GOLD RESTAU­RANT: AN EX­TRA­OR­DI­NARY AFRICAN DIN­ING EX­PE­RI­ENCE

Tourism Guide Africa - - CONTENTS -

GOLD Restau­rant in Green Point Cape Town serves up one of the most cul­tur­ally de­li­cious African din­ing ex­pe­ri­ences imag­in­able. Op­er­at­ing since 2007, what makes GOLD unique is its lively at­mos­phere, fa­mously friendly peo­ple, and 14-dish tast­ing menu, which hon­ours tra­di­tional African dishes com­bined with mod­ern flavours and tech­niques.

Restau­rant co-owner, Cindy Muller says, “GOLD was born from the idea that Africa needed to be show­cased in a so­phis­ti­cated and cre­ative way. The stereo­typ­i­cal opin­ion of Africa needed to be com­pletely turned on its head. We cre­ated a restau­rant that fo­cuses on the va­ri­ety of African foods. The fact that African food is healthy in its abun­dant use of pulses and fresh veg­eta­bles is a sur­prise to many”.

The evening be­gins with guests warmly wel­comed by beau­ti­fully at­tired servers who come from all over the African con­ti­nent. They bring with them their sto­ries, his­tory, cul­ture and tra­di­tional recipes, some of which in­flu­ence and in­spire dishes fea­tured on the menu. Help­ing to de­sign their gar­ments, they also hand stitch their per­son­al­i­ties and artis­tic ideas into the pat­tern de­tail you see on some of the ta­ble linens.

Ea­ger first-time and re­turn­ing guests that opt for pre-din­ner djembe (pro­nounced jem-beh) drum­ming are es­corted to a des­ig­nated space. Each par­tic­i­pant gets their own djembe drum, a wooden gob­let cov­ered with an­i­mal hide, which rests com­fort­ably clasped be­tween the knees.

Un­der the expert guid­ance of one of GOLD’s ex­pe­ri­enced drum­ming fa­cil­i­ta­tors, anx­i­ety gives way to un­bri­dled glee as even the most rhyth­mi­cally chal­lenged

“… that African food is re­ally healthy in its abun­dant use of pulses and fresh veg­eta­bles is a sur­prise to many.”

“… the flavours in our food are en­hanced and not hid­den by herbs and spices.”

are soon cup­ping their hands and pound­ing out the pul­sat­ing sounds syn­ony­mous with the heart­beat and rhythm of Africa.

Af­ter 30 min­utes or so, guests are treated to a sooth­ing tra­di­tional hand wash­ing cer­e­mony and are led to their ta­bles where the 14-dish tast­ing feast be­gins.

Served in gen­er­ous in­di­vid­ual and shar­ing por­tions, all dishes are freshly pre­pared with top qual­ity pro­vi­sions and the menu changes sea­son­ally. Head chef, Mavis,

who comes from Zam­bia says, “Real food is all about nat­u­ral in­gre­di­ents and what comes from the land. Back home, food re­tains its own nat­u­ral taste. When you smell the aro­mas from food cook­ing in a neigh­bour’s house, you can still smell the main in­gre­di­ents. At GOLD the flavours in our food are en­hanced and not hid­den by herbs and spices. It’s real. Like Africa”.

Each dish is brought to your ta­ble with coun­try of ori­gin, cook­ing method, and spic­ing ex­plained. All meat, poul­try and fish dishes are Halaal-cer­ti­fied and come with veg­e­tar­ian or ve­gan sub­sti­tutes. In­form the restau­rant of your di­etary pref­er­ences when book­ing so that they can ad­just your menu ac­cord­ingly.

Cindy says, “We spend time com­mu­ni­cat­ing with our staff in terms of whom they will be serv­ing, where our guests come from, and we con­sider any cul­tural dif­fer­ences that we need to take into ac­count when serv­ing them”.

Tuck into North African briouates, light and crisp filo pas­try parcels filled with ginger and cashew nuts. Dig in to the South African boere­wors, spe­cialty sausage made from lamb and veni­son served with to­mato smoor (sauce). Mop up the sauces of Moroc­can lamb tagine, Ghana­ian peanut chicken, dips and condi­ments with roost­erkoek (bread rolls tra­di­tion­ally cooked on hot coals), or Xhosastyle pot bread.

From Zam­bian sweet po­tato cakes, Cape Malay pea and po­tato samoosas to Tan­za­nian fried fish and shrimp with spinach and co­conut, guests can ex­pect an in­cred­i­ble spread of spice, flavour and tex­ture. Desserts may in­clude Malva pudding, a South African sweet, baked sponge, Cape Malay Boe­ber, a creamy sago pudding, or South African car­damom ice cream.

“Ar­che­typal African sto­ries are told through mu­sic, singing and danc­ing, ac­com­pa­nied by tall Mali puppets, to the rhythm of marimba per­cus­sion and djembe drums”.

An es­sen­tial part of any din­ing ex­pe­ri­ence is the peo­ple with whom you share it. African food is tra­di­tion­ally shared and en­joyed with friends and fam­ily, and as fam­ily is cen­tral to African cul­ture chil­dren are wel­come. There is plenty of live en­ter­tain­ment to keep din­ers of all ages cap­ti­vated through­out the evening.

This takes the form of ar­che­typal African sto­ries told through mu­sic, singing and danc­ing, and Mali pup­petry to the rhythm of marimba per­cus­sion and djembe drums. At the end of the evening all the staff come out to join in the fes­tiv­i­ties. It is their way of com­ing to­gether to cel­e­brate with you and to wish you well un­til they see you again.

In ad­di­tion to great food, GOLD’s peo­ple pro­vide the am­bi­ence, warmth and knowl­edge­able ser­vice as­so­ci­ated with the world’s best din­ing ex­pe­ri­ences. To get this con­sis­tently right for more than a decade re­quires an at­ti­tude that comes from the top. Cindy says, “I treat my staff with dig­nity and re­spect. If it comes from the top then our staff take care of our guests in the same way”.

GOLD’s cul­ture of mu­tual re­spect starts with warmly greet­ing one an­other at the be­gin­ning and at the end of a shift. Cindy says, “Its im­por­tant to know each and ev­ery mem­ber of my staff. I get to know their life story, their fam­i­lies, likes and dis­likes. It’s im­por­tant to be gen­uinely in­ter­ested, to let my staff know that they are unique and spe­cial and I make sure they feel it. This trans­lates into how they cook and how they make our guests feel”.

Con­sis­tently pop­u­lar since its in­cep­tion, GOLD is open for din­ner and live en­ter­tain­ment seven days a week. Walk-ins are wel­come when ca­pac­ity al­lows but as the restau­rant is high up on many a must-ex­pe­ri­ence-list, avail­abil­ity can­not be guar­an­teed, so its best to pre-book.

RESTAU­RANT EN­QUIRIES / BOOK­INGS

Tel: +21 (0) 21 421 4653 Cell: +27 (0) 82 419 9663 info@gol­drestau­rant.co.za

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