Expedition to London gathers steam

International braais

Jan Braai (to quote Jan Braai) are very much excited. Rarely seen beyond the braai smoke of Stellenbosch, Jan is boarding a flight to London on Friday night, with me as his tong-wielding (buffalo) wing man, to spread the gospel of the braai to that great South African city in the north. A week of meat on fires awaits, with a couple of celebrity braais – Schalk Brits, Ernst Joubert, Justin Melck and the Saracens rugby team, and Luke Watson, Pieter Dixon, Michael Claasens and their Bath team-mates, amongst others – on the London agenda; and then there’s the visit to Shaka Zulu…

Jan and Dan. Spreading the braaiday message from the Southern tip of Africa all the way to London

The sheer number of South Africans in London (Afrikaans is the third most spoken language in the city, apparently, after Urdu and Polish…) makes for an array of South African stores; it also makes for myriad South African restaurants, of which Shaka Zulu is the latest. A vast, upmarket venue that’s restaurant, bar, club and temple to South African indulgence rolled into one, it’s exactly the sort of place King Shaka would have approved of had he pitched up in London in 2010. Which is just as well, ‘cos that’s where we’re headed this Saturday.
Shaka Zulu will be firing up the braais from mid-morning, and by the time 12 o’clock comes round, the doors will be open, meat will be cooking, and the beer will be particularly cold. All that’s needed, then, is a horde of hungry, thirsty South Africans, looking to celebrate our London warm-up for National Braai Day, and watch the Springboks thump the Wallabies in the Tri-Nations later in the day on Shaka Zulu’s big screens. A mere £20 gets you the braai buffet (the sight of the menu reduced Jan to tears), the beer will be particularly inexpensive, and the gees proudly South African all day. It’s no wonder that Jan Braai are very much excited.

  • When: Saturday 4 September
  • Time: 12pm (Springbok victory begins at 4pm)
  • Where: Shaka Zulu, Chalk Farm Road, Camden
  • Cost: £20 for braai buffet (boerewors & chutney, chicken sosaties, lamb chops, rump steak with beer braaivleis basting sauce, hot cheese & potato salad, green leaf salad & mustard dressing, grilled corn, koeksisters)
  • Google map directions: click here
  • Tube station: Camden