(A Place To Rejoice)

If you knew any Zulu of which I now know one word, you would know that ‘Jabulani’ means to rejoice, and that’s exactly what you will be doing during and after dinner at this South African gem. In keeping with the theme of trying to find eating establishments that are a little out of the norm in Calgary we dropped into this cozy spot for an early dinner. Good thing we were early as the main seating area sits around forty and based on how quickly it filled up I would recommend reservations every time.

Jabulani can be found at 907 – 17th Ave, S.W. and before you start to worry about where to park they have several spots set out behind the building for customers. Inside the décor is African chic with burgundy walls, carved masks and cool Zebra print tablecloths! Music that can only be described as upbeat jazz-inspired African rhythm fills the space and contributes to the total atmosphere. This is a place where you can come in and be exuberant!

While it is possible to find some items on the menu that are fairly standard, you will also notice dishes such as Boboti, Boerewors and Lamb Potjie which are pure South African. The wine list also features a strong representation from the region as well as some local beers that are well worth trying!

So as the saying goes, “When in Rome,” we started our meal with Ostrich Carpaccio with marinated vegetables as well as Peri-Peri Chicken Livers. The Ostrich was as good as any beef and was accompanied by marinated grilled vegetables. Now I know that most people see the word liver and run…. however this dish was fantastic. The liver is pan fried and served in a mild tomato and onion Peri-Peri sauce over char-grilled corn bread, with mixed greens flavored with a touch of Balsamic vinegar.

Our main courses consisted of Boerewors, which is a traditional South African sausage, served with Pap and Sheba with grilled vegetables. Pap and Sheba? Pap is a traditional dish made from ground maize that most closely resembles couscous while Sheba is the tomato, garlic and onion sauce that it is commonly served with. The second entrée was Boboti, a Cape Malay curry bake of ground beef centered with bay leaves served on a bed of yellow rice and mixed grilled vegetables. This dish is considered by many to be the national dish of South Africa and was delicious.

Remember the beer? We decided to forgo the wine since South African wines are readily available in Calgary and instead settled on two Lagers. The first was a light slightly sweet Lager called Savannah which is currently in short supply (we had the last bottle in Canada); however by printing it should be in stock. The second beer shows the strong Dutch roots of the region with a taste reminiscent of many of the classic Dutch Lagers. Both were $6 per bottle.

No great dinner can finish without dessert and in the case of Jabulani this was also the case. Since we were now starting to resemble the Lions spread out after a meal on the veldt we agreed to split an order of Cape Brandy Pudding. This little delight is a described as a traditional South African Almond and Date bake laced with brandy sauce, served with cream or ice c ream. Pick the ice cream! It’s homemade and fantastic! A cup of coffee, another of tea and yet another great meal was finished.

Some final things to remember about Jabulani— enjoy the food, don’t forget to reserve and if you have a large group of up to 25 ask for the BOMA room, you’ll love it! If you have any questions or comments feel free to drop me a line at sgourmet@telusplanet.net anytime.

907 – 17th Avenue SW

Food ****
Service *****
Price $15.00 - $25.00



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