Monday, May 23, 2011

monday = half-price-wineday


FRENCH TOAST, the wine and tapas bar in Bree Street are offering an awesome MONDAY SPECIAL:
Every Monday from now on all wines normally R400 or less a bottle will be half price – all day. The wine list at French Toast is extensive, with nearly a quarter of the offerings coming from France, Italy, Germany and Spain and the remainder a fine representation of the best this country produces. With this promotion, which ranges from De Meye Rosé – list price R98, now R49 – up to the sultry Boekenhoutskloof Chocolate Block which will be an affordable R200 on Mondays.
From Springfield Life From Stone sauvignon blanc (normally R197) and the Vriesenhof Pinot Noir (normally R375) to wonderful warm reds like Kevin Arnold shiraz for just R170, the Kloof Street red blend for R80 and a Rhone blend from Chapoutier made in Languedoc Rousillon for R95, there are many reasons to snuggle up in front of the fireplace with something comforting in the glass.
Thanks Manley Communications for letting us in on this awesome deal :-)

Spoil yourself this pay day


Just down the road from us in Mouillie Point facing the sea and infamous lighthouse, is the relaxed, yet chic restaurant, Sotano.

Owned by the same group that own the wonderful winey spot, Caveau, in town, Sotano offers diners a chilled, informal area with couches upstairs and a pleasant, more formal dining area downstairs.

We decided to sit downstairs in a cosy nook for our diner.

The new winter menu offers a range of the usual Mediterranean style tapas, plus some new additions, like the classic French onion soup, warm salads, seafood linguini, lamb tagine, risotto and fish pie. They also have a kiddies menu and a styling breakfast menu which offers a variety of eggy brekkies and eats as simple as anchovette toast or a plain croissant to full English.

First up was a tapas platter, which included the most delicious haloumi I have ever had and gorgeous deep fried aubergine and zucchini strips. Now that’s a way to eat veggies!

I tried the new seafood linguini for my main, which was rich with quite a spicy bite and sure to cure any cold you may have. My partner had the beef fillet, which was cooked to perfection (medium rare, but slightly more rare than medium) with the green peppercorn sauce. It was delicious.

Our waiter paired great wines with our courses. We totally went on his recommendations and it’s always nice to be served by someone who knows their wine as well as the food on offer. The service was excellent.

We ended with the chocolate fondant, which was gorgeously gooey and warm, but I’m not much of a sweet tooth, so I left the rest to my partner while I sipped away on the dregs of my glass.

Go for: Romantic dinners and live reggae on Sunday afternoons… It is a little expensive, so head there with full wallets, when you can afford R30 drafts and spoiling yourself with yummy food, because it is worth it.

121 Mouille Point, 021-433-1757

Table Mountain - what a beaut!



Table Mountain Fun

‘When last did you go up table mountain?’, I get asked as I climbed aboard the cable-way carriage last week Tuesday.

I realised it had been about three years ago, which is quite sad considering I stay so close to the awesomness that is table mountain…

Capetownians take things for granted. We don’t visit the beach enough, go to the winelands enough, explore our amazing surrounds enough, and so I made a silent promise to myself that I wouldn’t let another three years go by before I ascended the mountain again.

And for good reason, because it is in a word, SPECTACULAR!


ON the evening we went up, it happened to be full moon and there were clouds covering all of camps bay, creating an odd illusion of clouds=ocean.

Just have a look at these pics – and if this isn’t enough of a reason t visit table mountain, then I give up.

Plus the revamped restaurant offers delicious food.

It is a little pricey, at R180 pp for a return trip. But I always suggest climbing up and then taking the cart down. It is a little strenuous on the knees, but a good way to get some fresh air and exercise.

Table Mountain has also just launched their green card, which offers members special discounted rates.

Visit http://tablemountain.net/visitor_info/cable_card/ for more info.

Hi!


This week is going to be a good week… I can feel it in my 20-something bones!

And why you may ask?

Well, it happens to be my birthday week, and I have a few fabulous things to look forward to: romantic dinner on Thursday, party with the girls on Friday, and a bit of the GOOD FOOD AND WINE show thrown in on the weekend.

Plus, even though I am getting older, I can safely say that it is not yet time to change my blog to ‘thirty-something in Cape Town’.

I have been super busy and apologise for the lack of posts, but I do have some cool newsy foodie and wine info to share, which I will update over the next few days.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Hello Again







Check out this local clothing with a funky spin...

The colourful clothes of Hello Again peek out through the single window pane and open doorway of Toby and Lynne Groenewald’s Long Street store. ‘It’s the place to be if you want to sell clothing,’ says Toby.

After returning from America, Toby started screen-printing. ‘There were no shirts with a nice, unique or tailored fit. I started making blank T-shirts, which we sold to screen-printers ... it developed into many different styles, so we started thinking of having a shop.’

The name Hello Again comes from when the couple sold ‘very cool, vintage clothing’. But it was quite a challenge to source proper vintage, so they launched their own range of T-shirts, hoodies, shorts, skirts, tops and dresses. Toby also began collaborating with illustrators and incorporating other designers in their store.

The funky clothing is targeted mostly at the youth market – students, hipsters, Long Street dwellers. ‘A lot of creative people like our shop because we have a lot of unbranded stuff,’ he says.

All the clothes in store are made in the Cape, with cotton sourced from Zimbabwe. ‘We have it knitted and dyed in Epping and from there the fabric gets delivered to the factory and we make the shirts. All our businesses get kind of integrated and gelled together.’

Labels to look out for are Vestibull Artistic Apparel (handbags and clothing), Silver Spoon (clothing), Lacy Dot earrings and Mikado badges. And what about the bicycles adorningthe walls? ‘It’s my passion,’ says Toby. ‘I started out riding BMX and my buddy in Philadelphia introduced me to fixed-gear bikes ... they’re not easy to ride. The bikes we sell here are a bit more user-friendly.’ The ever-resourceful Toby has recently been building his own bikes from scratch. Watch this space!

WE LIKE:

• The Shark Jesus shirt from Hello Again • Blue and white striped bag by Vestibull at Hello Again • Mikado pig badge from Hello Again •

Address: 233 Long Street, CBD, 021-426-0242

*published in the khuluma April issue

Friday, May 6, 2011

Puff tarts rock

Puff pastry is such a winner when you’re super busy and don’t have the time to whip up a full meal... plus they are great for party snacks when cut into tartlets.

I recently made a super easy veggie tart.

Here’s how:

Ingredients:

1 roll puff pastry

1 egg, whisked

Half a tub of crème fresh (4 big table spoons)

4 table spoons of sundried tomato pesto (you could also use basil)

6-8 smallish zucchini, finely sliced with a peeler

Chopped chilli (I used about 2 tsp chopped dried chilli preserved in olive oil)

Freshly torn basil leaves

*Olive Oil and Balsamic vinegar reduction (I used the fig infused one from Woolies) for serving.

*Grated Parmesan for serving


Instructions:

-Defrost puff pastry fully

-Roll out slightly and place on greased baking tray

-Score edges and baste with whisked egg

-Combine pesto and crème fresh and cover pastry (except for the edges covered with egg)

-Lay zucchini on top of pesto mixture

-Sprinkle chillies on zucchini

- Bake in oven for about 15 minutes at 180 degrees or until pastry and zucchini are cooked.

-Once out the oven, stand to let cool and sprinkle with basil leaves and grated parmesan.

- Serve with drizzles of olive oil and balsamic reduction.

-Also add some freshly chopped little rosa tomatoes if desired.

The SA Cheese Festival wrap-up










I went to the SA Cheese Festival last weekend (Saturday) at Sandringham Farm outside of Stellenbosch…

First of all, the traffic was horrendous. It took us half an hour to get to the Klipheuwel turn off from CT, which was easy enough, and then suddenly we hit bumper to bumper, snail pace traffic.

We finally managed to get into the gates 2 hours, and 3km later.

But I was very happy to finally arrive.

There were loads of people milling around, tasting wines and eating lunch soaking up the last rays of summer sunshine. The weather couldn’t have been better considering the awful cold and rainy days we had just had.

WE meandered around the cheese emporium and tasted what we could.

There was a nice variety of goats milk cheeses, feta, moz and yellow cheeses… and I was left wondering ‘where are al the blues?’.

There was a blues band outside, but that’s not what I meant.

The only stand that offered up blue cheese was simonsberg – their simonzola.

Now, I like their simonzola, but I can buy it from any PnP in town.

Where were the creamy gorgonzola’s I had been dreaming of stocking my fridge with???

I was sadly quite disappointed and left having bought only drinking yoghurt (which was truly amazing), olives and biltong.

There were also a lot of drunk students who were clearly enjoying the ‘wine tasting’ section, and one boy tried to grab my arm and slurred some – what he thought was – charming Afrikaans words (and spittle) my way.

Overall, it was fun and I met some interesting cheese-makers and other foodie types.

Notable delicious items that come to mind were: raw ginger honey; the man making his own mozzarella; cape aloe juices; the olives from Delvera and the lemon curd.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Taste of Cape 2011



This evening is marks the first night of this year’s Taste of cape Festival – a foodie event that showcases food from 14 of Cape Town’s top restaurants as well as additional alcoholic beverages and other foodie treats. I went to last year’s event for the first time and it was incredible. It is not a cheap foodie expo, so do take some dosh if you want to try the posh nosh. [sorry – I just had to!]

Details:

Signature dishes from the chefs of Nobu, Societi Bistro, Fyndraai and Bistro Sixteen82, among others.

Also on hand are purveyors of homemade produce and premium whisky, beer, wine, tequila and locally made absinthe.

Dates: 5–8 May

Venue: Green Point Cricket Club.

Entry: R70 (or R160 including R100 worth of coupons), tasteofcapetown.com


I'll be checking it out tomorrow night, so expect a write-up.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

What to do this May in CT




1-28 May

Did you know? The 1965 film was Woody Allen’s first feature film. To see some hot, young singers dance up a storm at Grand West’s Roxy Revue Bar, don’t miss DOLL DOMINATION – a tribute show to the Pussycat Dolls. Produced by Candice Michelle and choreographed by Darren Greeff, the show promises an energetic, fast paced and fun production telling the story of a group of girls who went from dancers in clubs to fame and fortune. Tickets R67 at Computicket.


12-28 May

Did you know? Andrew Lloyd Webber claims that he had originally set music to Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats at the age of fifteen. For a night of musical fun, don’t miss the local production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Jesus Christ Superstar at the Artscape Theatre. It’s the story of the last seven days of Jesus Christ, played by lead singer from Wonderboom, Cito, as seen through the eyes of Judas, played by the award-winning master of the keys, Jonathan Roxmouth. Tickets from R115 at Computicket.


3-6 May

Did you know? One grape cluster equates approximately to one glass of wine.

Sip on delicious wines while admiring gorgeous Cape Town views from the new Lookout venue at Granger Bay at THE WINE AFFAIR @ the V&A Waterfront. Expect top Western Cape wineries, restaurants and purveyors of fine foods from sushi and oysters to cheese and charcuterie. Tickets from R90 at Computicket (wine tastings are free).

I went to this last night and it's really awesome. They offer quite a variety of wines, so I stuck to drinking Shiraz or other red varietals that seemed interesting. I particularly enjoyed THE GOOSE wines, Canvas by KWV Mentors and Everson's Cider (Real cider – not that sweet icky stuff blended with grape juice). I was disappointed that they didn't have much food on offer though. So perhaps eat before or plan to have dinner after at the V&A.


7-8 May

Did you know? Olives appear in one of the earliest cookbooks ever discovered, a 2000-year-old text by a Roman named Apicius. Make a trip out to Riebeek Kasteel for fabulous art, wine, music and food at the Riebeek Valley Olive Festival. Think olive oils, preserves and tapenades, as well as a wide selection of olive-based beauty products, plus an opportunity to meet local wine makers, sample French haut cuisine and craft markets. Visit www.riebeekvalley.info for more info.


6-8 May

Did you know? According to the BBC, an average man in the UK has enough energy in his fat stores to run non-stop for three days at 24km per hour. Stay trim this winter by exploring the beautiful countryside town of Kleinmond at the PRONUTRO AFRICANX TRAILRUN. Teams of two need to enter, so grab a buddy and be prepared to cover distances between 22-45km each day. Supporters are welcomed, making this event an ideal excuse for a family weekend away. Visit www.stillwatersports.com for more info.




11-30 May

Did you know? An average human should be able to sing two and a half octaves without straining, breaking, or any other weird noise. Give your average voice a rest and go see the award-winning a Capella group Not the Midnight Mass as they take to the stage at the Baxter Theatre. Covering classics to rocknroll numbers, Graham and Christine Weir will be joined by Cape Town’s popular jazz diva, Amanda Tiffin, award-winning actress Anthea Thompson and bass Donal Slemon. Tickets from R90 at Computicket.


*These events were from my pages published in the khuluma may issue