Thursday, May 30, 2013

The best bisque


After a morning spent supply shopping (me) and mapping (Vince) for our camping and self-catering trip up to and in the Kruger Park, we regrouped and drove to Kalk Bay, to look for waves. Sometimes, a Frenchman just needs waves.

The sea was flat. False Bay is protected from the Northwest winter wind by the mountains running down the curve of the peninsula. We're still getting used to that. So, before heading across to the other, exposed side of the peninsula, we stopped for lunch at the Olympia Cafe.

It's been a while. Two-and-a-half years (I just checked). Long enough to forget. The v e r y very slow service.

We crossed the Main Road in a rainshower, the clouds tangling in the mountain above us and the sunlight golden through the drops. Inside, I focused immediately on two words: prawn bisque, chalked up on the menu with some panfried kablejou (Argyrosomus inodorusa - a wonderful local and overharvested fish*), and asked about it. It's wonderful, said the waitress, wide eyed. Could I perhaps have just a bowl of it. Yes, she said, I could. So I did.

It was perfect. Exceptional. It's the elusive, rich taste I chase after when I make bouillabaisse. Very much influenced by the prawn (shrimp) bodies that are fairly hard to come by in the States, as well as the shells, perhaps pulverized.

(* About kob or kabeljou - I don't know much about the practise, but it is now available as a farmed fish. This will affect its sustainability rating, currently under revision).


Maybe it's the weather. Or the season. But the service was perfect. If you hurry, they might still have some of that prawn bisque.

R39.00

$4.00 (as of today).

It might be worth the plane ticket, if you are not from these shores. In fact, with the exchange rate as it is, come on down, regardless.

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