French Toast, not quite “palate of trinchado sauce … and Frelimo underpants”

Out of stock is a retailer’s biggest nightmare as it often results in a lost sale.  While this refreshing wine and tapas bar doesn’t lose a sale to us tonight as we are here to drink some of their extraordinary wines anyway, it most likely resulted in another kind of lost business opportunity.  My intention is to introduce friends to a minerally Burgundy Chablis, William Fevre 2008, which goes for R69 a glass, the only affordable French chardonnay on the menu. Read the rest of this entry »


The Test Kitchen, first night-time restaurant in Lower Woodstock

Luke Dale Roberts’ newish little venture in the dodgier end of Woodstock isn’t what I expected it to be, none-the-less the food I am eating today is exceeding those expectations.  Naively I assumed the dishes would be less luxurious.  For two reasons. Read the rest of this entry »


Rick’s Café Américain, in Park Road Moroccan food and bar in Gardens

It’s Car Free Friday but despite my promise to skaterboy to walk to the office I completely forgot so to redeem myself I embark on the punishing stroll up Long Street to Societi Bistro to do my second review of the place.  Skaterboy often commutes to work on his downhill board, modified to negotiate traffic, and when he isn’t working roars down Sir Lowry’s Pass. (I lie he picks quieter passes).  He has the scars to prove it. Read the rest of this entry »


The Woodlands Eatery, a new Deer Park neighbourhood bistro

Stepping into this new little bistro, I am swept up by a warm fuzzy glow radiating from parties big and small.  There is a family celebration, a table of businessmen and more intimate tables of girls with their BFF’s.  Will this neighbourhood joint in Deer Park be as successful as capturing the girl’s night out crowd at the rowdier nearby Carlyles on Derry Street? Read the rest of this entry »


Bread at The Bromwell in Woodstock and those almond croissants

On being greeted by the incongruous sight of a doorman at The Bromwell Boutique Mall, clad with coat-and-tails and top hat I can’t help recalling relatively recent African history from another part of the continent. Read the rest of this entry »


95 Keerom, Milanese-Italian restaurant and the battle of the olive oils

Sometimes the simplest things are the most sublime. The cannelleni bean salad on the side with sprinkles of Italian Parsley and spring onions at 95 Keerom springs to mind. The little beans – cooked for not a second too long – are tender but firm offering a gentle flavour that brings out the flat-leaf parsley and a grassy olive oil. Read the rest of this entry »


Twankey Oyster Bar, take your own crowd and it’s your private club

Twankey Oyster and Champagne Bar at the Taj hotel represents the über-chic city Cape Town wants to be but isn’t yet, and may never be.  The real big money (old and new) from the ancient capitals and the new oligarchs hasn’t arrived while locals suffer from the sub-par emerging country growth rates seen in Asia and Brazil.  While the city may not be in the global top ten for this super-prime market, it certainly is up there for another crowd. Read the rest of this entry »


As we get ready for the weekend: is the Sunday Roast Dead?

The headline was going to read: “Supermarkets slay the English Sunday Roast (or we get the grocers we deserve).
And then an Afrikaner comes to the rescue.”
But that isn’t quite fair (more on this later).  This article came about after my irritation that my closest two retailers, Woolworths and Pick n Pay (both in Gardens Centre), do a poor job in providing beef roasting joints.  This as I endeavoured to learn how to cook the delicious roasts that came out of my gran’s kitchens. Read the rest of this entry »


La Colombe, how is it faring with the ‘dreaded’ consultant celebrity chef?

“Would you like a roll to mop up the juice from your fillet steak?”
A more reassuring sign at a fine dining restaurant you will not find.  It indicates service without stuffiness.  That they want you to have a good time rather than intimidate you.  It is the kind of thing a genial host at a laid back dinner party might suggest.  And this isn’t a posh roll, just the same simple Portuguese bread you would have found at almost any Bez Valley* corner café in years gone by. Read the rest of this entry »


& Union Beer Salon/Charcuterie reviewed; and the new Cape Town restaurant

The cutting edge* new Cape Town restaurant will tantalize your taste buds with novel combinations you never dreamt of.  The most talented young chefs will forsake luxury ingredients for the freshest local produce.  The humble cauliflower will combined with anchovies; butternut will be smoked and you won’t find any foie gras or fillet on their menus. Read the rest of this entry »