With my last visit to Dullstroom I decided to look for the restaurant Fatima’s Kitchen with the best curry dishes, that I have heard of from different people. Apparently, the curry is so good that people residing in neighbouring towns will call in their order, take the 50-kilometre drive to collect their takeaway meal and drive all the way back. At first I thought it was a bit extreme, but after ordering my first meal from Fatima’s Kitchen I completely understood.
From the outside, it looks like any average general dealer painted bright blue, but as I entered the shop to ask for directions it was right there! The one side of the trout tackle shop had been converted into a restaurant.
Mahmood, Fatima’s husband, welcomed meat Fatima’s Kitchen and offered me a menu. I found it very difficult to choose something as everything looked scrumptious, but at last, I decided on chicken curry. While my meal was being prepared in the kitchen Mahmood started chatting to me.
He told me that his grandfather moved to Dullstroom in 1916 and since 1920 his family has run the tackle shop from the exact same place it is today. He explained how Dullstroom was established in the 1880s. Apparently it was named after Wolterus Dull, a merchant from Amsterdam after it was proclaimed a town in 1893. Dull and stroom (meaning “stream”) refers to the Crocodile River which flows nearby. Another interesting fact he mentioned was that in those days the people from Dullstroom mainly farmed with sheep. This was in order to send the wool back to the Netherlands where it was used to make jerseys and hand gloves for soldiers. Old Transvaal Inn and a part of Rose Cottage were built during the Second Anglo-Boer War.
He also showed me some old laminated pictures dating back to those days. I can tick this off as one of the highlights of my life. Undeniably the best Indian food I’d had in years, prepared expertly by Fatima and her team and as a bonus, I had a pleasant chat with Mahmood. Make sure not to miss out on the experience of a lifetime at Fatima’s Kitchen and perhaps Mahmood will tell you where the best trout fishing spot is.
This is curry that is definitely worth the drive to Dullstroom.
Ista Van Zyl
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Although the place might not seem like much at first glance, they do have very good indian dishes as well as warm conversations about the rich history of Dullstroom which they have been a part of for a lot of years.