Gourmet Grubb, the company that brought insect-infused ice cream to Cape Town is back with an exciting new project to get foodies in the Mother City talking — an all insect-based restaurant! The new pop-up restaurant based in Woodstock promises to offer adventurous dinners a new perspective on creepy crawlies with a tantalising menu made from insects. The Insect Experience pop-up restaurant officially opened on Monday 11 July at Woodstock’s GOODFood market and Capetonians are lapping it up. Here’s everything you need to know about this exciting new dining venture.
The newly opened restaurant offers hungry customers a new way to get their protein fix with a menu featuring all sorts of insect delights from black-fly-larvae croquettes, mopane polenta, and even deep-fried dark chocolate black-fly-larvae ice cream. Gourmet Grub’s chef Mario Barnard first started experimenting with bugs in the kitchen after a trip to Thailand where he was encouraged to eat tarantulas and scorpions.
Barnard recalls that while the insects were difficult for him to eat at first, these days he’s all about experimenting with insect-based powders in gourmet dishes. Using insects in this way enables Barnard to hide the insect ingredients in a wide variety of dishes and present them in a more palatable way for South African diners.
High in protein, insects are a great way to add nutritional oomph to any dish. But, while many countries across the globe consider insects an important part of their daily diet, in South Africa they’re yet to make their way onto mainstream restaurant menus. But, all that might be about to change thanks to chef Mario Barnard and Gourmet Grub co-founder, Jean Laurens who are hell-bent on using their pop-up restaurant to introduce South Africans to the concept of eating insects.
So what’s on the menu? Some highlights on the savoury front include Mopane Flour Polenta Fries (served with a speciality tomato-chilli chutney – R40) and Chickpea Black Fly-larvae Croquettes (served with a Mopani hummus dip, topped with mirco-coriander, basil dressing, and dried mealworms – R40). For a sweet treat try the Deep-fried Dark Chocolate Black fly larvae Ice Cream (with caramelized lemon and a sugar cone, sprinkled with black-fly-larvae protein balls – R35).
Those looking to broaden their culinary horizons can find The Insect Experience is located at the GOODfood space in Woodstock. The unique food hall offers Capetonians an exciting dining experience with a selection of breakfast, lunch, and dinner options in the heart of Woodstock. Visit the GOODfood space at The Ironworks Building, 187 Sir Lowry Rd, Woodstock.
For more information visit the Gourmet Grub website.