A NEW pop-up restaurant is bringing a taste of South African culture to Lyme Regis this summer.
South African born Dan Hawken and his partner Jenna Wellman, from Axminster, have opened Sawubona at The Pop Up Kitchen in Broad Street.
Having previously run ‘meals-on-wheels’ style catering service Nan’s Family Kitchen, the couple have opened Sawubona to share Dan’s passion for South African cuisine with the local area. And the venture ties in perfectly with the ethos at The Pop Up Kitchen, which encourages diners to ‘try something new’.
Dan said he has always wanted to open his own South African restaurant and share food from his home country, which has been influenced by many cultures and countries from around the world over the last few centuries, including a large Indian influence but with more focus on flavour rather than heavy spicing.
The pop-up will be serving some of the most popular dishes in South Africa through its tasting menu served on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday evenings, as well as takeaways available in the afternoon, with ingredients sourced locally but prepared using traditional methods.
The menu features biltong, a dried, cured meat that originated in South Africa; bunny chow, which is curry served in a bread bowl; and boerewors, a type of South African beef sausage.
It has already proved a huge hit, especially with South African visitors to the area, with the next nearest South African restaurant being in Poole.
But Dan and Jenna say Sawubona is not just about the food – they want to provide diners with a full South African cultural experience, with everything from the drinks served to the music played and artwork on the walls being inspired by the country.
In particular, Dan is keen to serve only South African wines to support vineyards that have been heavily affected by riots and then the coronavirus pandemic.
Dan and Jenna plan to stay at The Pop Up Kitchen throughout summer and for the remainder of the year, with ambitions to open their own premises in the future.