Thursday, September 8, 2011


I was recently on the road on a trip from Windhoek in Namibia to Kasane in Botswana via the Okavango Delta and the Chobe National Park.  When in Botswana, we visited one of the most spiritual places I know - Tsodilo Hills.  Locally it is also known as Mountain of the Gods.  It is the most sacred site for the Bushman (San) peoples.

Today I am not going to write about Tsodilo because I have written about it before.  Rather I am going to blog about something else that is sacred to me - food.  In particular I am going to introduce you to a great restaurant that is in a most unexpected place.  Perhaps sometime in the future each of my fellow bloggers could tell us about one of their special eating or drinking places.

About five years ago I put together a three-week trip with some friends through Namibia.  When I enquired about a place to eat in Windhoek the night before we set out, I was told to eat at NICE - the Namibian Institute for Culinary Education. And nice it was.  Actually much better than nice - delicious food, excellent selection of wines, attentive but not overbearing service, all set in a delightful setting.

NICE is basically a finishing school for chefs, giving the trainees, not only the opportunity of working in a popular operating kitchen, but also of being a chef at private functions.  In addition, trainees learn all aspects of the business of restaurants.

Larger dining room

The setting for NICE is a remodelled1900-ish house at 2 Mozart Street that was once the home of an official in the bureaucracy of the German Southwest Africa administration. The building has been adapted extremely well to create a number of private small to medium rooms, each with its own character, that are used for dining.  In the centre of the house is the kitchen, open for viewing, and a tasteful bar.  There is also a lovely outdoor area for drinks and snacks when the weather is conducive.
Outdoor dining

To me the most appealing aspect of the decor are the photographs on the walls. There is a series of sepia shots of trainee chefs in the most unexpected setting - the desert.  These lovely photos give the restaurant a distinctive feel.

The kitchen from the viewing area

When I was there the other night, I had a springbok carpaccio as my starter.  As my main course, I enjoyed roast loin of oryx (gemsbok), with onion marmalade and garlic mashed potatoes.  Yummy.  And I finished with a tasty melktert (milk tart) and cuppucino. To round out the evening I had a whisky Dom Pedro – a cold ice cream drink, very popular in Southern Africa.

Now I am hungry and better go and have dinner!

Stan - Thursday


  1. Sounds utterly delicious.

    Funnily enough, my local off licence has just got some Namibian beer in, Windhoek. Might give it a spin. I think the butcher is clear out of oryx though.

  2. I can't tell you how much I love the photos of the chef trainees in the desert. I have no idea why, but they both cheered me and touched me. And I'd love to know who the photographer is because he/she is brilliant.

  3. I'm completely in agreement with Tim about the photos. What I want to know, though, is how did those chef's get their egg whites to seemingly float on air? And please don't tell me it was because of a special des(s)ert.

  4. nice post dear blogger