The TV chef and food writer, 29, on her favourite restaurants, shark-cage diving and the Tim Noakes diet.
The thing I love most about living in Cape Town is its beauty, the quality of life, and the fact that it’s the food hub of South Africa.
When out-of-towners come to town, I take them for a drive along the Atlantic Seaboard, which really shows off the beauty of the city. If there’s a neighbourhood market or festival on, I’ll take them there, as that’s how they’ll get a real feel of the vibe of the city. And, of course, I take them to our favourite restaurants to showcase our world-class food and service.
My favourite restaurants include the Grand Café in Granger Bay for weekend sundowners; Reuben’s at the One&Only for the pork belly or duck confit; Nobu for Asian tapas; Tuscany Beach in Camps Bay for the steak or the seafood pasta; Willoughbys, of course, for the best sushi in town by far; Wakame for fish and seafood; and the Fat Cactus in Gardens for the comforting vibe and delicious Mexican food.
For sundowners with a view, I head to the Grand Café in Granger Bay, especially on a Sunday afternoon. I don’t take alcohol, so I’ll have a virgin cocktail or their granadilla and mint concoction – I can’t remember what it’s called.
An annual Cape Town event I’ll definitely be seen at is The Good Food and Wine show, if my schedule permits.
My culinary heroes are the usual suspects: Jamie, Nigella, Ina [Garten] and Delia Smith.
In my kitchen cupboard, you’ll always find tinned tomatoes and a variety of tinned beans, pastes, rice, maize meal and lots of veggies.
The best restaurant for a good curry is the former Passage to India in Tableview, now called The Indian Chapter with Prim Reddy.
I always order the Tandoori chicken; Brian, my husband, usually has the butter chicken, and he inevitably wants to taste what I’m eating. But I tend to be territorial about my food, especially the paratha bread!
The Banting diet (Low Carbs and High Protein) also known as the caveman’s diet is popular in my circles. Call me old-fashioned; I still believe in low GI: not cutting all carbs, but choosing the better-quality ones.
Sunday mornings is church and family time – always with a feast!
My favourite TV series used to be The Fixer, but of late I mostly watch cooking shows, JimJam (the cartoon channel) and the Trinity Broadcasting Network.
Oscar Pistorius? It’s better to leave the judging to those qualified to do so.
Straight after this, I’m conceptualising and creating recipes for upcoming projects – The Namibia Food and Wine Festival being one of them.
Food is an expression of “I love you” and tastes even better when shared with loved ones.
The best movie I’ve seen so far this year is The Book Thief, which I watched on the plane to Dubai. It’s so beautifully written, touching and emotional – not for the faint-hearted. I loved that it kept me guessing, it’s not predictable at all.
On my Cape Town bucket list is shark-diving. My husband Brian has been wanting to do it for a while, but I’m still getting my head around it. As long as he’s in the cage with me, I might consider it.
I’m currently working on Season 2 of Siba’s Table, and my first cookbook. I recently learned that Season 1 has been picked up by an American TV network – so exciting!
One day I want to be an ambassador for the UN. I would like to build schools, libraries, hospitals and other infrastructure in South Africa and the rest of Africa, plus other developing countries, and to cover education fees for financially disadvantaged but deserving learners and students. I believe I have been blessed to be a blessing to others!
Catch daily repeats of Siba Mtongana’s show, Siba’s Table, on DStv’s Food Network (Channel 175).