“Cape Malay” became the collective term for a vibrant people who originated from various parts of South East Asia, including Malaysia. Originally shipped to the Cape by the Dutch East India Company in 1652 as slave labourers, they brought with them to South Africa their culture and traditions. There’s little doubt that Cape Malay influences have played an important part in shaping Cape Town’s multi-cultural traditions. The Bo Kaap district, or “Malay Quarter” in central Cape Town (just round the corner from GOLD Restaurant) is a popular spot for visitors. The suburb is filled with brightly coloured houses and cobbled streets.
Cape Malay Food
The Malay people are also famous for their delicious recipes and fragrant spices. Today Cape Malay cuisine is best described as fusion food with a distinctive flavour, each dish being prepared with a considered blend of aromatic spices.
We’re proud to serve an array of authentic Cape Malay dishes at our Cape Town restaurant. These include our baby bobotie, lamb and springbok samoosas, seafood curry, roti, smoorvis, and boeber dessert. Pronunciations are as colourful as the dishes themselves!
Here are just a few of our favourites:
Bobotie (pronounced boh-boo-tea)
Nowadays, bobotie is considered a national South African dish. It’s a delicious blend of curried, ground beef or ostrich, baked with a savoury custard topping. Our version originates from Batavia and is fast becoming more common on restaurant menus in other African countries. We also make a tasty vegetarian option with lentils.
Smoorvis (pronounced smoo-er-fis)
Directly translated to English, smoorvis is “smothered fish”. It was originally made with salted, wind-dried fish but this is difficult to source. Instead, we use smoked snoek, which is a long perch-like fish found in our seas.
Lamb and springbok samoosas (pronounced su-moor-sus)
Samoosas are crisp, fried or baked pastries. They originate from ancient Persia, or modern day Iraq. Variations can be found throughout the Middle East and North Africa. We prepare a traditional style samoosa with spicy minced meat, namely organic lamb and springbok. They’re best enjoyed with our creme chutney.
This is a typically Cape Malay family meal. Our dish is specially created by Malay cooks. It’s gently spiced, prepared with fresh line fish, mussels, and prawns, and has a glorious, warm complexity of flavours. We also do a flavoursome vegetable curry version.
Roti (pronounced with a short “o” and “i”)
Cape Malay roti is a lighter, flaky, fluffy version of the Indian roti. It’s a definitive accompaniment to any Cape Malay or sauce based dish.
Boeber (pronounced boo-bir)
Our Boeber dessert is rich and creamy, and very filling. Traditionally, Boeber is served as a pudding or a thick, creamy drink. We add a light sprinkling of edible gold dust to garnish.
Note: Cape Malay food is as diverse as it’s people and our menu changes accordingly to reflect this. While we cannot ensure the availability of all of the above dishes at the time of your visit, we can guarantee that delicious Cape Malay cuisine will always feature on our menu.