Business in the Spotlight: Saffas Bistro

This week’s business in the Spotlight is Saffas Bistro in Poland. We also focus on other South African businesses that have a wonderful network in Poland.

Saffas Bistro in Wroclaw opened its doors on 26 February 2022. South African executive chef Gabriel le Roux, who is the co-owner and chef, decided it is time to expose the Polish palate to the exotic and authentic flavours of South African cuisine. Serving classics ranging from bobotie to boerewors, koeksisters to milk tart, bunny chow to copper penny carrot salad, Saffas Bistro has it all – fantastic food, great wine and true warm South African hospitality.

Gabriel studied under Peter Veldsman in Cape Town, Lannice Snyman and Topsie Venter. He worked as executive chef at De Waterblommetjie Restaurant which earned the title as one of the Eat Out Top 100 Restaurants in South Africa. From there Gabriel traveled the world promoting South African cuisine to some of the most luxury island properties in the Seychelles, Bahamas, Thailand and Maldives and earned the title of World Master Chef in 2017.

In 2020 Gabriel and his Polish wife Monika decided to visit Poland for a short holiday and Gabriel saw an opportunity where he could promote South African/Polish fusion food.

Gabriel says: “When I started travelling and studying more about Polish cuisine I realised how similar certain techniques are in the Polish/South African food culture. I was surprised how close some of our dishes were. Take Ouvrou onder die kombers (a dish my mom made at least once a month) and compare it to the Polish Gołąbki. It is surprisingly similar, and there are many more dishes that have that same similarity.”

Soon Gabriel went back to his chef roots and became a private chef, travelling throughout Poland and cooking for guests in the luxury of their homes with his South African/Polish inspirations. Next was the birth of CHEFSbiltong, creating artisan biltong, dry wors, boerewors and other South African delicacies like chakalaka, sosaties, rusks etc. 

Gabriel met Rodi Hennaw who is from George in the Garden Route and has an award winning food truck in Krakow (Krakow’s Yellow Submarine Smash Burger & Shake), and Majiec Lobejko who introduced him to Rudy Seriese. And as they say, the rest is history!  Rudy is from Cape Town and a big importer of South African wines into Poland, and also the owner of Wine Spot in Wroclaw, a very successful wine bar. With their passion for originality and serving only the best food and wine in the Wroclaw culinary scene, they decided to open the second South African restaurant in Zwycieska, Partynice (the highbrow area of Wroclaw).

“People are already fond of Rudy’s South African imported wines here in Poland. Let’s take it a step further and combine it with elegant food and show this competitive food city waar Dawid die wortels begrawe het.”

Gabriel le Roux

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