Last night I ate a Springbok. Not a South African egg chaser of course, rather the South African antelope which burst across the veldt with uncanny speed and grace (but not so much speed and grace that they don’t get caught I guess). What was such an unusual animal doing on my plate in a relatively unassuming restaurant in Crouch End? Well the Boom Bar does sell itself as a South African restaurant and this is one of the things it flogs to prove it. Useful if the World Cup Dining Club ever restarted I guess.

How else does it prove its South Africaness. Well, not to denigrate an entire nation whose population are reknowned as rude, but it is not via the service. Okay, Monday nights are quiet (four tables on the go) but the waitress was fantastically friendly, helpful to my unsure about spices mother and genuinely interested in our choices of food. The menu does a few other comedy items on it, ostrich and special South African sausages, but it is generally a well thought out mixture of well cooked meats and a few other items with a more African flavour. A generous specials board tempts one away from the set menu, but the set is such good value it is a good way of easing yourself into the cuisine. (Set menu £15 per head which is two courses, plus coffee and a drink – Castle Lager or a glass of wine). My parents, usually a bit wary of the unfamiliar, loved it.

And the Springbok? Well it was delicately casseroled, served with rice and was smashing. Not quite as strong as venison, but you got the similarity. It was if anything a little bit too subtle, easily pepped up by the side chutney the wholethingg came with. I’ll be going back to the Boom Bar, with ostrich in my sights, and if the Rugby World Cup goes tits up – a revenge eating of another Springbok.