Road Trip South Africa, January 2016 ~ I’ve been offline for a while – catching up with the things that we neglected in 2015. We needed to get caught up so we could enjoy our January adventure. Last year we decided it was time to start taking our dream trips – before we get too old to enjoy them. South Africa has been high on our list for two reasons: we have dear friends who have been trying to get us to join them on one of their many visits there and we have always wanted to see the animals in the Kruger National Park. So we spent 20 days of January on a road trip through South Africa with our friends. We started with a visit to mutual friends in Johannesburg, continued with a week in the Kruger, followed by a drive down the coast on the Garden Route (through wine country) to Cape Town. After a few days there we ended way down the Western Cape in the coastal cabin of more mutual friends. What an adventure! Since this blog is about food, I won’t post any animal photos here but you can check out a few in my South Africa Safari post on my Pond Peeps blog.
I’m not a total vegetarian – I call myself an “edgie veggie” – but I rarely eat meat, so most of my photos are of some of the delightful vegetarian dishes we enjoyed in South Africa. Our local friends treated us to some amazing home cooked barbeque, or braai, as they call it and I did eat and enjoy their beef, chicken and sausages. My hubby enjoyed many meat options, including antelope, ostrich, fabulous filets and mopane worms. Yes, you read it correctly…worms…eeek!
He also enjoyed the bunny chow at Moyo Restaurant in Johannesburg. I couldn’t quite get my head around the name “bunny chow” – all I could envision was a Purina bag of animal pellets. In South Africa, bunny chow is a dish that originated in Durban; it is a bun stuffed with curry. The Moyo version was chicken livers, seasoned with peri peri sauce, served in the small buns:
We stayed at two different private game lodges at the edge of the Kruger. Both served fabulous buffet meals but I really liked the look of the tables at our smaller, ten-guest Kwambili Lodge:
One of the lovely, simple lunches at Kwambili: Salad, pesto pasta and home baked bread:
After a week at the game lodges, we hit the road, working our way south to Cape Town. Of course, the fuel stops provided plenty of opportunities to indulge in junk food:
But we did stop at local grocers for fresh fruits, cheeses and veggies:
In Knysna, we stayed in the most charming Two Angels Guest House and wandered into town for dinner. The seafood restaurant was most accommodating by preparing me a delicious vegetable plate, featuring what they called a mushroom stack, which was a yummy skewer of large mushrooms, piled with a spinach sauce:
In Franschhoek, we visited several wineries and dined at their restaurants. Ned’s favorite was the beet root soup. The presentation was beautiful. His dish arrived with several flavor elements – maybe sweet gels and herbed butter – we couldn’t tell because before we had time to examine them, the server poured the hot soup over it all – whatever it was, it was delicious:
At this point I was getting a little nervous about packing on pounds, so I was really excited to see the salad of quinoa, kale, feta and beets, a combination of some of my favorite foods – it was delish (yes, that burger and fries in the background was being enjoyed by, ahem, others at our table):
In Cape Town, we stayed at the artsy Rouge on Rose Hotel, where the breakfasts were works of art. I was still trying to be good by eating granola, yogurt and fruit:
Because I was really saving it up for a blow-it-all meal of fish and chips down in False Bay – naughty, naughty:
Back in Cape Town, we got back to the business of fine dining:
And I went for broke with a dessert featuring melt-in-your-mouth chocolate ganache squares accompanied by raspberry sorbet and beet root mousse – ooh la la!
The food was so good in South Africa – that wasn’t a surprise as so many friends have shared their own experiences with us. I admit I was surprised at the range of options for vegetarians – I think the best in all our travels so far.
I love street vendors, so I’ll close with a shot of one of the fruit stands in downtown Cape Town: