This write-up is all about fish and shellfish in South Africa, what to eat and where to eat it.
Seafood and shellfish is readied several ways in South Africa. It can be barbecued over an open fire; or even battered and then fried in oil; saturated in delicious Cape-Malay pickles and curries; it can be prepared Cajun-style; smoked and sauced in some lemon butter; and these days you can even cook it Asian-style.
While visiting South Africa as a tourist down for the holidays you will be able to find some excellent seafood dining establishments on the coastline and even inland.
South African fish and shellfish are exceptional, with a diverse array of shellfish and line-fish readily available due to South African topographical circumstance of 2 oceans — the warm Indian Ocean and the chilly Atlantic Ocean.
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Because of the Cape Malaysian influence, marinated and curried fish have actually ended up being traditional fare, while most South African racial and culture groups appreciate a good fish braai or fish barbeque for our overseas readers. Lately sushi has become extremely popular, with an abundance of Asian-style dining establishments and fast-food outlets on every corner of every town.
The over-exploitation of the South African waters is a pressing worry for local fisherman and fishing initiatives such as the Southerly African Lasting Fish and Shellfish Initiative that tries to control the issue. Fish restaurants and dining establishment that abide to these campaigns will normally have the campaign company logo somewhere on the walls of the premises, explaining what fish they don't have on their menu.
South Africa boasts an outstanding variety of facilities supplying all kind of seafood and shellfish, from very high-end unique restaurants to nationwide dining chains like the famous Cape Town Fish Market, Ocean Basket and the more recent addition John Dory's. You also get the best South African fish from various seaside takeaway stands that do the no-frills snoek and chips.
Coastal cities and towns rack up higher marks for high quality fish restaurants. In the Cape Peninsula, you should visit the famous Black Marlin just outside Simonstown, Panama Jacks at the harbour in Table Bay and Kalkies in the Kalk Bay harbour. All of these food places are definitely worth a visit. There are also a couple of restaurants that specialize in sea-food at the tourist hotspot at the VA-Waterfront in Cape Town.
If you are taking the Garden Route you may want to visit the Robberg Fish and Shellfish safari in Pletterberg Bay and Knysna, while if you visit Durban you can visit the Durban's Glenashley Fisheries which has a great reputation when it comes to making perfect South African sea food.
Inland the Johannesburg's Fishmonger load up fish every evening from the coast and bring it up to Johannesburg for its customers, while the Sushi and Oyster Bar on Nelson Mandela Square and the Montego Bay Seafood Dining establishment does very well. Mozambican, Portuguese and Brazilian dining establishments generally are renowned for some of the most superb seafood cuisine.
The majority of shellfish and fish dining establishments are open for lunch and dinner from Tuesday to Sundays (most food places are closed on Monday for stock taking and taking a break).
Please do note if you are new to South Africa, South African kitchens usually close around 9pm, so try to come early and please make a reservation.
Prices depend upon the dining establishment you are visiting, however the average price of a seafood-platter nowadays is in the region of R130 to R170 (which normally should feed two individuals), while a good portion of snoek and chips will cost you about R45. More expensive sea food products like crayfish and prawns are named SQ products on the menu therefor; you would have to ask your waiter.
If you are traveling it's worth to make a reservation at one of the local B&B in Hout Bay or Kalk Bay. You can watch local anglers fishing boats come into the harbour while dining-out on the marine decks.