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South Africans get the bug: Cape Town diner serves insect-only dishes

Updated : 2019-09-03 16:06:57

South African chef Mario Barnard said he was "grossed out" and did not entirely enjoy eating grilled scorpions and crunchy insects mixed with garlic and spices on a trip to Thailand four years ago. But the experience inspired Barnard to start experimenting with insect-based meals and in July he opened a pop-up restaurant in Cape Town's trendy Woodstock suburb that only serves bug meals."Insect Experience" is the first restaurant in South Africa to serve insect-only meals, Barnard said, though they have proven increasingly popular in various countries around the world.

Chef Mario Barnard plates Mopane worm and polenta fries with tomato chilli chutney at the Insect Experience Restaurant in Cape Town, South Africa, August 23, 2019. Picture taken August 23, 2019. REUTERS/Sumaya Hisham
Chef Mario Barnard plates Mopane worm and polenta fries with tomato chilli chutney at the Insect Experience Restaurant in Cape Town, South Africa, August 23, 2019. Picture taken August 23, 2019. REUTERS/Sumaya Hisham
Chef Mario Barnard places coriander on croquettes made with Hermetia illucens (Black soldier fly larvae) flour and chickpea flour served on a bed of mopane worm tahini hummus at the Insect Experience Restaurant in Cape Town, South Africa, August 23, 2019. Picture taken August 23, 2019. REUTERS/Sumaya Hisham
Chef Mario Barnard places coriander on croquettes made with Hermetia illucens (Black soldier fly larvae) flour and chickpea flour served on a bed of mopane worm tahini hummus at the Insect Experience Restaurant in Cape Town, South Africa, August 23, 2019. Picture taken August 23, 2019. REUTERS/Sumaya Hisham
Tagliatelle alla insetto, a pasta dish made with homemade Black soldier fly larvae flour, wheat and basil pesto prepared by Chef Mario Barnard at the Insect Experience Restaurant in Cape Town, South Africa, August 23, 2019. Picture taken August 23, 2019. REUTERS/Sumaya Hisham
Tagliatelle alla insetto, a pasta dish made with homemade Black soldier fly larvae flour, wheat and basil pesto prepared by Chef Mario Barnard at the Insect Experience Restaurant in Cape Town, South Africa, August 23, 2019. Picture taken August 23, 2019. REUTERS/Sumaya Hisham
Chef Mario Barnard sprinkles Mopane worm spices on freshly made popcorn at the Insect Experience Restaurant in Cape Town, South Africa, South Africa, August 23, 2019. Picture taken August 23, 2019. REUTERS/Sumaya Hisham
Chef Mario Barnard sprinkles Mopane worm spices on freshly made popcorn at the Insect Experience Restaurant in Cape Town, South Africa, South Africa, August 23, 2019. Picture taken August 23, 2019. REUTERS/Sumaya Hisham
Chef Mario Barnard opens a package of Black soldier fly larvae during meal preparation at the Insect Experience Restaurant in Cape Town, South Africa, August 23, 2019. Picture taken August 23, 2019. REUTERS/Sumaya Hisham
Chef Mario Barnard opens a package of Black soldier fly larvae during meal preparation at the Insect Experience Restaurant in Cape Town, South Africa, August 23, 2019. Picture taken August 23, 2019. REUTERS/Sumaya Hisham
A customer purchases Mopane worm spice from Chef Mario Barnard at the Insect Experience Restaurant in Cape Town, South Africa, August 23, 2019. Picture taken August 23, 2019. REUTERS/Sumaya Hisham
A customer purchases Mopane worm spice from Chef Mario Barnard at the Insect Experience Restaurant in Cape Town, South Africa, August 23, 2019. Picture taken August 23, 2019. REUTERS/Sumaya Hisham
Customer Gosiame Makoe talstes a Mopane worm at the Insect Experience Restaurant in Cape Town, South Africa, August 23, 2019. Picture taken August 23, 2019. REUTERS/Sumaya Hisham
Customer Gosiame Makoe talstes a Mopane worm at the Insect Experience Restaurant in Cape Town, South Africa, August 23, 2019. Picture taken August 23, 2019. REUTERS/Sumaya Hisham
A bowl of Mopane worms stands on the counter for customers to try at the Insect Experience Restaurant in Cape Town, South Africa, August 23, 2019. Picture taken August 23, 2019. REUTERS/Sumaya Hisham
A bowl of Mopane worms stands on the counter for customers to try at the Insect Experience Restaurant in Cape Town, South Africa, August 23, 2019. Picture taken August 23, 2019. REUTERS/Sumaya Hisham
Chef Mario Barnard scoops out a handful of Black soldier fly larvae at the Insect Experience Restaurant in Cape Town, South Africa, August 23, 2019. Picture taken August 23, 2019. REUTERS/Sumaya Hisham
Chef Mario Barnard scoops out a handful of Black soldier fly larvae at the Insect Experience Restaurant in Cape Town, South Africa, August 23, 2019. Picture taken August 23, 2019. REUTERS/Sumaya Hisham
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