I ate Snails!!! Ok let me start at the beginning…
Got treated to dinner at Cappuccinos by a good friend of mine. It was my first time being there and I would definitely want to go again. The ambiance of the cafe is classy and sophisticated which I really liked. No loud over bearing music! Such a rarity in the food places around here which for the most part are either bars/pubs (bars have light menu’s while pubs serve meals, pizzas and such) or “fast food” restaurants (i.e. Spur, Wimpy etc). They tend to be more noisy and not the places you would go for a romantic dinner for example, which really only leaves us with hotel restaurants. Cappuccinos seems to be a more mature place and in fact I wouldn’t find it odd to see some one dressed up there. It’s well designed, clean and everything shines. However I’m not sure what it’s like during the day as I went on a Sunday night. It has a kiddies play room as well in case you want to take a few toddlers with you.
Service wise I can’t complain though it wasn’t fully up to scratch. That is often the case with many restaurants though here in Botswana. Finding the right balance between being helpful and available when needed vs allowing the patrons time to experience the food seems to be a tough skill for waiters/waitresses here. It’s either they annoy you every 5 minutes with “How is your food?” “Are you fine?” “Anything else?” or they serve you then disappear for hours which forces you to annoy another busy waiter or put your hand up like you’re in class. I think the cause is that they try to serve too many tables at once ending up in them not paying enough attention to your table. When I have obviously finished eating, come and ask if I want more or would like the bill. If my drink is done, ask whether I would like to replace it. If I just sat down, ask me how long I’ll take to make a decision, then come back in that time and not a second later. Simple things that those who train them here seem to miss. But I digress. The service was satisfactory, I didn’t leave annoyed or frustrated. Despite our waitress not being available all the time, those we did summon were willing to assist and did not force us to wait for our particular waitress.
Right! Now to the food. My friend happens to be a snail fan so he suggested we order them. They were served with butter, garlic, melted cheese and bread. I figure they were most likely prepared in a similar manner to this recipe.
Now stop making that face I suspect you are making…the concept of eating a snail is probably disturbing but they look nothing like they do when alive. In fact it could easily pass for seafood if one is not told that it is a snail. And no it is not your basic garden snail (though they are edible but must be cleaned by professional), edible snails are bred by “farmers” if you will. If I associated them with a moving living snail, I would not be able to eat them. I prefer to think of it as seafood, because when it comes to seafood I can pretty much eat anything! However I am certain I will NEVER make them on my own, that would ruin the novelty of them being seafood.
As for the meal I had Fettuccine der Mer which is Fettuccine pasta with mussel meat, shrimp and Calamari cooked in a creamy tomato sauce. What I liked about this dish was that they were not stingy with the portions of seafood.
To quench my thirst I went with a cocktail called Don Pedro: a mix of whiskey, ice cream and a creamy liqueur of your choice between Amarula, Frangelico and Kahlua. Really delicious! I would have had 10 if I could…
If you want to try making your own Don Pedro at home, here’s a simple recipe. My friend ordered a medium rare beef fillet with a side of chips/fries and veggies.
His fries were not dry and hard, and the beef fillet was divine. Soft, juicy and well seasoned.
The meal prices are pretty much the same as majority of the restaurants in Gaborone. For the two of us (two meals, two alcoholic drinks and an appetizer) it cost well under 300 pula.
All in all a great experience and I would definitely go again.