The FOOD!

18 03 2012

Alright, so I’m a little slow to updating this blog, but I’ve been trying to get so many things done since I’ve been home in the States.  I’m going to try to update as much as possible in the next two weeks and then I can go back to sharing with you all the great things I’ve been cooking! 🙂

Since I’ve been back I’ve been catching up with a lot of people about what I’ve been doing in South Africa, and most importantly, what I’ve been eating!  Johannesburg has a wealth of great restaurants, and because of the great exchange rate, everything is VERY inexpensive compared to the States.  Where we lived, we were surrounded by shopping plazas and areas with plenty of restaurants to choose from.  Each week we got to go to a different restaurant and got chances to get some authentic South African food as well.  I’ll try to include as many photos as possible (I love to take pictures of everything I eat) and describe what it is.

Sushi

One of my favorite parts about Johannesburg was the freshness of fish there and for everyone’s love of sushi, which is one of my all-time favorite foods.  You could get sushi at any restaurant, be it Italian, Brazilian, or even South African.  Sana and I got a chance to go to an all-you-can-eat sushi restaurant one weekend for lunch, which was less than $10 US for all you can eat – and the sushi was prepared fresh and went around on this little river – so cool!

All you can eat sushi going around the little river

Yummy salmon california rolla

Brazilian

One evening we got a chance to go to Rodizio, a Brazilian steakhouse, or known as a churrascaria.  For about $18 [converted to US from South African Rand] we got an all you can eat meat meal, where restaurant workers come around with over 20 different types and cuts of meat – pork, lamb, chicken, and beef.  You get a little ticker that is red on one side and green on the other; as long as you keep the green up, the servers will just keep coming and offering you meat.  In addition, we got endless chips [aka fries], butternut squash mash, and creamed spinach.  Yum!  I of course had to have a caipirinha while I was there, a signature Brazilian drink, in honor of the caipirinhas my mom and I drank while we were in Brazil a few years ago.

Butternut squash mash at the Brazilian restaurant

South African

We got some chances to have South African and other African-region inspired foods.  One of the first weeks we went to a real braai in one of the South African townships in Alexandra.  We got sides of vegetables which included pap, a cornmeal-based dish, chakalaka, sliced carrots with beans and peppers, a tomato relish (eaten with mayonnaise) and roasted potatoes.  We got to choose meat to braai and had chicken, boerwors (a type of sausage) and ox liver, which was surprisingly really good. Our friend Funky also had us over for dinner for some traditional food, and it was an amazing experience to have a home-cooked South African meal.

Vegetable side dishes at a South African restaurant

All different kinds of meat at the braai!

 

South African family dinner!

At Moyo’s, an African-inspired cuisine restaurant, we had some Tunisian bread appetizer and some of the other girls had ostrich and springbok (a type of gazelle).  The more flashy South African restaurants also come around and do face painting which is definitely a fun experience!  Moyo’s also had their wait staff do a dance during the evening which was great!  See the video here. [LINK]  At Lekgotla, a South African restaurant in Nelson Mandela Square, I got a fantastically marinated lamb shank and it was served with pap  and chakalaka.  Yum!

Tunisian bread appetizer

 

Fish tagine at Moyo's

Ethiopian

Cape Town boasts a number of ethnically-inspired foods and we went to an Ethiopian restaurant our first night in Cape Town.  I’ve never been to Ethiopian food before, and it’s all about the experience.  You eat with your hands for the appetizers and the entrees and everything is served with this type of bread, which is similar to a crepe but a little bit thicker.  We ordered a number of vegetarian and meat dishes and the wait staff pours everything out onto the bread and then you eat it all with your hands.  It really enriches the eating experience, and the bread soaks up all the food and juices and it’s fantastic.  They also do a traditional coffee ceremony (which we opted out of), but I did get some coffee which they serve with popcorn.

All of our dishes on top of the bread-type stuff!

Coffee and popcorn Ethiopian dessert

Others

While we were in South Africa we got a chance to go to so many different restaurants.  Each week we picked a different place – here are some photos from Thai, Indian, and various Italian restaurants that we went to.  I would say one of my favorite parts about being in South Africa was getting the opportunity to eat out so much (since I don’t eat out much at home) and have great food at such a low cost.  The most surprising thing to me is that I got to eat out so much and still lost weight! =)  …although I attribute that to healthy eating (more healthier than how I eat in the States) and also a pretty decent workout regiment.

Until next time!

 

Deep fried ice cream with a chocolate dipping sauce

Fantastic burger at a restaurant in Cape Town

Butternut squash ravioli = heavenly

Chicken pad thai in the cutest serving dishes!

Seafood pasta with mussels, calamari, and shrimp in Cape Town

A curry chicken dish at an Indian restaurant

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