Here in Jacaranda City, we are privileged to have such an extensive series of good quality restaurants and refreshing eateries to choose from. Most of them being more than proficient in the current and timeless eating trends and culinary styles. Although, on the other side of that same coin, it is important to recognise the elements that brought us to this point of upturn. The locales that played a part in bringing about the care and quality of truly well-made meals in the capital city. It has also become a joy to seek out those inviting traditional eateries which sustainably provide a sizable amount of comfort and delectable fare. Here, is a prime example of such a place.
Casa Bourguesa Tapas & Grill is located in Faeriedale Centre strip mall, down Cliffendale Drive, a stone’s throw from Atterbury. Never have the words “hidden gem” meant more in our vocabulary. If Fergus Henderson and Anthony Bourdain themselves would have had a massive lunch or a small dinner somewhere in Pretoria for some inexplicable reason, we would like to believe that they would have frequented this very spot.
Owned by Claude and Louise, the restaurant describes itself as a traditional South African eating house coupled with various Mediterranean flavours and dishes such as Portuguese Tapas and Greek Mezes. The hearty and familiar dishes coupled with the bohemian flare, still makes for one of the most invigorating home-style dining experiences around. The atmosphere is intensely warm and homely with a colourfully decorated bistro-esque aesthetic. The tranquilizing background music and ample secure parking are only some of these most welcomed and pleasurable elements to the experience.
The menu features some of the most traditional South African, Greek and Portuguese favourites, but most importantly, it offers dishes that should be on the treasured side of any self-respecting foodie’s palate. Not to act as an advocate for nose-to-tail eating, but there are so many general, personal and environmental benefits to being accustomed and drawn to the goodness of this. The a la carte also features a wide selection of tapas, salads, breads & dips, steaks, pizzas, schnitzels, pastas, vegetable dishes and fish or seafood dishes, in addition to its classic offerings. Greek favourites include Spanakopita, Chicken Bourekia, Skordalia, Lamb Souvlaki and pure Beef Bifteki. Portuguese options are Butterfly Whole-grilled Lemon & Herb Chicken, the Bourdain-loved Caldo Verde Soup, Trinchado Potjie and Bitoque.
Although, the all-time exemplary meal items are dishes such as the Venison “Fynvleis” Pie, Afval (sheep tripe and trotters), Skilpadjie (lamb liver wrapped in lace fat), Grilled Lamb Riblets and the food of Olympus, Grilled Sheep Tails. Apart from oxtail, these particular foods, which were considered as cheap peasant dishes or cuts in a bygone era, are not as common locally as they should be. Even though their popularity, and prices, have soared in cities globally. These also happen to be some of the most widely shared cross-cultural eats in the world. Give it a try, thanks would be in order later.
Visit the Casa Bourguesa Tapas & Grill website or Facebook page for more information or bookings. The restaurant is open from Mondays to Saturdays from 12:30 to 14:30 for lunch and from 17:30 to 22:00 for dinner. Then, on Sundays only from 12:00 to 14:30. Check them out.
Do yourself the favour, and have the new experiences along with the familiar comforts.
by David C. Steyn