The Ballito MagazineDecember 13, 2023

Ballito Village has a variety of restaurants for you to choose from, making it the perfect spot for an out-of-this-world food safari, enjoying one course at a different restaurant. This is a unique way to enjoy a day or night out while getting those steps in and indulging in amazing food and drinks. I am excited to bring you along with us on our recent foodie journey, and I hope it sparks some inspiration for you to do your own local food safari.

The best way to start this experience is with a colourful cocktail while overlooking our beautiful coastline. We began our safari at Taso’s Bar & Grill to enjoy a few of their delicious cocktails. We slowly sipped on their innovative mango and watermelon daiquiris – a fruity explosion! We also tried their Miami Vice, a creamy coconut piƱa colada mixed with a strawberry daiquiri, which looked and tasted amazing. After enjoying our drinks, we took a short walk downstairs to feast on our starters at Kuta-Kola.

Sitting out on the shaded deck, we dug into a few delicious dishes that are perfect for sharing. You can’t go wrong with Kuta-Kola’s authentic homemade roasted falafels, served with flatbread and a delicious trio of dips (hummus, tzatziki and sweet chilli). This spot is also very accommodating to vegetarians with their Mediterranean Meze. You are set for delicious veggie goodness with marinated green and black olives, brinjal, camembert, feta, artichokes, peppers, hummus, tzatziki and flatbread.

We also tried their chicken kebabs and beef meatballs (with a few extra kebabs), which were juicy and perfectly grilled with great flavours. I don’t know about you, but visiting a restaurant on the beach is the perfect time to eat some seafood. The Salmon Bay Bruschetta is the starter to order! It’s five fully loaded pieces of bruschetta topped with smoked salmon, feta, avo and tomato salsa, finished off with a sprinkle of dill. Delicious! After Kuta-Kola kicked off our food experience with a bang, it was time to head to our main course…We took a slow stroll along the promenade to our next stop, the well-known Al Pescatore. Serving heartwarming dishes to the public for many decades, we had to include this popular spot in our safari.

Are you someone who usually orders from the menu and does not have a peek at the specials board? Well, it’s time to change that (they are specials for a reason!). There were two amazing dishes on Al Pescatore’s specials menu we just had to try. The fully loaded seafood platter had it all: mussels, juicy prawns, a sweet and sticky calamari kebab, fried hake, creamy prawn and peppadews in a crispy phyllo pastry bowl and, of course, chips.

The platter came with a trio of sauces, creamy butter peri-peri, lemon butter and garlic butter, which all paired perfectly with the seafood. We also couldn’t resist having a taste of their chicken and prawn with coriander and onion rolled in a crepe, topped with a creamy curry sauce and a grilled banana. Al Pescatore’s owner, Trevor, loves to play with flavour, and he is always creating fantastic flavour profiles, such as this dish. The sweetness of the grilled banana added an extra element to the already delicious creamy curry. It was definitely a memorable dish. Lastly, we wouldn’t be at an Italian restaurant without digging into some pizza. Topped with fillet steak strips, avo and a mouth-watering curry sauce, the Durbs pizza will become your local favourite!

We were definitely feeling full after those delicious mains, but we couldn’t miss out on the most exciting end to any food safari, dessert! Ballito Village has the perfect place, which only opened its doors in August last year and has been bustling ever since. Salt Rock Gelato was operating out of Kuta-Kola, but their dreams came true with their own prime location store. Unlike ice cream, gelato originates in Italy and is richer, with less sugar, fats and no eggs, making it denser and smoother. With 18 flavours out of 100 on display, ranging from gelato to sorbets to sugar-free and vegan options! Salt Rock Gelato caters to everyone. Even better, they constantly create new flavours so that you get to taste something new each time.

Apart from a classic cone, Salt Rock Gelato also offers warm crispy waffles with a scoop or more of your choice. We indulged in a waffle topped with a scoop of cherry cheesecake gelato (made with Amarena cherries imported from Italy). Jordyn got a scoop of their signature Salt Rock flavour, a chocolate gelato with macadamia and Himalayan salt nut brittle and a caramel swirl. Cristina loves cookies and cream and couldn’t resist the Oreo cookies and cream gelato. I just had to try their pistachio and milk tart flavours (which tasted exactly like the authentic South African treat). What a great way to end a fantastic food safari!

Each restaurant was kind and accommodating, allowing us to enjoy our afternoon adventure to the fullest. The best part was we didn’t have to use a car to get from one place to the next.

Life is short, so the next time you plan on going out for lunch or dinner, turn it into a food safari! You will not regret it.