Batswana are hungry for authentic local food that is well branded and packaged
Size 10 restaurant is the latest eatery in town to open its doors to lovers of authentic Setswana cuisine. Strategically located near the Main Mall in the heart of the city, the 100% Batswana owned restaurant is a breath of fresh air or equally tantalising smoke from open fires that invite all who desire to satisfy their cravings for a true traditional Setswana food experience. With its unique menu offering that has created quite the buzz, the eatery gets a thumbs up from foodies who want simple and affordable Setswana food .
“Ever since we opened the response has been overwhelming. Size 10 serves simply cooked traditional Setswana dishes ranging from Mokoto, seswaa, bogobe jwa lerotse among others, priced at P30 a plate,” co-founder of Size 10 Gaone Dixon told Time Out.
Dixon revealed that they saw a gap in the market to develop local foods adding that, “We noticed that the simple dishes Batswana love are always informal and the same applies to Setswana cuisine. We enjoy this food but we have failed to package it. The main players in the local cuisine sector are big players and they have set the bar so high that an ordinary Motswana can not afford their meals.”
The authentic food preparation process inspired the name of the restaurant, Size 10. Fired with carefully picked Mophane wood from the north, their food is cooked in and served straight from 3 legged cast iron pots. “We always strive for authenticity. The three legged size 10 pot has a sense of pride attached to it. The pot draws inspiration from the popular expression, ‘Size 10 ke pitsa tse ditona’ which emphasizes its big size and ability to serve more people as opposed to other pots. We use open fire deliberately because we want that authentic aroma and flavour one gets when food is cooked in a three legged pot,” Dixon said.
Ingredients used to prepare their meals are organic agricultural products sourced from local suppliers and farmers. The founders have established a relationship with Main Mall hawkers who sell Setswana foods to become their main suppliers. “We have struck a deal with those ladies selling on traditional foods in Main Main to empower them. We also work with other local farmers who supply us with greens and we have people as far as Mmopane who supply us with sour milk. As the business grows we hope to grow with all these producers,” said another founder of Size 10, Oaitse Chamme.
With its rustic décor ready to welcome a stream of patrons daily, Dixon shared that the restaurant was still a work in progress as they plan to introduce more elements of Setswana culture to the interior design. “In the next two months this place will be completely different because we plan to introduce the kgotla, sepora chairs and dikika to resemble that feast of culture we are talking about. The walls will also explain the dishes we serve as well as educating foreigners who also frequent this spot,” he said.
In the future the founders of Size 10 said they plan to expand their operations to other parts of the country and internationally. They have also partnered with food ordering application, My Foodness to send out delivers to some of their clients who are out of reach. “Very soon we will be having packaged biltong and Gemere. We are outsourcing this services because we are trying to create space to collaborate with other producers,” Chamme concluded.