All Day BBQ in Cape Town's Townships
Trip Start Jul 21, 2009
196Trip End Jul 21, 2010
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Where I stayed
St Martini Gardens
Townships are also divided by color – there are colored and black townships – and there are of course obvious differences between the two. The government invested more in the colored townships – there are wider roads, sidewalks, bigger – more well-constructed homes than in the black townships. Our guide admitted that there is still a lot of animosity between the two groups because these conditions created feelings of superiority/inferiority in some people and those prejudices continue now. Some coloreds feel that they are better-more cultured/less violent than the blacks and some blacks feel coloreds are more snobby – sell-outs to the white Afrikaaners.
Ever since we arrived in Cape Town, we heard about a great place to eat in one of the townships – Mzolis. Mzolis used to be just a local butchery but somehow it transformed itself to an open air music BBQ joint. So instead of going back with the tour group we stayed to check this place out and we are so glad we did! Mzolis is located right in a residential area – there are houses all around. When we arrived there were lots of empty plastic tables and chairs underneath a canopy – however when we talked to the host he asked if we had made reservation – ummm no, it didn't sound like this was the type of place that you had to make a reservation
The process is simple – next to the tent is the butcher shop. You go inside and tell a staff member what you want by pointing to the meat – they season the meat and put it into a silver bowl. You take that bowl to the back grills and hand it to the grill master who gives you a number and instructs you to come back in about 20 – 30 minutes for your meat. We tried a little of everything: lamb chops, steak, sausage, and chicken. There are no side dishes at Mzolis and they grill with freshly split wood vs charcoal. Meanwhile outside there is a DJ spinning tunes and a fake-tattoo artist. No drinks are sold at Mzolis – instead you go down the street and there is a corner store which sells beer and soda.
As the minutes pass the place fills up – and we soon realize this is the place to be. We befriend the groups that are sitting to the right and left of us and learn that Mzolis is extremely popular – both groups booked their table 2 weeks in advance! Last Sunday over 3,000 people came to eat and dance – it was so packed there were people eating on the roofs of adjacent houses
We had a great time meeting people, dancing, and people watching. Some of the regulars really had their stuff together – they brought side dishes, water, a hookah pipe (we thought that was interesting), and cards. As for the food – incredible!! Some of the best grilled meat we have EVER had – the spices used were just the right amount and nothing was over/undercooked. For anyone coming to Cape Town – Mzoli's is a must: The atmosphere was great – everyone mixing, having a good time, no craziness – and cheap! It was wonderful to have that experience right before we leave – a great memory that will entice us to return some day.