Restaurant News


12 JULY 2019



Back in 2017, I heard about Gourmet Grubb.

It’s a company that turns black fly larvae into protein powder and milk, which is then used to make ice cream.

For many, that may sound like something that they cannot wait to try.

I, on the other hand, heard about this and shoved it way down the memory hole, because the thought of eating black-fly-larvae milk doesn’t fill me with joy.

Well, the business has now moved onto a full menu. According to Business Insider SA, Gourmet Grubb has dipped into the realm of ‘savoury’, opening a pop-up bug restaurant called The Insect Experience.


The bug-inspired meals are designed by chef Mario Barnard, who first started cooking with bugs after a trip to Thailand where he was encouraged to eat tarantulas and scorpions.

As you do.

“They were a little bit hard for me to eat. But, since I started experimenting with [insect-based] powders and messing with the food and hiding in it in a kind of gourmet way, I’ve found its a much easier way to eat,” said Barnard.

The idea is to make is at visually appealing as possible to a less accustomed audience.


Product manager Leah Bessa has the following to say about eating insects:

“Insects are very under-utilised. I was looking at modern ways of bringing insects into the food processing and how Western consumers eat, that was the original inspiration. Gourmet Grubb was a way to bring it to the forefront of people’s minds and transform consumer perception about eating insects, one of the biggest barriers to entry,” said Leah.

The company hopes to encourage people to eat more insects.


That above is the Mopane polenta fries, which comes served with a tomato-chilli chutney, and will set you back R40.

Apparently, the food is delicious.

With sponsorship from True Food and Mane South Africa, they have been able to start up The Insect Experience and include other scrumptious insects like Mopane worms to their menu.


You’re looking at chickpea black-fly-larvae croquettes, served with a Mopani hummus dip, topped with micro-coriander, basil dressing, and bits of dried mealworms.

That will also set you back R40. I’m seeing some value here.

The store officially opens on 11 July, but is already up and running at the GOODFood market, in the Iron Works shopping centre in Woodstock, Cape Town.

If you can stomach it, enjoy your meal.