Bookings: Telefonic booking of a table in a restaurant is recommended.
Wait to be seated: Don't look for a table yourself, but always wait for a waiter to show you to a table.
Tip: In South Africa 10% is the norm.
Fully Licensed: Restaurants with a licence to sell wine, beer and spirits.
Corkage: In South African restaurants you can bring your own wine. You hand it to the waiter to open and serve it and eventually pay a corkage fee of R10 or R15.
Cuisine á la South Africa
The modern South African kitchen is international. But there are some typical South African traditions and dishes.The most important of these culinary traditions is the "Boerekos". This "farm food" stems from the Boerish settlers and is characterised by hearty meals with a lot of meat.
Very much alive is the Braaivleis tradition, a barbecue of lamb, beef and/or pork with sweet vegetables and salad. On warm evenings you can smell the grill fumes everywhere in the country. A fish barbeque, especially the "Snoek-Braai", is a speciality of Cape Town.
From the days of the Voortrekkers originates Potjiekos. Lamb or any other meat is stewed for hours with lots of vegetables in a round cast-iron pot on three legs over a fire.
A simple meal, which is eaten daily in the entire country, is "Pap met Wors", maize mash with fried onions and beef or sheep sausage, the "Boerewors".
Also the "Melktart" (Milk Tart) and a "Waterblommetjie Bredie" (Waterflower stew) are typical dishes of the Boerekos.
Unique is the Cape Malay kitchen. The Malays who were forcefully taken as slaves to the Cape, brought their cooking methods with them and modified them with local ingredients such as raisins and pumpkin. ypically, a Cape Malay dish contains lots of turmarin, here called "Borrie", kardamom, cinnamon, ginger, garlic and raisins. Except for pork and wine, any local ingredient is used. Typical dishes are "Bobotie", a mince meat/raisin bake with lots of cinnamon and laurel leaves, and "Roties", wheat flour pita bread with a filling of deliciously spiced vegetables and meat.
French cuisine, introduced by the Huguenots together with their wine growing skills, is also at home in the Cape. Creatively more obliged to the taste than to a certain style, modern chefs tend to combine different traditions. Nouvelle Boerekos is farm food refined the French way, and in Fusion Food European, usually French, dishes are being modified with Japanese ingredients.
Most of the restaurants cannot be classed by any of these traditions, but prepare good international dishes with fresh organic ingredients, sometimes with an Austrian, sometimes with an English note. Italian food, beyond pizza and pasta, is well represented and Sushi is a favourite with the health-conscious.
The Indian kitchen is dominant in the restaurant scene of Durban and KwaZulu-Natal. Gourmet chefs have taken it also to other parts of the country. You can find excellent Indian restaurants, which are of particular interest to vegetarians, in many cities of the country. The degree of hotness of a particular dish is stipulated on the menu.
South Africans are fond of seafood, as the main dish of a candle-lit dinner or as a lunch snack and even for breakfast as haddock or kippers in the English tradition. On most of the menus of Cape Town, for example, fish occupies a prominent place and the fish restaurants are well frequented by locals and tourists.