One of the endearing things we discovered about South Africa was that many shops and businesses closed on Sunday. Indeed, you cannot buy alcohol from the supermarkets of Cape Town on Sunday or after 5pm on Saturday.
But it can be aggravating if you’ve been travelling all day and then arrive in a town, tired and hungry, to find that it has shut up shop for the night.
This happened to us in Montagu at the western end of the Klein Karoo. Having cleaned ourselves up, we wandered in to town in search of a place to eat, but the streets were dark and deserted.
Eventually we stumbled on Ye Olde Tavern (honestly, that was its name) and they agreed to serve us some food even though they had been about to close. It was going on 9pm after all.
And that was where I sampled my first Bobotie. Pronounced ba-boor-tea, this is a dish heavily influenced by Indonesia and is a tasty relic of the country’s Dutch East India past.
It is made principally of mince meat that is both sweet and spicy and topped with an egg custard.
I ate the dish several times while in South Africa, once while sitting above the Cape of Good Hope, but it never tasted as good as that first time in Montagu.
The reason I have gone all galloping gourmet is because we finally got round to making it for ourselves yesterday and I very much recommend it.
I won’t set out the recipe here because the BBC has done a much better job of it, but it is simple and quick to make and tastes delicious.
However, I would suggest that it is best served with saffron rice and side dishes of mango or apricot chutney, a sour pickle and sliced banana. Enjoy.