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Opened in 1998, 10 Degrees South is the only South African restaurant in Atlanta. Surprising, as we have so many Ethiopian restaurants but only one South African restaurant in Atlanta. Situated off Roswell Road, 10 Degrees South is one of those charming, classy restaurants that for whatever reason, stays under the radar in the Atlanta dining scene.
I’d visited twice before but it had been at least 7 or 8 years since I’d been back, so I was long overdue for a visit. I loved the food, a unique blend of spices and flavors that I could never put my finger on, and something I think would be quite complex to replicate at home. Since I’d visited, the building has gotten a complete overhaul. What was once a small house, has now been transformed into a spacious and well-appointed dining area. There’s even an enclosed patio that was bustling on the evening I visited.
Alain Zemour, the new manager, who’d been there a total of two days when I visited, was friendly, gracious and and very well-versed on the menu for such a short amount of time on the job. I wish some of the management and servers I encountered at other restaurants knew their menu half as intimately as Alain knows the menu of 10 Degrees South.
He recommended a couple starters for us: Calamari, Sosaties (skewered beef in an apricot curry sauce over rice) and Biltong, a cured meat. I’d never had unfried calamari before visiting 10 Degrees South. I do love the flavor, however I’d have preferred it without the capers as they added somewhat of a salty taste to the dish. The Biltong, was a pretty large portion and great for sharing if you have a group of four or more.
If you go, you must try the Sosaties. Swimming a mix of spices my tongue desperately tried but failed to identify, this dish with it’s sweet and savory appeal won’t let you down. Too bad they weren’t at Taste of Atlanta, as 10 Degrees’ Sosaties would’ve been a huge hit!
10 Degrees South has a phenomenal wine selection, with very generous pours, all presented in carafe. See that picture below? Yeah – that’s one glass of wine. I was tempted to try the “Goats do Roam” – a Shriaz-Pinotage blend and a play on Cote du Rhone, I ultimately had the Chocolate Block, a Syrah-Cab blend. It was delicious and went perfectly with my meal. It is worth it to order a couple different varieties as everything we sampled was superb.
Next up were our entrees. I was tempted by the Ostrich medallions, which I’d had in the past and they didn’t disappoint. But as I wanted something authentically South African, I ordered the Bobotie, a sweet ground beef mixture topped with a custard. Trust me when I tell you the picture (shown at the bottom of the post with the recipe) doesn’t do this dish justice. It just explodes with flavor. Think of it as South African Shepherd’s Pie, which is the best way I can describe it. Instead of peas, carrots etc, this “pie” of sorts has apples, apricots and raisins. And 10 Degrees South was kind enough to share the recipe with me, which I’ve posted at the bottom of this post.
We also sampled the chicken curry. The spice blend on the dishes at 10 Degrees South is insanely good. And don’t worry – while there are lots of spices, it isn’t hot spicy like some Indian and Thai food can be. Although it doesn’t come with either dish we ordered, we did try the sambals, which are the South African equivalent of grits. Except these grits are more solid and less liquidy than southern grits. While I’m not much of a grits fan, these were a pleasant diversion from traditional southern grits.
While I quite enjoyed the rich chocolate cake we sampled, the winning dessert was Di’s Delight, a moist sponge cake, made daily by the owner’s mother. Overall, the menu at 10 Degrees South still has items that are more neutral like prawns, mussels, and even barbecue chicken should you have non-adventurous eaters in the mix. But it really is worth it to explore the menu. None of the spices or any ingredients are that foreign than what you’ve had before, and who knows, you might just fall in love with this unique cuisine. There’s nothing else like 10 Degrees South in Atlanta, which why this delightful restaurant remains one of my favorite Atlanta restaurants.
4183 Roswell Rd NE
Atlanta, GA 30342
404 705 8870
Extras: There is a beautiful enclosed patio perfect for group get-togethers or a girls night out!
2 pounds of ground beef
1 ½ cups of onion
2 cloves of garlic
2 Granny Smith Apples (grated)
1 cup of Apricot Preserve
1 cup of brown sugar
1 cup of raisins
2 to 3 tablespoons of curry powder (depends on how spicy you want it to be)
1 tablespoon of tumeric
2 bay leafs
Sautee onions and garlic until soft and translucent. Add ground beef, salt and pepper and stir until the meat has browned. Add curry powder, tumeric, brown sugar and apricot preserves. Stir until well combined, then add the grated apple. Let it cook for about five minutes, then add the raisins. Once the raisins have plumped up (after about five minutes) take the mixture off the stove and drain any excess oil (and there will be – it depends on how much fat content is in the ground beef you buy).
Let it cool down and then put a couple of bay leaves in the bottom of your dish and then add the mixture.
1 cup of milk and a little cream
Salt and pepper
Beat all of the above and pour over the meat and bake for +-30 minutes in a 375 degree oven until golden brown.
This delicious dish may be baked in a larger container for a crowd to share or into individual portions, depending upon how you’d like to serve it.