Wale Street

Biesmiellah – Cape Malay restaurant in Bo-Kaap

Ladies from the International Woman's Club, assembled outside Biesmiellah, Bo Kaap, for lunch

Ladies from the International Woman’s Club (IWC), assembled outside Biesmiellah for lunch.  Even though many of the ladies have lived in Cape Town for several years, this was not only their their first visit to Biesmiellah, but their first time in this historic Bo Kaap area itself.

There was an air of intrepidation.  Biesmiellah restaurant has that characteristic one-way viewing glass, where diners can see outside and we can cannot see inside the restaurant.

On entering we were greeted with such a broad smile from Sanna Pier, that we felt like we were entering a family home.  Owner, Abdullah Osman welcomed us to Biemiellah and explained that Biesmiellah is the prayer they say before a meal.

One of the ladies asked about the meaning of ‘Halal’. 

‘It is believed that blood is contaminated and therefore all animals should be slaughtered cleanly, quickly and all the blood drained away before butchering the meat’, explained Mr Osman.

 The starters of samoosas were delicious, with main courses of saffron rice, chicken curry and snoek curry.  Biesmiellah opens from 7.30am as it is popular with the locals for takeways, and after sampling the food it was easy to why this is such a favourite restaurant, established 28 years ago.

Shireen Narkedien, walking tour-guide for the Bo Kaap, explained the history of the Bo Kaap to the IWC at Biesmiellah restaurant, Cape Town

After lunch, Shireen Narkedien, well-known registered tour-guide, entertained the group with the history of Cape Town in relation to the Bo Kaap region.  It takes time to explore this area properly and I recommend you book a walking tour with Sherine which lasts around two hours.

Biesmiellah only closes on Sundays. Tel 021 423 0850 www.biesmiellah.co.za Cape Malay Quarter, corner of Wale and Pentz streets.  Please remember that the Bo Kaap is an alcohol free zone.  No alcohol for sale and please don’t take your own into the restaurant.

For walking tours, please contact Sherine Narkedien, mobile 082 423 6932 or email shireen.narkedien@gmail.com