Monday, December 03, 2007

I Ate A Worm at Nyoni's Krall, Cape Town

"Waiter there are worms on my plate!"
"Those are not worms sir. Those are caterpillars."

Great. An aborted butterfly. So why was it called a Mopane worm in the first place? I guess chewing on a caterpillar is better than chewing an earthworm.

Seeing that I have a penchant for eating aborted animals (see Balut) I shrugged and ate it anyway.
Nyoni's Krall on Long Street is another one of those African-themed restaurants (see Mama Africa). It's decorated in the style of a krall which is one those round African huts. Flat screens show videos of traditional music and dance. It feels touristy but surprisingly there are lots of locals.

The menu is intense-- among the side orders are amatumbu (sheep's intestines), amagine (chicken feet) and mopane worms (ZAR25).

I imagine amatumbu to be like chicharon bulaklak and chicken feet is standard street-food fare in the Philippines so I decided to start off my meal with Mopane worms. (They're actually caterpillars that eat the leaves of a Mopane tree. Protein-packed little buggers that are the staple of Africans who can't afford beef.)

They were served deep fried on a bed of salad. I stabbed one with a fork and popped it in my mouth. I expected it to be crunchy but it was surprisingly chewy and hollow like a calamari. Other than the different texture, I'd say it tastes like chicken. (Yes, I finished the whole plate.)

The spicy chicken liver (ZAR30) was so-so. I still prefer the one from the Butcher's Grill. Beers were at ZAR12 each. Try the game medallions (ZAR85) for your main course and top it off with a traditional brandy pudding (ZAR35).

Rating: 0
Four pawikan points! The service was excellent (as I've come to expect from Cape Town) and the ambience is warm and cozy. The food though is not for the faint of heart. Definitely an interesting menu that could read like a biology lesson highlighting the different parts of an animal. Bonus points because it's decidedly unusual and was the only restaurant that I encountered in the whole of Cape Town which served Mopane worms.

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