Braaing at Bamboo is always an occasion to be remembered! But before we get there I guess some elaboration on the word braai would be in order! The Dutch settlers arriving in South Africa in the 17th century soon put down roots and, with both the passage of time and later altercations with the British, gave birth to the Afrikaner nation. In their efforts to escape British rule, the Afrikaners trekked (journeyed on foot, horse and oxwagon) into the unknown interior. Their nomadic lifestyle imposed constraints on catering and grilling meat over the coals became the norm whilst on the move –‘braaivleis’, of which braai is an abbreviation, is the Afrikaans word for ‘grilled meat’. Whilst barbecuing meat has been practiced for centuries, particularly in both the Orient and Africa, modern day South Africans of all colours and creeds consider themselves the world’s most accomplished braaiers-and they are probably right! A wonderful blend of braai cultures in Southern Africa has culminated in a somewhat unique braai experience.
Apart from the mix, quality and variety of fare on offer, the South African braai is a wonderful social event – an outdoor gathering of good company underpinned by a very relaxed vibe. The atmosphere prevailing at the braai is always something special – generally everyone let’s their hair down and just gets on with soaking up the mood! Besides uniquely South African items such as boerewors (sausage), skilpadjies (lambs liver wrapped in caul fat), karoo oysters (grilled sheep’s testicles) and sosaties (kebabs), braai favourites are lamb chops, steaks, ribs, chicken and fish. Side dishes often include putu pap (corn meal porridge), salads, breads, veggies, grilled mealies (corn), etc.
So what is it that makes the Bamboo braai so memorable? Guest reactions include “…..awesome braai….”, “…..will never forget the fish….”, “…..beautiful braai evening…..” and “……good wine, food, company…..”! Is it the mouthwatering sticky ribs, succulent Karan beef, delectable Karoo lamb, juicy boerewors or kingklip grilled to perfection……..or is it the novel pap and sous, the garlic bread, Jaynie’s gorgeous salad or the roasted veggies? It is, in fact, all of these…..combined with some seriously good wine, company and relaxation. The Bamboo braai deck is the hub of the occasion and the few can resist the allure of the fire, the vibe, the aroma, the laughter………after all, braaing is no solitary pastime!
Gordon always makes sure that any young kids present get fed early – freeing up their parents to partake in the social feast a little later. Indeed, when chow time arrives, everyone eagerly tucks in to the yummy fare on offer having had their taste buds aroused by all the flavourful aromas emanating from the fire. Braaigoers, once replete, eagerly continue the social interaction central to the Bamboo braai vibe. Definitely an occasion at Bamboo, the Guest House not to be missed!