“A skillet of prawns and calamari, pleasantly spiced”
Republic of Hout Bay, South Africa.
In the firm belief that food fixes feelings, welcome to my new foodie blog. I am qualified to talk on this subject matter only by the passionate love affair I have with food.
Many dishes that will appear you won’t be able to try out, because I made them myself, and don’t often write down recipes. For that matter, I sometimes get it spectacularly wrong, but you more than likely won’t get to see those events, here.
The above dish went a long way in dismissing my belief that all the best seafood from Cape Town and Hout Bay is shipped up to Johannesburg. I do believe that Cape Town and environs charge more than they should, not only for seafood, but for all food. You also are far more likely to get a ‘Hit’ in Pretoria, than you are in the Western Cape, where a ‘Miss’ is a fifty-fifty chance, in my experience, and this is due in large part to the food establishments of the area’s wont to overcharge, rob and otherwise rape the everyday eater.
The sad knock-on effect is that Joe Public then feels he has the rights to become snobbish, and treat with snobbish effrontery, such experiences as may be had in this province, whether or not these are good or bad. They talk down their noses at one, because they ate at such trendy spots as The Biscuit Mill, among others.
These desultory and overpriced canteens, in response, often become emotionally vapid at best by feigning irritation at the hands of a poorly-educated palate, or sycophantic at worst, as they try to either please the undeservedly snooty eater, or woo them back, with freebies, discounts or vouchers. Together, they are complicit in making South African restaurant goers in general an unhappy, and hard-to-please bunch, who expect to get fifty percent slashed off their meals if these are anything less than orgasmic, moving in the most religious of ways or so trendy that NO ONE else has ever heard of the dish.
I am much simpler in my affections for food, and heap the sycophantic praise whenever a dish gets that happy sigh, that means the rate of consumption has exceeded the rate of spend, and overwhelmed the consciousness of my day. There are many, and varied dishes, some complex in their preparation and subtleties of taste – others are simple but mind-boggling in how pleasing they are in their simplicity.
Let it be known, that like a good desert I waffle.
The Calaprawnia® I enjoyed at Hout Bay’s Mariner’s Wharf was deliciously tangy, the prawns crunchy and properly cooked in a divine and not-as-creamy-as-I-usually-take-it lemon butter sauce. They were good enough to eat whole, and I did, barring the head shells – but that is my issue, and no restaurant will ever prepare prawn heads such that I may consider eating the shells of the heads. My sister can do that, she like to, so I won’t impose myself on her relishing of these.
Do try this dish when you’re there, any residual feelings you’ve had that remain unresolved will dissolve about half-way through this meal!
© Dave Luis 2012. All Rights Reserved.