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A Taste of Africa’s Rich Culinary Heritage Comes to Joburg

King’s Kraal, the legendary African dining experience, has come to Joburg. The concept restaurant, which brings together royal history, cutting-edge fusion cuisine and live music, opened in Bryanston last Wednesday and is set to deliver a unique encounter with Africa’s soul.

The brainchild of partners Justice Huni, who heads up business operations, and Chef Kudzai Bingepinge master of the kitchen experience, King’s Kraal harks back to the opulence of ancient royal kraals, inviting guests on a journey that explores the continent’s cultural and culinary diversity.

“For us, this is a visionary endeavour aimed at redefining the perception and experience of Southern African cuisine on the global stage,” says Huni. “We are fulfilling this ideal by presenting an innovative fusion of tradition and modernity, celebrating indigenous ingredients, embracing and advancing African identity, and, above all, setting a new standard in African gastronomy.”  

Kings Kraal distinguishes itself by curating an authentic experience of Africa past and present; one that draws on the continent’s deep cultural heritage and indigenous flavours but also delivers a refined menu for the modern palate.

“The heart of King’s Kraal lies in the delicate union of traditional African dishes and modernist cooking techniques,” says Chef Kudzai. “Drawing on the continent’s unique food traditions, we have crafted a menu that is as innovative as it is indulgent. Each meal is an invitation to traverse a vast culinary landscape, offering a taste of varied cultures, traditions and histories through the universal language of food.”

Imagine, if you will, crispy mogodu (tripe) with spicy baobab mayo paired with the arresting acidity of Fryer’s Cove Sauvignon Blanc or duck fat dombolo (traditional dumplings enriched with duck fat) accompanied by a full-bodied Meerlust Merlot. Or perhaps ox tongue enrobed in a spicy umnyii sauce or umleqwa (traditional chicken) and roasted butternut served with Stoney Ginger Beer gel and morogo (wild spinach).  And every succulent dish comes with an equally tantalising mixology suggestion, from a spicy baobab margarita to a duck fat-washed Bourbon Old Fashioned or an umami Bloody Mary.

That’s not to forget the indulgent Okumnandi (sinfully delicious) dessert array. Choose from such delicacies as marula ice cream and cornbread with sugar tuille, ginger beer jelly and homemade custard log with gold leaves, or banana-infused amasi (traditional fermented milk) and amajodo (Kalahari melon) parfait. The King’s Kraal experience is designed to be unashamedly lavish, reflecting the exclusivity of Africa’s royal kraals and presenting a dining experience where luxury meets tradition in a harmonious blend.

“Our goal is to redefine the culinary landscape by showcasing the richness of African cuisine in a setting that resonates with the splendour of its royal past,” says Huni. “We aim to foster a deeper appreciation for indigenous ingredients and traditional cooking methods, presented with a contemporary flair. Through this immersive dining experience, we aspire to elevate African cuisine to its rightful place on the global stage, celebrating its contribution to the world’s culinary heritage and inspiring a new generation of chefs and foodies alike.” 

A gastronomic adventure in the true sense of the word, King’s Kraal beckons to food enthusiasts, connoisseurs of culture and adventurous souls who seek to experience the essence of African taste, redefined for the modern palate. It also draws inspiration from the transformative potential of the world’s most innovative kitchens.

“As it was for our ancestors, our food is an expression of both heritage and sustainability,” says Chef Kudzai. “We use authentic and locally sourced indigenous ingredients, which ensure that every dish not only tastes good but does good by supporting local communities and ecosystems. Altogether, it’s a recipe made in heaven – and Africa.” 

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