Cape Town is one of the most colorful places I’ve ever seen. Of course, you’ll be awed by the colors of nature – in the sea, the blue skies, the mountains, the gardens (private and public). But the city itself is colorful, too. There is a lot of public art in the squares and along the waterfront.
What tickled me were the colorful buildings. Many of these can be attributed to the ‘Cape Malay’ community, which has played a major role in shaping the history, culture and diversity of Cape Town. Their vibrantly hued homes and businesses (including many great restaurants) draw tourists to their Bo-Kaap neighborhood. Many of the Malays are descendants of slaves brought here by the Dutch from the Malay Peninsula and adjacent islands of Southeast Asia. Their culture has been strongly influenced by Thailand, Java, Sumatra and especially by Hindu India. The Malays were largely Hinduized before they were converted to Islam in the 15th century. Some of our best meals in Cape Town were Cape Malay influenced.
One of our “most interesting” meals was in another colorful neighborhood, at a place called Mzoli’s. Situated just outside Cape Town in the township (poor area) of Gugulethu, the restaurant, which is actually a butcher shop, is known for its diverse patronage and its signature meat. I had read an article about Jamie Oliver going there and contrary to our guide’s advice, I was intent on going. We (and he!) were glad we did. (see pics below)
Of course, there was never any shortage of seafood in Cape Town. We enjoyed some delicious fish (kingclip, gurnard and my fav, Cape sole) as well as South African lobster. They also did calamari as good or better than anyone.
All in all, Cape Town was a treat for the eyes, as well as for the tummy!