If you’ve had enough of cordon bleu cuisine and are simply looking for somewhere a little different, there are plenty of restaurants in South Africa that you can go for a bite that are a little more unique.
South Africa is a gourmand’s paradise. But, if you’ve had enough of haute cuisine and want somewhere a little different, there are plenty of places available.
Eat between two oceans
South Africa is one of the few places in the world where you can eat between two oceans; it’s certainly the only place in the world where baboons steal your food. The Two Oceans Restaurant in Cape Town has a spectacular view out over False Bay where the Indian and the Atlantic Oceans meet. Looking out over the edge of the balcony, you can even see a change in color where the oceans meet. If you’re lucky, you’ll even spot a whale while dining; this is particularly the case in September when they come close to the shore in order to breed.
Eat exotic game
Carnivore definitely isn’t a restaurant for vegetarians, but then the name gives that much away. South Africa’s version of Kenya’s flagship restaurant is based in Johannesburg’s Misty Hills Hotel. Although the menu varies due to seasonality, it always features four types of exotic game. The crocodile meat tastes remarkably like chicken; ostrich, zebra, gnu, and kudu all feature on the buffets. The best thing about Carnivore is that it’s an all-you-can-eat restaurant. If you want to try to eat a whole crocodile in one sitting, this is the place to go.
Eat with South Africa’s most wanted
Prison restaurants must be popular in South Africa as the country has two. However, Pollsmoor Mess in Cape Town and Drakenstein A La Carte in Paarl aren’t prison-themed restaurants; no, these restaurants are in genuine prisons. The waiters aren’t just serving food; they’re also serving time. While asking questions is possible, you can’t hand over cash to your waiter. Tips go in a sealed box afterward. The food at both prisons is affordable and all inmates have qualifications for the positions that they hold. However, both prisons are extremely popular so you’ll need to make reservations in advance.
Eat among the stars
In South Africa, the Observatory Restaurant in Gauteng is the place to go to look through the largest professional telescope in the Southern Hemisphere. Search for supernovas as you await your soup, or track comets in between courses. The food at this restaurant is fantastic: starters include minestrone soup with truffle oil, whilst mains like polenta and haloumi oriental duck prove that astronomy and gastronomy make a very fine duo indeed.
Eat in traditional African tents
If you want a traditional African feast, then Gold in Cape Town is the place to go for a Cape Malay meal. Enjoy traditional African cuisine under safari tents, listening to the beat of djembe drum. The baobab trees inside the giant tent add to the mystical ambience of the restaurant, and guests can watch traditional Mali puppet shows as they enjoy their meals. Afterwards join an interactive drum circle and learn how to play the djembe drum. The price of a meal here may be high, but you’re also paying for an evening’s worth of entertainment, so it’s well worth the money.
Written by Rachel Hill.
Rachel Hill is a Southern Africa Travel specialist, a company specializing in luxury, tailor-made South African holidays.