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Bo-Kaap Pakistani Chicken
cnr. Wale and Rose Streets
Bo-Kaap, Cape Town | Map
Specialty: Pakistani-style BBQ chicken
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Further Insight & Opinion
There is a secret archipelago of Pakistani barbecues all over Cape Town and its suburbs, which, in this city of routes and trails, probably deserves one of its own. Call it the Chicken Tikka Trail!
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The trail necessarily starts with a brisk walk up Wale Street into the shallow end of the Bo-Kaap. There, Ahmed Arshad and Irfan Muhammed work over hot coals in their outdoor booth at the corner of Wale and Rose Streets (diagonally across from the Bo-Kaap museum).
The Punjabi-speaking brothers arrived in Cape Town in 2001. Apart from their incredibly tasty chicken – just like the street food in their native Lahore, they say – the best part about their operation is the hours: 11am to 10pm most days, and even later on Fridays and Saturdays. (Note: Fridays, they’re closed 12h30 – 1h30 p.m. for mosque.)
Ironically, Ahmed and Irfan learned to make perfect chicken tikka, Pakistani-style, in Cape Town. The tricks are to marinate the chicken for a full day, and then baste the skewered pieces constantly while turning them over white-hot coals. They also sell boerewors and steak chops.
- TOP DISH: Chicken Tikka with roll and salad, R15.
- More on local Indian cuisine: my own Masala Cookbook, of course!
This piece originally ran, in edited form, in the 1 Nov 2005 Cape Times (“Review”). It is reprinted with permission.