Posted: 12/8/2009


      What's for lunch. Well, I am in Africa, so maybe something African makes sense. I am at the junction of Long & Church Streets in Cape Town. Opposite is Mesopotamia-Kurdish Food, on one corner, and another is Mozart's definitely not African according to the Austrian waltz blaring out of the place.

    I choose ADDIS IN CAPE, Ethiopian food and the lunch special for R65. Going inside and upstairs is a room with a gorgeous design. On the ceiling turned upside down are those colourful Ethiopian  umbrellas. The tables  are called MESOB, unique and beautiful grass woven basket like, in vibrant and unique designs with a cover of similar design. My hostess is the owner, Senait Mekonnen, who explains the food and the designs.

    On the kitchen wall is a saying, " When spiders unite they can tie up a lion." I am brought the lunch tray which is set on my table and the large basket weave cover taken off. On an edible 'plate'  of Ethiopian bread are 6 dishes, which the waitress then tips upside down. We have spicy chicken, non-spicy chicken, butternut spicy, lentils spicy, tomato salad, chick peas. To my side is a small dish of 'bread' folded like a hot towels with which I break up and scoop up the food.  Injera is the name of the thin bread, usually a sourdough pancake of a grain called teff, natural in Ethiopia, which is baked in a flat clay stove called a Metad. Here it is made of rice and is very spongy in texture.

    The food is spiced with Berbere, Ethiopian spices from mixed dried chillies with herbs and spices, garlic, onion, ginger, cloves and cardamon.  It is really delicious. I am asked if I want coffee, which I don't usually drink, but Senait says she will bring it anyway, so that I can enjoy the ceremony. A plate is set in front of me and the very strong Ethiopian coffee is pored from a a designer coffee pot into a tiny handleless cup with a unique design, Next to it is a small censer stand in which frankinsence is burning on charcoal. It's dried tree sap resin which is mixed with spice, which has an exotic smell that wifts in my face. Quite a lunch for my last day in Africa. During next yea'rs World Cup they are going to advertise a FIFA Special for visiting fans.

Leaving, there is another saying on the wall. " Little by little and egg will walk."

     The night before, strolling down Long Street, I note the large variety of restaurants, bars and cafes. The one that strikes me as really unique is KAAYA-NYAMA, a 'game' restaurant. The menu is in the window so I take note.  Crocodile curpaccia, Angolan smoked ostrich, trio of game fish: marlin, tuna, swordfish,deep fried with apricot sauce. Eland loin, springbok loin, zebra loin, mixed venison stew of zebra, kuda, eland. Angolan 'big chicken'-ostrich fillet flame grilled in wine with fig sauce, lamb curry, crocodile loin Mozambique style. Game on the bone-warthog and springbok.

     This is definitely Africa !!!  See you next year.