, still warm, homemade bread. Opps! No photo, as I think we gobbled it up quite quickly! Take my word for it, the bread was fabulous!
Next up was a fresh salad with a light dressing, and a platter of grilled boerewors – South African sausage. The sausages reminded me of one that we call Lunenburg sausage at home, and a favorite of mine. Both the salad and the sausage were prepared perfectly.
Lamb chops, and steak grilled to perfection; a meat lovers lunch! The steak was almost devoured before I clicked the camera!
Next up was the bobotie, a dish that I was totally unfamilar, and fell in love at first bite!
“A Cape Town specialty and one of South Africa’s best-known dishes, it generally consists of spiced meat—normally beef, sometimes lamb—mixed with chutney and tamarind paste and milk-soaked bread, poured into a dish, topped with a custard of egg and milk, and baked until it’s golden on top. The dish’s origins go back to the mid-17th century, when the first Malay slaves were brought to the Cape of Good Hope, and with them, their cooking. At the same time Dutch colonizers brought a taste for sweet things—hence the golden raisins mixed in with the meat; Indian immigrants, who began arriving in the late 19th century, contributed warming curry spices, giving rise to the classically Cape Malay balancing act between sour, spicy, sweet, and savory flavors that makes bobotie so satisfying. Often almonds are part of the recipe, and even bananas, but there are limits to what you can do and still call it bobotie. I believe the traditional way is the best way. —Reuben Riffel, chef-owner of the Reuben’s restaurants in South Africa”
And when we thought we couldn’t eat another morsel, out “popped” the lamb curry!
Two dishes are missing from this line up. The golden French fries that complemented the steak, and the pumpkin fritters. The fritters were another first for me, and mouth watering good. The tops were slightly crunchy with a hint of brown sugar.
Don’t we look happy. With all this scrumptious food who wouldn’t, right?
South African wines were on offer. The red house was a pleasant Cabernet.
Prices are reasonable. They are open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Linking up to #FoodieTuesday over at Inside Journeys.
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