Gabarone Restaurants Review: Caravela Portuguese Restaurant in Gabarone, Botswana
It is not often that I feel compelled to write a review about a restaurant that I have visited, but then it is not often that a restaurant meets, never mind exceeds, my expectations. In this instance however, the Caravela Portuguese Restaurant in Gabarone, Botswana made such an impression on my husband and I, that I felt it is my duty to share this information with other travellers and seekers of gastronomical excellence.
Botswana is famous for its diamonds, wild life and now for the best Portuguese restaurant south of Portugal.
This quaint little restaurant is located in the heart of Gabarone, (Extension 4, Mokgosi Close, Plot 421 – off Independence Avenue, Gabarone, Botswana.) with the added bonus that it is nestled in a quiet residential district. It is in actual fact a renovated house and what really appealed to us was the beautiful, quiet neighbourhood that it is located in, as most restaurants in Gabarone are located in malls making them extremely noisy, with very little privacy, and not much for a romantic getaway.
Not so with this gem of a restaurant. It was private, quiet and was the perfect start to a romantic getaway. In fact we loved it so much, and couldn’t try enough of their wonderful dishes that we returned there on our way back home.
The Caravela Portuguese Restaurant in Gabarone, Botswana
The Caravela Portuguese Restaurant has a very quaint setting with three different restaurant areas; a main dining area, a bar area and an outdoor area. Naturally, with the awesome weather in Botswana we chose the outdoor area. The host and hostess, James and Sue were delightful, with enough attention to make us feel welcome but also giving us enough space to spend time enjoying the food and each other.
On our return visit we spent more time chatting with Sue (freshly emigrated from Wisconsin) and James, whose hospitality is hard to forget. There are very few restaurants that you leave feeling that you’ve just visited really close friends.
The service was friendly, prompt, and above all accurate. We got what we wanted and in perfect time. My husband is a fussy eater who likes different things served at different times and will get really annoyed if it doesn’t arrive as he requested it. This time there were no problems at all.
Although this is a classy place, families feel at home here too with more than enough on the menu for the little ones and nice surroundings outside for them to explore.
On the nights that we were there we were introduced to several prominent Botswana ministers and business men, including several Americans and Europeans. It seems that everyone comes from far away just for the food and the service.
This is definitely a Portuguese restaurant with several classic Portuguese dishes that you will rarely find outside Portugal however another of it’s selling points is that it is also the only seafood restaurant in the whole of Gabarone. So if you are a seafood lover you cannot possibly give this restaurant a miss.
Not being too familiar with Portuguese food, I asked our hostess Sue for her recommendations. Well suffice to say, this experience has converted me to Portuguese food and we have since undertaken Portuguese cooking classes and have visited several other Portuguese restaurants back home; and I can honestly say that none can hold a candle to the Caravela Portuguese Restaurant in Gabarone.
Getting back to the food…
We started with “The Flaming Chourico” (don’t you just love the name?); a traditional Portuguese sausage served flaming at the table. To see your food on fire, coming to your table, is quite an experience!
We also tried the Prawn Cakes – Rissòis, yummy!
Because my husband and I both love seafood, we ordered the Cataplana, a traditional seafood dish, popular on Portugal’s Algarve coast. The sauce for this dish was a nice combination of delicate spice and was full of flavour. We were told that this dish is named after the special copper pot that it is cooked in.
We ordered an additional seafood platter and shared these meals. It was truly a night of feasting and what was surprising was the quality of the seafood in a country that is landlocked.
Hopefully we will be going that way again soon as there were so many things on the menu that we would like to try like the Kingklip Caravela, a house speciality, the prawn curry and the Portuguese steak which I spotted another customer having and it looked mouth-watering!
The Caravela Portuguese Restaurant in Botswana is a class act and was the perfect beginning and ending to the perfect African bush holiday. I highly recommend it to anyone visiting Gabarone whether they are there on a holiday or for business.
I would also like to point out that I am in no way being paid or compensated to say what I am saying; I am simply someone who likes to “pass on the good karma” whenever I find it, so…
If you’re ever passing through Botswana and are looking for Gabarone Restaurants with great food and wonderful service you cannot go wrong with the Caravela.