Casual Dining, Lunch,
Cheap | Under R100,
The Garden Route while being one of the most beautiful drives you’ll ever take in South Africa, is notorious for the absence of halaal food available along the way. It is particularly distressing for us Capetonians who are spoiled for choice in the City Centre and can have our pick of the Excellent’s of this country, or Wembley or Boeta Salie around the corner or Khans down the road. It is because we cannot fathom the idea of going away for a few days and not being able to have a braai or 2 or 3… in that time. We are such a meat eating culture, and sadly refuse to moderate, myself as guilty of this as the next one. I am trying though and have radically cut down on the amount of red meat in my family’s diet.
But I don’t mean to lecture. This post is about the actual availability of halaal food in an area where it comes as such a welcome surprise and almost a relief. Having said that, arriving at Curry & All has the feeling of pulling into one of those American Truckstops where you’re not sure what to expect if you stop here. And you may end up being stalked and killed by murderous zombies lurking behind the dilapidated walls. But what it has is a curiosity factor. There is something to be said for experiencing a place that could be a little dodge on the off chance that it will surprise you.
So we stopped at this almost desolate garage about 10km outside of Plettenburg Bay on our way back from ziplining at Tsitsikamma Falls Adventures. Tired and dirty because of the constant drizzle while we were ziplining, we pulled in without feeling out of place. The unpaved forecourt and rough walls added character to the setting. Stepping in to the alcove of the restaurant you realised that it was little more than a takeaways setup with a counter and 2 tables inside and a stoep area outside with room for several more tables. The menu against the wall was quite extensive, but when we ordered we found many items were not available. We opted for what they had which was the Chicken Bunny Chow, a Chicken Shawarma and because they did not have the kiddies fish and chips available, a normal fish and chips which proved to be a very large portion. We took a seat at one of the 2 tables available on the stoep and Uncle Sollie, the owner of the establishment came to make sure the table was presentable with at least a clean table cloth.
I must admit, my conversation with Uncle Sollie was more enjoyable than the food. While the fish and chips was a huge portion, and the fish nicely done, the chips were a tad oily. The Bunny chow proved to be spicy and tasty, very enjoyable. My shawarma however was not the best choice. And because Uncle Sollie didn’t take my order himself he would have advised me against it. He doesn’t get supplied these as regularly as he needs so he has to freeze them. And when reheated, they turn hard way too quickly. He changed my hard pita for a roti instead which made the rest of my meal worth the drive. The food was well presented and everything was clean. We also tried some milkshakes which were good.
We needed the bathroom and luckily Uncle Solly directed us to use the facilities in the Jamaat Khanna which was around the corner of the building. They were clean and functional and in much better condition than the restrooms of the garage.
What’s nice about a place like this is that it feels well travelled. It has personality and it has stories. The walls are covered with scribbles of all the travellers who have been there. There was English names, Afrikaans, Muslim and even foreign European languages acknowledging the food and the experience. Uncle Solly is obviously a people’s person and has made a memory for many of these travellers. He told us about plans he has to start Halaal Adventure Tours in the area where people can book a whole week of exciting activities with halaal food catered for. So if adventure is up your ally, perhaps you could curry Uncle Solly’s favour and give him a call ????.
Casual Dining, Lunch
Cheap | Under R100
Label of Field