Heading down towards the coast for 11 days of blissful bliss was exactly what this pregnant body needed. Phwoar, the previous month was a busy one & getting used to sleeping for only 3-4 hours a night due to my extra load – body says no, body demanded some Cape Town time. Fair enough. A Cape Town tour is always delightful but I had my guy with me this time, which meant playing a part-time tourist. Rad. I was OK with that. We arrived. The wind was pumping (thanks Mother N). Luckily, my guy has a thing for gale-force wind, he likes it, he enjoys it. Shame, he definitely isn’t Capetownian but I was stoked that he didn’t feel let down by the Cape Town weather. Car hired, we were off to explore. I’m eating quite a lot these days. I wanted one thing. *proper* Fish & Chips. Give it to me. Now.
I don’t care what anybody says – you can’t get decent F&C in Jozi Town. No, you can’t. Don’t try & sway my opinion, I won’t listen. You can’t. The salt to vinegar ratio is never right – never. You can’t ask for a Hake or Snoek parcel, all cocooned in chip paper – they don’t understand. The batter is never right, the chips are never slap enough. I could go on. And I will. There are a couple of options available where one could go for the “Gourmet Fish & Chip’ variety. In a sit-down restaurant, ordered from a waiter with a glass of cold chardonnay, served either in a paper or bamboo cone with a side of tartar sauce. No. Sorry chefs but your F&C isn’t the same. No amount of wafting salt & sea essence into the air or listening to the crashing ocean waves on my iPod while munching on a portion of Panko crumbed fish from those paper / bamboo cones could give me what I’m after. No.
Because at the end of the day, I need the crunch from a perfectly golden batter, a chip so slap it would win gold at the Limp Awards. Where salt & vinegar combine forces to create a balance of savoury that’s just so right it can’t be wrong. Where swimming hake is begging to be battered. Where I can say things like “One snoek parcel please!”, followed by unwrapping that parcel near the rocks, with the ocean just there & greedy seagulls buzzing overhead. Where fingers glisten from pulling snoek meat off the bone, greasy bottles of extra salt & vinegar lurk about for added pleasure & a handful of lemon wedges only costs 50c.
That’s what Bun, Guy & I all wanted & yes, we might have been Fish & Chips greedy as we devoured portions of the stuff – two days in a row. We went with two classic Cape Town spots because we were in the area & even if we weren’t – we would have driven there.
Day 1: A little Chappies drive followed with a quiet Friday lunch at Snoekies in the Republic – Hout Bay. “One Hake parcel please!”. Freshly fried, crispy, soft, delicious & just how I remembered it. Snoekies just sits there, a constant, an always in CT. That makes me happy. don’t change, don’t ever become trendy.
Day:2 An impromptu drive to Kalk Bay & a walk-about meant I was soon ravenous. Slightly overcast, with shades of grey down by the docks. Cape Town was moody, I was hungry. Kalky’s saved us. Packed for Saturday lunch, we grabbed a table, covered in red & blue plastic. “One snoek parcel & one hake parcel – please!”. My Mothership was with us – two parcels, enough to probably feed four or five. I hadn’t been to Kalky’s in a few years but ja – that snoek, I can’t think about it for too long, a craving will set in. Kids running about, tourists, locals, all were eating parcels. The fishermen were working on their boats & Cape Town carried on being dark & moody. Everybody was happy, everybody had their fish & chips. Everything was just so.
Cape Town you fed me well, you satisfied the fish & chips craving & I think you even made my guy love snoek as much as I do – I love salt & vinegar so much.