Cape Malay Cooking Experience
If you do not know the Bo-Kaap by name you will certainly know it by the brightly-painted houses lining the streets in vibrant colours. This neighbourhood is one of the most distinctive, well-known, and oldest residential areas in Cape Town. Translating to “Above the Cape,” Bo-Kaap is situated on the sloping foothills of Signal Hill and showcases a rich blend of various cultures and heritages.
The Bo-Kaap receives an influx of tourists daily as there is plenty this neighbourhood can offer. Not only can the Bo-Kaap be enjoyed purely for aesthetic purposes, foreigners and locals alike can enjoy guided tours through the area. Our tour was done through Andulela Experience where our guide took us on a walking tour through the historic heart of the Bo-Kaap.
As we walked and talked through what was previously known as the Malay Quarter, our tour guide took us to explore all the wonderful secrets, sights and smells that are all too unique to this area and pointed out facts such as how the houses bore many characteristics of the early Cape Dutch architecture. We even discussed how certain languages such as Afrikaans came to be.
We let our noses (and guide) lead the way to the source of the rich scents of spices wafting through the area and hit home at Atlas Trading Company. Here our tour guide educated us a little more about the aromatic spices as we perused the shelves upon shelves of the wide array of herbs and spices displayed before us.
After a quick stop at the spice store, we continued up the cobblestone streets delving deeper into more history, immersed in conversation, and stopping at the local café for some traditional melktert (a milk-based dessert) and koesisters (fried dough infused in syrup and rolled in coconut flakes) before moving on to the next part of the tour. Lastly, we made a stop at the oldest and first mosque built in South Africa, The Auwal Mosque.
Where the first half of the tour was intriguing as it focused a lot on the history and culture of the Bo-Kaap, the second half was fun! Here we embarked on a gastronomic odyssey – a Cape Malay Cooking Experience! We were welcomed into the home of one of the residents of the Bo-Kaap with a glass of faloodah (a rose flavoured milk drink). During this immersive cooking experience, we learned how to mix Masala, fold and fill samosas as well as how to make rotis and chilli bites from scratch. The house was filled with the most delightful aromas of our handiwork. After all the cooking came to an end, we sat down and devoured our exquisite and flavoursome full course Malay meal, ending off the day on a high note with full tummies and a satisfying cup of Rooibos Tea.