Bobotie at Karoo Restaurant
Here’s the thing about comfort food: I don’t like ordering it out. It’s called comfort food because it reminds you of the food you grew up with, so why would I order Shepard’s Pie at a restaurant when I know that it can’t hold a candle to Mom’s? But Mom lives 760 miles away, and in spite of my reminders that I’m the favorite son, she won’t deliver. So with fall upon us, and still feeling the bruises of the bustling summer and the pummeling of the presidential race, I was craving comfort and found it...in South Africa. Karoo Restaurant is located in Eastham, but dining in the restaurant or on their patio you could easily be dining in the restaurant’s namesake region, the Karoo of South Africa. At your table you’ll be handed a list of inventive cocktails and South African wines, the food menu and the “Karoo Dictionary”, which clears up mysteries such as what is Boere Wors, Chakalaka, Monkey Gland Sauce and Bunny Chow (hint: no fuzzy creatures are involved!). In between luscious West African peanut soup and chicken wings in peri peri sauce I found ultimate comfort in the Beef Bobotie—the South African version of meatloaf. A ground beef casserole is slow cooked in a giant pot and mixed with egg, onion, curry and turmeric. Apricot chutney and milk are folded into the meat mixture, giving it something altogether un-meatloaf-like—a texture so soft and creamy you think you’ve died and gone to Tsitsikamma. To keep the moisture from escaping, a yellow egg custard roof is spread on top sealing in the moisture, and the casserole is then caramelized in the oven for an hour. Apricot chutney is generously drizzled over the Bobotie and its accompanying rice, while fresh banana slices complete the composition, and if the reader wants to take “comfort food” to all-out “jubilant food”, gather a forkful of all the above and enjoy the sweet and perfectly spiced dance among the curry, apricot, turmeric and banana. The Bobotie, which goes for $16.95, is offered as traditional beef or substituted with housemade tofu. South African native Sanette Groenewald is the chef/owner of Karoo Restaurant for almost four successful years, and Cape Cod is lucky to have her. Next time you’re searching for some culinary comfort with a side of excitement and lively conversation, take a date, or take the kids, and head over to Karoo for the best comfort food this side of the Verlatenkloof Pass (sorry Mom).
Serving dinner 4:30 pm-9 pm (closed Tuesdays)
3 Main Street (Route 6), Eastham
508-255-8288 / karoorestaurants.com