South Africa

Why South Africa

Hallo, South Africa. I’m looking forward to getting to know you!

We chose South Africa during our brainstorming session in late 2018. Good choice, I reckon.

My experience of South Africa

I’ve never been to South Africa, and don’t really have any desire to go there. I know quite a few people who have a South African heritage, so I’ll be picking their brains about what food we should eat.


We’ll have lunch in South Africa on Sunday 29 September, which is the day after the AFL grand final – I wonder who’ll win. I’m fairly certain it won’t be the mighty Bombers. But I digress. Back to South Africa.

I’ve asked a couple of friends what we should cook. Elaine has suggested a long list of yummy sounding food that I’ll definitely try to add to the menu. And Lani’s teacher, who has a South African heritage, has given me four suggestions, three of which Elaine had suggested as well. Thank you, Miss Prior!

So it looks like we’ll definitely be having Bobotie, Milktert and Malva Pudding. And a work colleague in Adelaide has sent me over some great-looking recipes – thank you, Johann.

I’m very much looking forward to the South African music. Love South African music!

The menu

This is what the menu is looking like:

  • Vetkoek
  • Biltong
  • Three-bean salad
  • Curried beans
  • Cape curried fish
  • Tomato bredie
  • Cape Curry
  • Bobotie
  • Beef and balsamic apricot potjie
  • Boerewors
  • Peppermint crisp fridge tart
  • Malva pudding
  • Milktert
  • Hertzoggies

Good grief, that’s a lot of food. I’ll be making ¼ quantities of many of the recipes.

Thursday 26 September

Tomorrow is that ridiculous public holiday for the AFL Grand Final and the South African Shop in Templestowe will be closed so I did a very quick visit today. If you need South African food and want great customer service and assistance, take yourself off to The South African Shop at 112 James Street, Templestowe. I got some biltong, boerewors and tennis biscuits (whatever tennis biscuits are).

The food

Oh wow. South Africa, your food is awesome!!

Lunch in South Africa was voted as one of the best meals we have had yet. I’ve never been there and have never even been to a South African restaurant. But what yummy, yummy food we had!

My spice cupboard got a severe workout but there was nothing out of the ordinary – just lots of great spice combinations! And apricot jam. Every recipe seemed to have apricot jam in it!!

It was impossible to choose the dish of the day.

Our introductory nibbles were the biltong and vetkoek. Will loved the biltong, and the vetkoek was voted one of the dishes of the day. It was really easy to make so it might go into my party repertoire.

The boerewors was very spicy. I chose a chilli and garlic flavour, but here was a lot of chilli in it.

The other dishes were all delicious, with the bobotie and the cape curry getting lots of votes. I don’t like fish all that much, and would never choose curried fish off a menu, but loved the cape curried fish. I think it must have been the vinegar that made the difference.

And the desserts were just as good! The malva pudding was a big hit. And how could the peppermint crisp fridge tart not be a big hit?

Here are the recipes for our faves – South Africa best recipes

Click here to see all our favourite recipes.

The drinks

Instead of cocktails, we had Amarula on ice. Google tells us that Amarula is made from the fruit of the Marula tree. It is delicious. I never thought I would say this but it’s like Bailey’s but even nicer. It doesn’t have the cloying sweetness of Bailey’s and has a lovely after taste. You must give it a try!

There was also some good South African red and white wines doing the rounds.

The ambience

The ambience was great, although with Lani and three eleven-year old boys it got very noisy in my little apartment. Actually Liam and Pete and Tom weren’t that noisy most of the time. It’s Lani that makes all the noise. Lani, if you ever read this blog as an adult, you were a really noisy kid. Really noisy!! But we always still loved you to bits. And always will.

Our music was the playlist from the Power of One, which is one of my favourite CDs (it’s a better than an average book, too).

We missed you, Elysia!

The quiz

Will wrote the quiz at the last moment – I hadn’t got around to doing it. Thanks, Will!

Question 11 was great fun, with each of us having to show off our best South African accent. When I lived in the UK, I was always amused at the very high number of people who said they couldn’t tell the Aussie, Kiwi and South African accents apart. Lauren got the bonus point for the best Saffa accent. And Lani did very well indeed to get full scores for questions 14 and 16. I’m going to have her on my team more often.

Rich won with 13 points, with Lauren coming in a very close second. The boys did very well, too.

We also did The Age quiz, which was really hard this time. It was just about our worst effort yet.

When desserts and quizzes were done and dusted we played a couple of games of Secret Hitler. I love most board games but I just don’t get Secret Hitler. It was good to watch everyone else play though.

Here’s the factsheet – Factsheet_Sth Africa

Here’s the place-mat – Place-mat_Sth Africa

And here’s the quiz – Quiz_Sth Africa

The highlight of lunch in South Africa

I was afraid you might ask what the highlight of lunch in South Africa was. The truth is that there wasn’t a highlight – it was all fantastic. The food, the drinks, the company, the conversations, the music, even the noise – it was all great.

The notable foods were the vetkoek, the biltong, boerewors, the cape curry, the curried beans, the bobotie, the peppermint crisp fridge tart and the malva pudding. That’s a lot of notable foods, I know!

Where to next?

Next month we’re off to Sri Lanka. That promises to be delicious, too!

And exciting! We’re having lunch in Sri Lanka on Sunday 27 October and Karma, Rob and the kids arrive the night before. We’re all so very much looking forward to having them back home. I still can’t believe it is happening. Karma has been away for 17 years and she’s coming home!!!!!  There’s going to be a lot of tears on 26 October – all of them happy and most of them mine.

Roll on, Sunday 27 October, I say!!