Not everybody likes that eyes-watering, nose-running, throat burning sensation that follows a good dose of chilli. But as the days get colder and the drizzle turns into a hailstorm, a little heat isn’t a bad thing. In fact, any food that forces you to take your jacket off in these cold winter months is a winner.
In case you don’t know where to find that special winter warmer, here’s a rundown of the best places in Cape Town to test out the resistance of your taste buds.
Try Toni’s on Kloof. The cuisine is Mozambique-Portuguese, which means they do anything from prawns to chicken and they do it hot! For the real dare-devils forget the hot sauce, try the extra extra hot sauce. Made with chilli, garlic and parsley, its sure to cause a tickle in your throat and possibly leave you gasping. Famous for their peri peri chicken, Toni’s also offer a chicken and prawn curry for only R59. This small, bright yellow restaurant also boasts a fire and efficient friendly staff. (Find Toni’s on Kloof at 88 Kloof Street, Gardens, Cape Town. Telephone: +27 (0)21 423 7617).
Masala Dosa in Long Street offers a wide variety on Indian dishes in a Bollywood styled location. On the walls are an assortment of oddities, ranging from a pink elephant’s head to two life sized statues of an Indian man and woman. This just adds to the vibrant feel of the restaurant.
Masala Dosa bills itself as Indian-inspired, ‘fragrant food’ so the food isn’t as hot as some of the more traditionally Indian restaurants around, but it’s still a good choice for winter. The hottest food available is probably the dosas, thing crispy pancakes served with spicy soup.
You have a choice of fillings ranging from the Traditional Masala Dosa filled with sautéed potatoes( for only R39) to chicken fillets (R55) and even deboned leg of lamb (R65). Also if you have a sweet tooth or are feeling experimental, try the Sweet Dosa filled with either chocolate or chocolate chilli. I’d also recommend the milky chai to drink on cold days.
(Find Masala Dosa at 167 long street, cape town. Telephone: +27 (0)21 424-6772).
Cosy and warm with wooden tables and chairs, Wang Thai in Constantia is another amazing find. Consistently busy, Wang Thai boasts an exhibition kitchen where you can watch the preparation of your food while marveling at the skill of the Thai chefs. All the chefs are from Thailand, as are a lot of their spices and ingredients.
It doesn’t get more authentic than this. Order the Angry Duck just for its name or if you’re feeling adventurous try the Panang Red Linjee, which is duck slices and litchi in a reduced panang curry base. If this doesn’t set your taste buds on fire, nothing will.
(Find Wang Thai at High Constantia House, corner of Constantia & Groot Constantia Roads, Constantia. Telephone: +27 (0)21 794-0022).
Other hot spots include Pancho’s Mexican Kitchen in Observatory, where you can have a chilli popper or ten, as well as The Bombay Bicycle Club (of Madam Zingara fame) with its signature chocolate chilli steak.
Here’s hoping you stay warm this winter!