A Taste of South Africa


The country's diverse heritage has helped cook up its varied cuisine, with a mix of flavours both borrowed and distinctly South African. As a result, the nation's restaurant scene is thriving and a perfect match for the superb local wines. People love their meat here; from beef and chicken to springbok, warthog and ostrich barbecued on a braai in true South African style. Seafood is abundant too, thanks to the miles and miles of coastline. Other local tastes include the sweet curries of Cape Malay cuisine in Cape Town and the spicy Indian influenced dishes in Durban.

This traditional Afrikaans stew is cooked in an iron pot called a potjie over an open fire. The recipe includes meat, vegetables, rice or potatoes, all left to simmer with spices for up to six hours, ideally with a fireside chat while you wait. Stirring is frowned upon, the idea being that the different flavours mix as little as possible.

South Africa’s national dish has been eaten in the Cape of Good Hope since the 17th century. This Cape Malay dish is a spicy, baked minced beef stew with a creamy egg-based topping. The recipe traditionally contains dried fruit like raisins or sultanas.

Bredie is the Afrikaans word for stew. This meat, tomato and vegetable dish is usually made with mutton and a dash of chilli, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and ginger. It was first introduced to South Africa by Malay people, usually slaves brought to the colony. 


South Africa has a multitude of great restaurants, but there is another side to its culinary appeal. Follow your nose, or the hungry locals, to find street food stalls in markets, on city pavements and in the bustling towns. South African street food reflects the diverse blend of indigenous and migrant people who have settled there; from European-style sausages to Indian-influenced samosas. Be careful to only order street food from vendors whose food is clean, fresh and cooked right in front of you.

This Dutch-inspired spicy sausage is made from beef and a blend of spices including allspice, cloves, nutmeg, black pepper and coriander seed. Usually grilled on a braai, it is often served with pap, a South African side dish similar to polenta, or hotdog-style as a boerie roll with a tomato and onion relish.

South Africa’s most famous snack is a type of cured, spiced meat cut into strips. Similar to beef jerky but thicker and less sweet, it can be made from any meat, like springbok, ostrich, and even shark, but is usually made from cuts of beef.

Bunny Chow
Also known as kota, this fast food favourite is a scooped out bread loaf filled with curry. Legend has it that it was invented in Durban’s Indian community during apartheid, when people of Asian and African descent were banned from using cutlery.