Chakalaka – Would you like antelope with your ostrich?

Named after a spicy South African vegetable relish, the Chakalaka restaurants in Putney, Chiswick and Wimbledon serve traditional South African food – something unique in London, even today.

I visited the Putney branch last night and first impressions were good. It’s tastefully yet simply decorated with South African paintings and zebra photos. And, being a busy restaurant, there’s a warm, vibrant buzz with attentive service too.

The menu offers dishes such as boerewors (sausage), ostrich and kudu (antelope) and lamb bobotie (curried minced lamb). There were items on this menu I hadn’t tried before so it greatly appealed to me.

There were a couple of South Africans in our party who rightly recommended peri-peri chicken livers, kudu carpaccio and boerewors sausage for shared starters. For main course I had ostrich (good) but recommend the lamb bobotie.

I had an excellent evening in great company and a good atmosphere, and am pleased to have tried new dishes. And while the food is good enough, it is over-priced (same prices as Santa Maria del Sur and this is not on a par with Santa Maria del Sur quality). Definitely worth trying but I won’t rush back.

Restaurant info:
~ Lardbutty rating: 2.5 / 5
~ Type: South African
~ Postcode: SW15 2SP
~ Website: Chakalaka website
~ Location: Chakalaka Putney map

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