Saturday Spot: City Food From the Cape… with Marlene van der Westhuizen, A Review…

Sometimes I receive a book to review and I sit with it and enjoy it for so long that it becomes part of the family… and this book is one of those. A beautiful coffee table book, filled with stunning photographs of Cape Town and family favourite feasts…

We live in a land of vibrant variety and we bring new meaning to multicultural… and this book brings to life the food and restaurants that come to mind when you think of lazy walks on Saturday afternoons and corners of Cape Town where you know you can dive in and grab a great meal and a fine coffee, and escape from the mad rush – if only for a moment.


I love how the author, Marlene van der Westhuizen, writes her own story around the recipes… you get a picture into her life, raising her kids on the city side of Cape Town…


Places she and her family have walked, in their day to day living, that are so familiar to our own family…


This book takes you on lovely wander through some of the best restaurants in Cape Town, hidden gems in fact. And our very favourite Gold Restaurant as well!!!


So yes this is a recipe book packed with fine food. If you think of traditional Cape food, you would possibly think of rich and spicy curries, boboties, not to mention a whole culture of cooking anything and everything on an open fire – the traditional braai. But there is a whole side of Cape Town that has a heritage of food that makes you think of large family meals in a courtyard, or on a deck overlooking the sea. Meals that make you think of lazy weekends and extended family…


Apart from a walking, ambling and “fabulous food spots in Cape Town” to visit book it is also a book full of recipes – I loved the family size recipes and I loved the little tweaks that turned ordinary into exceptional… I loved that most of the little tweaks were merely a step away in the garden – who doesn’t like a little wander in the garden before dinner at the end of the day!!!


Se7en + 1 Recipes We Tried…


  1. Tuna Pate Rolled in Puff Pastry: I love it when real cooks aren’t fussy about their pastry and consider it standard larder fair to have rolls of puff pastry on hand – welcome to my world!!! You can quickly fancy up almost anything with puff pastry. In this case it was tuna… quick as a wink you have a delicious starter, morsel, something to add to lunch – whatever!!!
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  3. We tried Some Sides: Roasted Butternut and Sage, as well as Garlic Mash: Have to say that we eat butternut almost daily, we have never ever tried it with sage before… a whole new lovely flavour. And seriously you just can’t beat roasted butternut – however you have it!!! And how to take plain old mash and turn it into something delicious. Slow roast two or three head of garlic in the oven. After about forty minutes they are soft and once they have cooled a bit you can squeeze the delicious roast garlic into your mash and stir it through… my entire family wolfed this down and begged for more!!!
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  5. St. Georges Chicken, with Pancetta and Capers: I have to say I am the laziest chicken dish chef in the whole world… I usually roast chicken pieces, season them and pop them into the oven and forget about them. But with just a little extra effort we had meal that was a whole lot more-ish!!! We didn’t use pancetta, though we love it… we used bacon and everyone was happy!!!
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  7. Chicken with Sherry and Cream: Well this got a resounding yes and once again upping my roast chicken pieces game to a whole new level. Lots of grown-up flavours in this one and more than a few of my kids shudder at the sight of mushrooms… but they all loved this!!!
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  9. Tuna and Rice: Where have I been, my kids absolutely love tuna sandwiches but I never imagined they would be keen for tuna dish with lots of yummy flavours added into the mix… I put it on the table tentatively and have had to add it to the weekly menu… just like that!!!
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  11. Lamb with Lemon and Dill Sauce: Well this is a recipe to impress everyone you know with!!! Just wonderful on every level… this recipe has definitely gone onto our special occasion list!!!
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  13. Pork Rashers with Potatoes and Goat’s Cheese: The kind of dish that fools the eyes!!! So delicious, so dreamy and you think you will be able to eat tons of it… yet it fills you up all too soon!!!
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    And the se7en + 1th recipe…


  15. Clyde Apple Pie: Well apple pie in some shape or form, is a life skill that I am intending all my kids to learn before they leave home – seriously, how can they leave the nest without mastering this!!! So we were happy to try a new apple pie!!!
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And after all that there are still dozens of recipes we want to try… Rosalinda’s Spicy Chicken Soup looks like a must have, Piperade with Peppers, Onion and Gruyere Tart… not to mention: Coffee and Chocolate Pots – oh my!!!

We would really like to thank Pan MacMillan South Africa for giving us this book to review. We would like to declare that we were not paid to write the review and all the opinions are entirely our own.

5 Replies to “Saturday Spot: City Food From the Cape… with Marlene van der Westhuizen, A Review…”

  1. Oh Kelly, It is exactly that kind of book… “I’m hungry now” pretty much sums it up!!! Hope you have a great week!!!

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