Restaurant serves 'substitute' game meat

- Cape Town, V&A Waterfront -

According to The Star online, The City Grill situated in the touristy Waterfront, has been substituting meat that is being flaunted as authentic South African game cuisine on their menus.

After Consumer Watch was tipped off that the restaurant was offering exotic meat (with prices to match) on their menu, but substituting it with other meat, the site launched their own investigation.

A DNA expert from The University of Stellenbosch was sent in undercover to test the meat being served to customers, mostly tourists.

DNA tested

According to The Star the DNA expert joined a party of four and between them they ordered one starter – smoked springbok carpaccio – and six main meals: ostrich fillet steak (R195); warthog (R169); crocodile (R179); kudu (R175); springbok (R175) and the giant grilled mixed venison skewer, comprising crocodile, ostrich, warthog, kudu and venison sausage (R295).

They took small pieces of each meat, labeled them and later DNA-tested them in a lab.

Tests revealed that while the ostrich and crocodile dishes were in fact ostrich and crocodile, the following six substitutions had taken place:

-    The smoked springbok carpaccio was identified as common ostrich;
-    The kudu was black wildebeest;
-    The springbok was identified as fallow deer;
-    The warthog (from the grilled mixed venison skewer) was pig; and
-    The warthog was a pig;
-    The kudu (from the grilled mixed venison skewer) was identified as black wildebeest.

Asked to respond regarding the serious ethical and financial implications of passing off one meat species as another, City Grill general manager Barry Nieuwoudt said while the restaurant management was “aware of rumours surrounding meat substitution in the industry”, they were unaware some of their dishes “may have been affected”.

“Your findings have certainly shaken us up and we intend to be proactive in preventing something like this happening again,” he said.

“We have taken all affected dishes off our menu".

“Only once we are completely satisfied that the meat we have been supplied with is what is described on our menu will we reintroduce these dishes".

“As your tests show, the only way to really know the difference in packaged game meat is to conduct DNA testing.”

Nieuwoudt said the restaurant intended to adopt more stringent means to ensure they got what they ordered.

To read the full story on IOL click here.

Wow, we think the restaurant should know the difference between pig and warthog and ostrich and springbok. Shouldn't they?

What do you think? Is the supplier at fault? Or the restaurant management?

Rahil Khanna 2012-12-10 03:02:29 PM
now thats a meaty topic for discussion instead of politics
Caro De Waal 2012-12-10 03:14:52 PM
I think the restaurateur could perhaps not have known about the kudu and black wildebeest - as could/should show off about having it. That could be the supplier fibbing as it looks similiar. But really, warthog and pig? They look totally different!
Colin Spear 2012-12-10 03:44:47 PM
How does one confuse pig and warthog? I know people who haven't tasted it often equate it with pork, but fact is that warthog is nothing like pork. Its a red meat that has a completely different taste to pork. Warthog is closer to (stringy) beef than pork by a long shot.
Aubrey Christie 2012-12-10 06:23:49 PM
And we thought only politicians lied. Shame on you.All in the name of a extra buck.
Duits 2012-12-11 06:48:01 AM
This was just to make a fast buck!
Robbie Crouch 2012-12-11 08:46:22 AM
Wildebees is tastier than Kudu... I suspect the supplier.
D_MAN 2012-12-11 10:50:52 AM
What a way to rip tourists off. He has been caught red handed and his only way out was to blame the supplier. PATHETIC. He was in it to make money and nothing more. All these expensive restaurants must have there meat checked as we the local ppl who support them are getting ripped off.
Paul Myers 2012-12-11 11:22:22 AM
Passing the buck!
Sean Crookson 2012-12-11 12:23:34 PM
Springbok and Ostrich substituted. Don't make me laugh. Of course they could tell the difference. Any chef can tell just by the smell alone.
cobusvanstaden0506 2012-12-11 01:24:50 PM
Love to know what the boerewors was made of