It’s surprisingly hard to find a good, cheap curry in Cape Town. SA Blog is on the case! Click on our cheap curries tag for more hot eats.
93 Loog St.
Cape Town | Map
Specialty: Take-away curries
Contact: Tel: +27 (00 21 426 1316
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Among the hole-in-the-wall take-aways lining Loop St. in the shadow of the giant Chris Barnard Memorial Hospital, Zaiba’s Delight is advertised with a dark red, apple-shaped sign – an image rather incongruous with the food being hurriedly carried out by hungry customers. Behind the counter stands Zaiba’s cheerful proprietor, the 25 year old Javeed Faki, who arrived in South Africa from Mumbai, India, in 2002, in the tow of his Capetonian wife. (She met him in Mumbai while on holiday; at home they speak Urdu to their two children.)
Bollywood music plays at a pitch almost as high as Javeed’s enthusiasm for his life in Cape Town. “Everything depends on the heart,” he says, crediting his happiness and brisk trade to Allah. He sensibly takes business advice from his two and a half year old daughter, including her suggestion of his shop’s name – it also being her own name.
There are at least a dozen signs listing the different items that can be taken away from Zaiba’s, but only one really needs spying out: Curries and Salomies (a salomie is a giant roti stuffed with hot curry). The menu is written in plain language, giving hardly a hint of the food’s deliciousness, a quality which one suspects Javeed imports directly from Mumbai. He confides that his clientele come from as far away as Camps Bay. They call ahead, race in, then race back with lunch cooling on the passenger seat.
- TOP DISH:Chicken Curry with Rice, R17.
- 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.