Lifestyle / Food And Drink

Adriaan Roets
2 minute read
12 Jun 2018
9:27 am

A festival of Portuguese flavours

Adriaan Roets

Celebrate Madeira Day with some delectable Portuguese delights at the Caravela Festival.

Food brings us all together – and to end this month there’s no better feast than the Caravela Festival at Montecasino.

This celebration of Portuguese cuisine and heritage is an unmissable event and in 2018 expect all the sugar and spice of Portuguese culinary delights.

This year’s Caravela Festival (June 29 to July 1) will have a variety of dishes, from meat, fish and vegetarian dishes and an array of tempting cakes and confectioneries.

Some of Gauteng`s top Portuguese-influenced restaurants like Adega, Belem Bakery, Bem Bom@Cabana, Frangalo, Churasco and Taskinha will be cooking up a storm for visitors.

From juicy prawns, chicken and beef espetadas, leitão (pork), chouriço, traditional sardinhas, peixe espada (swordfish) and caldo verde (green soup), which you can mop up with delicious Portuguese bread, expect to get your hands a bit messy (and bring a spare shirt just in case).

For dessert lovers there will be farturas (cinnamon and sugar fritters) and pasteis de natas (custard tarts). And there’s a selection of vinho verde, poncho (punch), Portuguese beers and caipirinha to wash it all down. On July 1, the world celebrates Madeira Day – and you can celebrate too.

But if you can’t wait till the end of the month for a Portuguese feast, I suggest you head in the direction of Kempton Park. While the airport might be many people’s only reason to visit the East Rand town, there’s one local institution that not only celebrates African Portuguese heritage, but also gives you one of the best budget menus around.

José’s Taverna and Oyster Bar is hosting its Prawn Festival from July 17 and it’s also a wonderland for oyster lovers. Yes, at R8 an oyster you can dine like the 1% (if you want, take your own MCC as corkage won’t set you back too much).

The restaurant’s appeal is the fact that it’s a straightforward sort of place, but with great service. If you go on a Sunday you will see the restaurant is a neighbourhood gem.

If you like seafood, take a date and try their Millionaires Platter (at R799), which includes 12 king prawns, 300g calamari, 500g lobster, 400g line fish and 300g mussels. It serves four. Sides include chips and vegetables and some spicy chilly sauce.

If you are more traditional, options include various cuts of beef, Portuguese chicken and Mozambique lamb curry. It’s a celebration of Portuguese excellence (and friendly on the wallet).