Just like many of us who travel abroad for extended periods of time, South African couple Seandre' Vetter and her husband, Alfons Felopes, missed the one thing that made them feel truly at home; food. Because food is life, obviously - and after that, maybe, family. The best way to make up for this separation is to open your own authentic restaurant, and that’s exactly what Felopes and Vetter did, inaugurating the country’s first ever South African restaurant in Maadi, called Zulu.
“In South Africa, we have such a rich culture in terms of food, so I thought, why not try opening a restaurant,” Head Chef and co-owner, Vetter, tells us. “There is such a big South African community here and many foreigners love South Africa and its food.” The menu includes popular street food selections, such as Bunny Chow - known as bunny, a half of quarter loaf bread stuffed with curry - as well as more gourmet favourites, like Boerewors (sausage) and Pap en Sheba (a sauce).
Zulu is officially opening on March 1st in Maadi, and tables are already fully booked until the weekend. “We were surprised to see Egyptians asking us about the spices in the dishes – they know what the foods are. They were even asking us if we sell the spices here!” Tells Vetter, excitedly.
Felopes and Vetter stress the importance of creating an atmosphere that resembles South African heritage. Restaurant walls and ceilings are painted in native tribal patterns and colours to create the most authentic vibe. Even the name, Zulu, is the largest ethnic group in South Africa, and famously fought the British invasion - so basically the most South African thing. When discussing the importance of authentic foods, Vetter laughs, “The most South African thing we can eat is biltong, which is a type of meat. The way you guys eat leb is the same way we eat biltong.”