The only reference I have for Caribbean cuisine is jerk chicken, this is my failing because once I learnt a bit more about St Lucia I wanted to submerge myself in their culture and food.
It was thanks to the recent opening of Kwéyòl Restaurant and Bar at Botanik Social House in Cape Town that I was able to educate myself.
The atmosphere is a great backdrop for the Creole flavours, colours and island music on offer. Part of Chef Giorgio Nava’s restaurant group (95 and the Carne collections) Kwéyòl is run by Caribbean model Mala Bryan. She introduced guests to their place at the table and spoke of how she trying to create an oasis of flavours from her childhood, right here in Cape Town.
Mala says: I spent more time with my paternal grandparents and from the age of six I had to help my grandmother when she decided to become a street vendor.”
She adds: “I was in charge of cleaning cases of meat, all vegetables and blending seasonings together. On weekends I was in charge of grilling and selling all the meats that were prepared.”
The region has great tropical fruits and an array of spices which is reflected on the menu.
Mala says: “With the current menu I wanted to have a bit of the different cooking styles from the region.”
“The beef curry, the brown stew lamb neck, the jerk seasoned meats, creole fish, rice and beans, fried plantains, grilled corn with curried coconut milk just to name a few and then there will be things that I just might add for the day if I’m able get my hands some exotic foods like breadfruit and yams or even some goat meat,” she adds.
Seasoned travellers will know that there are many culinary styles and flavours in the Caribbean and Mala is keen to reflect the best of the best. It’s a passion of here’s to share her story with people through her food.
Address: 54 Queen Victoria St, Cape Town City Centre, Cape Town, 8001
Call: 021 424 5306
Opening Times: Dinner served from Monday to Saturday 5 pm till late.