Tuesday, September 19, 2006

A Vegetarian in South Africa

One of the guys I was travelling with was proudly boasting that he had eaten around 14 different species on his last visit to Cape Town, so I wasn't really expecting much more than salads and maybe the odd pasta dish during the two weeks I was visiting.

I'd like to say that I was wrong, but with only a couple of exceptions, I wasn't.

South Africe, well Cape Town at least, is very very meat and fish oriented. As a veggie, it was quite difficult to find anything in restaurants other than those usual resorts of vegetarians, Italian, Indian and Mexican. The only exception to this was the Wild Fig which was superb, both in quality of food and choice.

I did get a Halloumi Cheese stir fry cooked for me in Ocean Basket, a fish restaurant that the group visited, and although it was quite tasty, it wasn't that exciting. Other than that, I had the usual round of salads and vegetable lasagnes. I had a vegetable pattie in one restaurant (it was either that or another salad) and room service at the Cullinan hotel consisted of an amazingly tasteless vegetable lasagne or pasta arrabiatta.

At the Courtyard Hotel they had a delivery service called Mr Delivery which consisted of a book of around a dozen menus. You cose your dishes, rang a central number and Mr Delivery would then go around the various outlets and collect and deliver your order. There were quite a few veggie options in this list, however, they were mostly Italian or Indian.

All in all, Cape Town isn't the place to go if you're after a vegetarian culinary extravaganza.

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