Monday, July 5, 2010

Good Eats of the Middle East and South Africa

Hi there good eaters! I'm just back from an amazing trip to Africa, where I had some fantastic meals. Let's start at the beginning, shall we? We stopped first in Dubai to visit some friends who live there and they took us around showing us all the hot and dusty sights that wacky town has to offer. After visiting about a thousand malls, the world's tallest building, and witnessing the madness that is indoor skiing in the desert, we were hungry. Luckily, there's The Boardwalk. This place is all about its creekside location, making it a lovely spot for a sunset drink and some grub. Better yet? All the veggie options are clearly marked. I went with the salad (meh) and the mezes (not too shabby):

Basically the salad had way too much raw onion for my taste, but the mezes delivered authentic flavor and really hit the spot, so no complaints.

After our day in Dubai, we headed on to Cape Town and went straight to dinner at a place I found online when searching for hookah bars. Mesopotamia is quite the vegan find! This Kurdish restaurant has plenty of vegan options so we basically got small portions of everything that sounded yummy, along with some deliciously chewy flatbread:

The Rojda (lentils with ginger and spices) and Sholik (green beans stewed with olive oil, tomatoes, and onions) were my favorites, but everything was tasty... and there was belly dancing and hookahs to boot! Definitely worth a trip.

The next day we wandered around the V&A Waterfront, checked out a bunch of menus, and ended up at Karibu for lunch. They have a whole vegetarian section and most things can be made vegan. I went with the vegetarian wrap:

This scrumptious plate consists of curried veggies wrapped in roti and served with sambals (obviously I did not need or use that creamy-looking one). It's not a wrap in the sense that you pick it up - it's a knife and fork deal - but it was very tasty. Plus the view from our table didn't suck:

For lunch the next day, we went to another place that had caught our eye: Balducci's. Like most Italian places, there were lots of vegan options and I had a wonderful salad and some garlicy flatbread with arugula:

This was the perfect lunch after a night of too much drinking. World Cup party-goers mean business!

On our final night in Cape Town, we headed to The Jewel of India. The name sets the bar pretty high, and I'm sad to say the food doesn't quite reach expectations. My aloo gobi was decent, though it was my first time having it cooked in coconut milk.

Everyone we dined with was in agreement that we'd had better Indian food elsewhere. But whatever, they can't all be winners.

Speaking of winners, you may have noticed that I left one dinner out of this post. That's because it was so good it deserve a post of its own. Next time, folks. Stay tuned!

No comments: