Friday, July 29, 2011

NEW: Roberto’s Signature Restaurant on Long Street….






New on Long Street in the Mother City is the pretty little restaurant, Roberto’s, aptly named after the owner/chef Roberto De Carvalho.

It is light and airy with the preserved original architecture and old photographs of Long Street adorning walls.

Open for lunch and dinner only, the food is a combination of Mediterranean, Portuguese and South African inspired dishes. Expect tapas, Roberto’s signature steak roll, West Coast Muscles, piri-piri chicken or beef espetada and a variety of pastas and meats from the grill.

I haven't yet eaten a full meal there, but was there for the launch and sampled a number of the dishes going around. Some were good and others average. But this can't be grounds for making up my mind on their menu, so I will book to go for lunch sometime soon and give an update.

Roberto was the resident sous chef at the twelve apostles for almost 10 years and briefly the executive chef of the One&Only Resort, and has successfully cooked for a number of ‘A’ list celebrities.

44 Long Street, 021-424-1195, www.robertodecarvalho.co.za

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Market to Market - revisiting the Biscuit Mill














I know this may sound like a sin to most Cape Townians, but I haven’t been to the Old Biscuit Mill (theoldbiscuitmill.co.za) in Woodstock at all this year. Not once. That was until this past weekend of course.

I have been frequenting the Hope Street and St Georges Mall food markets as they tend to offer similar food products while being less overcrowded and pushy.

However, I had the biscuit Mill craving and so went back there last weekend Saturday.

WE arrived just before 12, and the weather was not great. Windy as hell to say the least.

My partner also does not do well in crowded pushy areas and this was the first time I had managed to convince him to try out the Biscuit Mill Neighbourgoods Market.

Generally you have to arrive early to get reasonable parking and a place to sit while you eat lunch/ breakfast.

But I think because of the deterring weather and it being the last weekend before payday it wasn’t as horrendously overcrowded as I expected it to be. Instead it was lovely.

We found a seat each time we ate (Yes, we ate twice… something to do with too much Diemersfontein Pinotage at the Fugard the night before…)

I was bragging about the steak sandwiches, so we bee-lined for that stall first.

I was told there was going to be no sharing. ‘I want my own,’ he said.

They were delicious, although a little fatty. But the onion marmelade and mustard added incredible flavour. (*R50 a steak roll)

I was then determined to buy some cheese. After chatting to the lovely guy at the French stand I bought some Roquefort.

Next up was the chorizo – yum! But I was dragged quickly away as my partner was looking for Lunch, round 2. We briefly lost each other in crowds while I continued to explore the other stands.

We then met up at the Panini stand, where the ‘Surfers breakfast’ (*R45) meal caught his eye. I tasted some. It was amazing! Truly delicious, and f I’d known, I would have had one of them first. I just couldn’t eat a whole other meal.

The dehydration kicked in, so we headed towards the Smoothie people.

I had a pomegranate and mango smoothie while my partner had a chocolate milkshake (R20 each).

I’d heard so much about the new Bean-to-bar chocolate establishment, CocoaFair. I met the founder, Thor, who was really friendly and eager to chat about their new venture.

They will start offering chocolate making courses in about two weeks time, so I’ll keep my ears to the ground and let you know about them as soon as I do, for more info, visit www.cocoafair.com.

Before leaving we bought a bag of different flavoured chocolates, which cost only R3 each. All chocolate is organic.

My favourite one was the cuppucino one :-)

Unfortunately the people at the Biscuit Mill do start packing away at 1:30, so by the time we left the chocolate place, it was already 13:45 and time to go.

The weather was also getting worse and we were feeling to couch calling us…

But I will definitely not wait another 6 months before I go again…

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

My first *official* food and drinks pages [Khuluma Mag]

Bed on Bricks gig at Kirstenbosch









I went to one of the Kirstenbosch Winter Concerts this past Sunday to see Bed on Bricks (bedonbricks.com) perform. The concerts take place in the Silver tree restaurant.
It was a really great evening filled with good wine, nice food, a warm fireplace and excellent music. Enjoy the pics from the show!

Here is the list for the rest of the winter concerts:

August 2011:

  • 14 August 2011: Zebra & Giraffe
  • 21 August 2011: Hot Water
  • 28 August 2011: Gugulethu Tenors

September 2011:

  • 3 September 2011: Louise Carver
  • 4 September 2011: Louise Carver
  • 11 September 2011: Wrestlerish
  • 18 September 2011: Ashtray Electric
  • 25 September 2011: Captain Stu

October 2011:

  • 2 October 2011: Andy Lund and the Mission Men
  • 9 October 2011: Dan Patlansky
  • 16 October 2011: McCulley Workshop
  • 23 October 2011: Flat Stanley
  • 30 October 2011: Heather Mac

Tickets for the Kirstenbosch Winter concerts cost R110 per person and this includes a welcome drink and a starter. Light meals will be available for supper. Doors open at 18h30 and the music starts at 19h00.

For more information and bookings, phone 021 762 9585 or email info@kirstenboschrestaurant.com. Enjoy!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Music in my soul







This weekend I went to see Karen Zoid perform at the Fugard Theatre (www.thefugard.com) in District Six, Cape Town – the first leg of her Afrikaners is Plesierig tour.
The Fugard is such an amazing venue in terms of sound and feel and Karen put on such an excellent show.
She truly has an incredible voice.
We stayed quite late after the show, polishing off a bottle of Diemersfontein Pinotage.
Visit her website for the rest of the tour dates around SA: www.karenzoid.co.za
Here are some pics from the performance.
Enjoy :-)

Friday, July 22, 2011

SA designers unite and create










I simply love it when creative South African people get together and create awesome designs for us to fill our homes with.

Below is the unedited version of my article on The Indalo Project, which appeared in the Horizons magazine.


ARTICLE:


Charles Darwin once said that ‘those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed’, and it seems that South African designers are following this growing trend.

More and more designers are getting involved in collaborative works, with either other designers or craftsmen. After 10 years of development work in craft, Patrick Schofield, founder of Streetwires began exploring ways to create a wider social impact with craft. The Indalo project was born out of this idea to combine creative talents and produce a range of products that will profit local craftsmen and create job opportunities.

‘‘We focused on two key areas, that of Design and Sales. If we could bring established designers together to work with craft producers to create unique international quality craft ranges we’d be half way there. If we could then partner with the craft producer groups to actively sell those ranges. We’d then have a model that would build real impact,’ said Patrick.

‘In January 2011, with 18 months of design and development work behind us, [plus funding from The Shared Growth Challenge Fund] we launched 13 ranges from 12 different producer groups [of which Streetwires is one], representing over 1 400 unique hand-made products.’

The Indalo collections currently offer a range of archetypical furniture, home décor, lighting, accessories, stationary and gifts, which can all be bought online through www.indaloproject.co.za from anywhere in the world (delivery time is approximately 3-4 weeks).

When asked how the collaborations actually work, Patrick said that the key is to keep it simple. ‘Firstly, we partner craft producer groups with designers. They collaboratively work together to design and develop through to final ‘ready-for-market’, hand-crafted ranges. The Indalo Marketing Agency then takes over and gets out there to sell those ranges. The two arms of Indalo, working together drive development through actual sales, and sales, translate back into income for the craft producers and individual artisans.’

‘We brought in established designers with experience in different fields of design, from architecture to graphic illustration. Our key here was to look for designers who had already been successful and had proven themselves. That way, we had a much better chance of success in creating ranges that would sell, ‘ said Patrick

Already housing 510 direct and indirect beneficiaries under its umbrella, the Indalo Project aims to build long-term relationships while developing grassroots skills and job creation. Their goal for this year is to create 90 sales-based jobs as well as increased income for a further 270 craft artists and other employees.

‘Over the next five years we want to be part of the national objective to build a better economic society in Southern Africa. We’ll be working across South Africa in all provinces, building a community of designers, hand-made producers and marketing agents that together will create tangible positive change,’ said Patrick.

I love:

The Protea Range – offering a colourful collection of Protea-shaped lampshades, candleholders and floor lights – and the iSitho collection – offering a beautiful array of stools, benches and footstools – both designed by Nicci Drzewicki and produced by Netshomi Zam and Streetwires.

Other cool items to buy online include: African leather handbags and clutch purses designed by Sharon Boonzaier and produced at Indalo Design Studio; African-inspired gifts such as wild woolie animals, elephant-shaped wire cars and tribal skins USB flash Drives designed by Hayley Rogers and produced by Shumba inc., beloved beadwork, motocraft, Indalo Design Studios and Iziko lo Lwazi Craftworkers; and a variety of outdoors accessories such as stools that double up as side tables and the two-in-one mattress sofa in bright colours by designer Mireille van Reenen and produced by Milie.

Contact Liane Mulder at 021 801 4775 65 Rose Street, Bo Kaap, Cape Town.

Sidebar:

Other collabs:

The Bat Centre (Victoria Embankment, Durban)

An art development and community centre containing a number of retail outlets, large art studios, exhibition galleries, music practice rooms, a dance studio, resource center and a conference room. The centre supports and creates jobs for local artists and well as hosting workshops and creating a space for collaborations with international artists and other local artists.

Contact: 031 332 0451, www.batcentre.co.za

Heartworks (Cape Town)

There are four Heartworks stores based in Cape Town (Kloof street, Gardens, The Biscuit Mill, Cape Quarter) and each store offers support to and employs local craft workers. The Heartworks Stitching Club consists of approximately 27 embroiderers from Khayelitsha who collaborate ideas with the Heartworks store and create designs and patterns, which are then made into cushions, balls and teddy bears for the stores.

Contact: 021 424 8419, www.heartworks.co.za

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Hillcrest Berry Orchard – buy your honey here






Every now and then I get a craving for really good scones, with fresh cream, cheese and jam.
My partner first took me to the Hillcrest Berry Farm more than two years ago, and whenever we find ourselves in the Stellenbosch area with some times to spare, we make a point of visiting it.
And every time I visit, I always buy honey. They have really good quality honey for very affordable prices. R31 for a 230ml jar. You can taste the honey before you buy, and they generally have the four standard flavours: eucalyptus, fynbos, citrus blossom and wild flower.
This past weekend I stocked up on citrus blossom. You also have the option of buying a set of three mini different flavoured honey jars.
They sell a variety of jams, my favourite ones being: Cape Fig and Walnut Jam, Melon and Fig Jam and Cape Gooseberry Jam. Sweet Tooth’s should try the Morello Cherry.

And they also sell five sucrose free jams: Apricot, blackberry, raspberry, marmalade and Cape gooseberry.


Now when you order scones, you can choose any two jams or honey to go with the scones... so slowly but surely, I've worked my way through a number of them :-)


They do an awesome selection of teas in the Orchard restaurant, my favourite being the Fiery Chai.

The view from the restaurant is also spectacular.

Other products for sale in the deli include cheese, breads, preserves, frozen berries, infused olive oils, vinegars, liquors and of course, fresh berries.

www.hillcrestberries.co.za

Monday, July 18, 2011

Stellenbosch's Slow Food Market






I visited the popular Slow Market in Stellies for my first time this past Saturday.

The weather has been simply amazing in Cape Town for almost 10 days now – it has felt like summer, or at least Spring, but most certainly not Winter!

When we arrived in Stellies on Sat morning it was a balmy 28 Degrees C and everyone was out and about.

The market opens at 9am and closes at 2pm. We were running late and only arrived just after 12. We also made the mistake of not drawing money before hand.

There is an ATM in the building where the cheeses and meats are, but it was broken and even though there was a handy man on board trying to fix the machine, he could not get it to work. So, my partner kindly offered to run into town and draw more cash as we only had R100 between us.

Before he left however, we had to stop at the steak man, who had a sizzling braai going. We ordered a medium-rare sirloin with the works for R50. It was super delish!

We also grabbed a cup of BUGISO coffee each from the coffee company stand. On offer was an Espresso coffee from Eastern Uganda. And it was good. I would have bought a bag, but they only had already ground coffee – and I’m after the beans. Lattes were R16 each. The Roastery is at Lourensford Wine estate and visitors are welcome to visit it seven days a week.

While my fiancé whizzed off the get more money I went wine tasting.

There are various wine stands dotted in between the food ones. Visitors can always buy a bottle or wine by the glass (remember extra money for the glass deposit). The wines guys are also the only stands that have Card machines.

I enjoyed the Naughty Girl Bubbly (R40), which is a sparkling Rose and not overly sweet. But I particularly enjoyed the Alvi’s Drift Chardonnay (R60). WE bought a bottle of that and enjoyed it later the same evening.

I then found another stand, selling silver bags of beans called Viva La Vida – organic coffee. They sell the beans for R38 a bag and we had some at home yesterday. I was very impressed and happy with my new coffee. It’s honestly amazing how many boutique roasters are popping up all over Cape Town. The House of Viva La Vida is based in Kuilsrivier.

The next stand that caught my eye was Shelagh’s Shrooms – suppliers of exotic, gourmet and wild mushrooms. My friend, the food fox (http://thefoodfox.wordpress.com/) has raved about these mushrooms before. Try a mushroom kebab – they are beautiful.

There are loads of lovely pesto’s, sauces, olives, cheeses, chocolate, spices and all the usual treats on for sampling and discussion.

I loved the herb lady inside, she has a salt and herb combo to die for called ‘Shameless’, as Shameless is one of my nicknames, I found it particularly amusing.

The Orinoco – Flavours of Latin America – stand was also colourful and attractive with lovely chilli sauces and pestos on offer.

I bought a lovely slab of gorgonzola from the cheese guy inside the ATM building for R35 (divine!) and some walnut and rocket pesto from the princess pesto guy – it is my favourite (also R35).

We polished our busy two hours off with an ice-cold Jack Black and some Kudu biltong, which we consumed as we watched the people around us pack up their goodies.

The market also has clothing, jewellery and accessory stands among the food stands.

www.slowmarket.co.za, Oude Libertas, Stellenbosch. The sister Slow Food Market is at Willowbridge.