A South African restaurant in London? Of course, I’m going to be biased!
Admittedly, I haven’t been a very patriotic food blogger thus far and have only posted these South African recipes:
- Oxtail braised in Red Wine
- Chocolate & Coconut Clusters
- Pancakes with Cinnamon & Sugar
- Don Pedro
- Malvapoeding A.K.A Marshmallow Pudding
- Beef Meatballs with Curried Banana Sauce
- Caramel & Biscuit Cake
But mark my words, more dishes will be heading your way in good time, just you wait! In the meantime, bbar, a South African restaurant in London, helped soothe my homesickness a bit…
Bobotie Spring Rolls with Mrs. Balls Chutney (£6.20): An Asian–inspired and modern twist make a refreshing change on the traditional South African dish, Bobotie. The spring rolls were served with marinated cucumber and mint cradled in a Cos lettuce leave with Mrs. Balls Chutney served in a spoon. Overall a fun dish with exciting flavours.
Springbok Fillet with Sweet Potato Puree, Spinach, Baby Carrots and Redcurrant Sauce (£25.00) : Imported all the way from South Africa, my medium-cooked springbok fillet showed no hint of fat and gristle. The redcurrant sauce paired well with this meltingly tender and gamey flavoured piece of meat. The crunchy young carrots I felt was superfluous on the plate since the sweet potato mash and under salted spinach already did a fine job at representing South Africa’s favourite side dishes. I did however miss my starch, i.e. fries or mash, with this plate of food and at a steep £25.00 a pop it doesn’t prove to be the best value.
Malva Pudding with Rooibos and Apricot Ice Cream (£5.65) : Malvapoeding is South African’s answer to the Brits’ Sticky Toffee Pudding. Sinfully moist, very light and guilt-inducing to eat, the dessert’s secret weapon is apricot jam. The chunks of dried apricot in the ice cream left me ambivalent and even though I exclusive drink rooibos tea, I couldn’t discern its flavour – it probably got overwhelmed by the sweet pudding…
Oh, how I miss South Africa – glorious weather just about every single day, tonnes of wild animals to gawk at, plenty of vineyards to explore and its melting pot of cuisines. Seriously, what is there not to like about my motherland?
Have I tempted you to go there on holiday? If you think obtaining visas will be a headache, think again. Last week I visited the South African High Consulate in London and was amazed by the speed and efficiency the courteous staff worked and best of all my paperwork got sorted out in a jiffy!
A special thank you to South African Tourism for arranging the fabulous food bloggers evening. Of course, avid cooks and eaters like us were over the moon to give a hand in a restaurant kitchen and learn a new technique or two!
Want to know what other bloggers said? Here are the accounts of blogging buddy Sarah from Maison Cupcake and Jackie from I Am A Feeder.
7/10: The menu isn’t hardcore South African, the quality is overall good.
7/10: Our starter and dessert were very generous.
8/10: Such attentive service I actually had to ask for them to stop filling my wine glass!
8/10: All good!
7/10: The event was held in the private dining area of the restaurant which was found more than adequate.
7/10: If you happen to stay at Rubens At The Palace and had to choose between The Old Masters (think seriously retro and a tad dire carvery) and bbar – it’s a no-brainer.
bbar and Restaurant
43 Buckingham Palace Road