Thursday, 13 December 2012

So I am in boiling hot and humid Durban and already I am losing my temper and want to jump into the nearest swimming pool to escape the heat.

What better way to take ones mind off such unbearable climatic conditions than a bit of class and colonialism. So off we head to The Oyster Box in Umhlanga Rocks.

I always enjoyed coming here as a child, sipping milkshakes and eating French fries drenched in tomato sauce, on the hotel's beautiful terrace overlooking the ocean.

So here I am, years later, indulging in the famous Oyster Box breakfast....

I have started the day right, passing swiftly passed the eggs and bacon and on to the oysters and mimosas...'when in Rome' I say to the judgemental glances at my alcoholic beverage well before nine am!

The service is exceptional and it certainly is more of an experience that a meal. My eggs benedict were perfectly poached and the hollandaise sauce definitely deserves a special mention. My mimosa was kept topped up, the views were spectacular and I very soon forgot the heat...

Thursday, 6 December 2012

This is definitely one of my favourite summer recipes. You can also use Salmon trout if you prefer... Today I am serving it with a Hartenberg riesling, which has just received four stars in the John Platters guide.


serves 2-4

600g raw salmon

1/4 cup olive oil

2 tablespoons sesame oil

2 tablespoons rice vinegar

2 tablespoons honey

2 tablespoon soy sauce

2 garlic cloves, grated

1 tablespoons freshly grated ginger

1-2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds

4 green spring onions, sliced

Line a baking try with foil and place a wire rack over top. Spray the rack with olive oil spray and cook.

In a large roasting tray, combine olive oil, sesame oil, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, vinegar, honey and whisk well until combined. Add salmon to the dish or place everything in a ziplock bag, then refrigerate and marinate for 30 minutes.

Preheat your grill (I set it at 220 degrees usually)

Remove salmon from marinade and place on the wire rack. Sprinkle with a little bit of salt and pepper, then place directly under the grill. Cook for 10-12 minutes, depending on the salmon’s thickness until easily flakable with a fork. You can flip the salmon halfway through cooking if desired.

Remove and serve immediately, with a sprinkling of toasted sesame seeds, green onions and the glaze below.

Honey Glaze

1/4 cup honey

1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

1 teaspoon soy sauce

1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger

1/2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and whisk until smooth. Pour over salmon.

Thursday, 22 November 2012

For all you Capetonian's looking for the next best thing... Look no further. Due to open on the 7th of December, overlooking the V&A waterfront, the Shimmy Beach Club is set to become the new destination spot for beach front glamour! It boasts a private beach, expansive deck, infinity pool and can be reached by road, water or helicopter!

Keep reading my- tastebuddies to hear more about the Shimmy Beach Club over the coming months.

Thursday, 1 November 2012

I am fortunate enough to be in Paris this week with one of my best friends. I am certainly not one for queuing it up at the major attractions and was quite prepared to keep it strictly food and wine. Having said that we did a bit of exploring before our dinner reservation at the Petit Bofinger, a restaurant recommended by some friends back home.

After a good but brief tour of the city we headed to the restaurant located in the Bastille neighbourhood (4th arrondissement). Petit Bofinger is the companion restaurant of the more famous Bofinger Brasserie. It is considered to be the most beautiful brasserie in Paris and serves traditional Alsatian food. I couldn't make up my mind so ended up having three starters instead of the traditional three course meal. We were blown away by the excellent service, friendly staff and DELICIOUS food. I highly recommend this spot for a fantastic night out in Paree.

Here are a few pictures of the evening:

Friday, 12 October 2012

Hello fellow foodies!

Apologies for my lack of posts for the last few weeks but there has just been a whole lot of crazy going on. I am almost disappointed in myself for having not shared this recipe yet... I have been making fudge since I was about 5 years old. In fact, it was the very first thing I ever made in the kitchen on my own! Below is the very best recipe for Fudge. You can get creative and add all sorts- chocolate, nuts, m&m's, maldon salt- but I prefer it straight up and traditional. Enjoy and don't burn your fingers! 

BEST fudge recipe in the universe...

3 cups sugar
1 cup milk
1 tin of condensed milk (397g)
1 tablespoon of butter
1 teaspoon of vanilla essence

  • In a heavy based pot heat milk and sugar on a medium heat, stirring continuously, until all the sugar is completely dissolved- this requires some patience! Don't be tempted to turn up the heat to speed up the process.
  •  Add the condensed milk and bring the mixture to a rolling boil- again stirring continuously. After about 25 minutes the mixture will have reduced and become golden in colour. You want to get the mixture to the 'balling' stage- to test this, drop a small amount of the mixture into a cup of freezing cold water- then try and make it into a ball- this is the sign that the mixture is ready.
  • Add the vanilla essence and butter and beat the mixture with an electric beater for about 5 minutes. 
  • Transfer into a very well greased baking dish and allow to cool. Cut into squares and enjoy!!


Monday, 17 September 2012

At this time of year, with summer fast approaching, most of my friends are frantically trying to diet. Healthy food can often be monotonous and boring, but not always. In fact, with a little inspiration you can turn the most boring and plain 'diet foods' into a gourmet feast. I thought I'd start by sharing one of my favourites....

First let me tell you about Quinoa-

While quinoa is usually considered to be a whole grain, it is actually a seed, but can be prepared like whole grains such as rice or barley. Quinoa is great for three reasons: First, it takes less time to cook than other whole grains – just 10 to 15 minutes. Second, quinoa tastes great on its own, unlike other grains.  Add a bit of olive oil, sea salt and lemon juice and - yum! Finally, of all the whole grains, quinoa has the highest protein content, so it's perfect for vegetarians and vegans. Quinoa provides all 9 essential amino acids, making it a complete protein. Quinoa is a gluten-free and cholesterol-free whole grain.

Lemon Quinoa and Coriander Chickpea Salad
Adapted from: The Diva-Dish

1/2 cup dry quinoa
2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 can chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
1 cup rosa cherry tomatoes cut in half
2 avocado, sliced and diced
2 cups of baby spinach
1 handful of coriander
1/4 cup red onion
2 small cloves garlic

For the dressing:
Juice of 2 lemons
zest of 1 lemon
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 teaspoon cumin
dash of salt and pepper

1. Make your quinoa first. Soak the quinoa in a pot in the stock for about 15 minutes. After that, turn on the heat to medium high and let the quinoa come to a boil. Once it boils, reduce heat to medium/low and let quinoa simmer. Stir every so often, and cook quinoa for about 20-25 minutes just until the liquid is absorbed.

2. In a food processor, blend the baby spinach and the coriander until they are finely diced. 

3. Add the greens to a bowl, and set aside. Next take your onion and garlic and finely dice those, and add to the greens mixture. Next add your chickpeas and stir until everything is combined and coated. If the quinoa is cooled, you can add it to the chickpea mixture next.

4. Make your dressing by whisking all the ingredients together. Pour over salad, and mix until combined. Add in tomatoes and avocado. Leave to cool in the fridge before serving.


Serve with an uncomplicated chardonnay- I like the KWV Classic Chardonnay or Graham Beck 'Waterside'

Thursday, 13 September 2012

This is it... the easiest, most delicious cheese cake I have ever tasted. They are SO nice for tea parties or you can serve them as mini can try and use different cookie bases but i LOVE Oreos so for me this is a definite winner!

Cookies and Cream Mini Cheesecakes

  (original recipe by Martha Stewart)

18 Oreos 12 left whole and 6 coarsely chopped
500g cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup sour cream
pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 140°C. Line standard muffin pans with cookie cases (white). Place 1 whole cookie in the bottom of each case.

Beat cream cheese at medium speed using an electric mixer. Gradually add the sugar, beating until combined. Beat in vanilla.

Drizzle in eggs, a bit at a time. Beat in sour cream and salt. Stir in chopped cookies by hand.

Divide batter evenly among cookie-lined cups, filling each almost to the top. Bake, rotating pan halfway through, until filling is set, about 22 minutes. 

Transfer to wire racks to cool completely. Refrigerate at least 4 hours (or up to overnight). Remove from tins just before serving. Best served really cold! You can garnish with fresh whipped cream and crumbled Oreos if desired.

Makes 12 cheesecakes.

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

The delicious recipe has all the flavour and half of the calories of a normal Mexican meal. I am a huge fan of Mexican food but often find it very rich and oily. This dish is simple to make and can be served as snacks, a starter, or a main meal with a side salad.

600g pack of chicken breasts
500ml chicken stock
2 cups of water
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon crushed garlic
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 green chilli or jalapeno if you can find one (chopped)
3 cups baby spinach
5 large flour tortillas (cut in half)
150g of grated low fat cheese (reduced fat)
Olive oil cooking spray
Homemade salsa to serve- optional
  1. Preheat the oven to 180'C
  2. Put the chicken breastin a deep sided pan and cover with the stock and water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the chicken from the liquid and shred it (either pull it apart or blitz in the blender). Mix together the chicken and seasonings.
  3. Pour out all but 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid. Add the spinach and cook over low heat until for 2-3 minutes, or until the spinach is wilted.
  4. Cut the tortillas in half. Spoon 1/10th of the chicken (about 1 tablespoon) along the long edge of a tortilla. Repeat with the spinach and cheese. Sprinkle in chopped chilli for those that want a burn! Roll the tortilla up, starting with the straight edge. Place seam-side down on an oiled baking sheet. Repeat with remaining tortillas.
  5.  Spray with Olive oil cooking spray. Bake for 10 minutes, then turn them over and bake for until 10 minutes, or until crispy. Serve with salsa.

Monday, 10 September 2012

Attention cookie addicts and chocolate fiends!!!

This takes the brownie in a mug to the next level...

I came across this recipe on one of my favourite blog sites No.2 pencil and I am now addicted. I thought it would only be fair to share it with you!

Choc chip cookie in a cup...

Doesn't it look delicious? 

Chocolate Chip Cookie in a Cup
created by Melissa at No. 2 Pencil

1 Tablespoon Butter
1 Tablespoon Granulated White Sugar
1 Tablespoon of firmly packed Dark Brown Sugar
3 Drops of Vanilla Extract
Small Pinch of Salt
1 Egg Yolk (discard the egg white)
Scant 1/4 of All Purpose Flour
2 Tablespoons of Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips

Start by melting your butter in the microwave. Add sugars, vanilla and salt. Stir to combine. Separate your egg and add the yolk only to your cup. Stir to combine. Add flour, then stir again. Add the chocolate chips, and give a final stir. Cook in microwave 40-60 seconds, start checking for doneness at 40 seconds. Mine takes 50 seconds.

Don't forget to add a spoonful of vanilla ice cream before serving!

Visit Melissa's blog to see more glorious 'treat in a cup' recipes.

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

In my family no meal is complete without chocolate. I remember being a child and having big family Sunday lunches..afterwards whilst everyone was relaxing, my dad would give my mom a look and off she'd go into the kitchen and emerge half an hour later with her "quick and easy' microwave chocolate cake. Now whilst I very much appreciated it at the time, I have developed and adapted this Sunday tradition to Chocolate Fondant. Often now days, after a delicious roast, my family look at me with the same knowing look as my dad used to give my mom...its time for chocolate!

My Chocolate Fondant recipe (surprisingly quick and easy)-Makes 8

8 ramekins, greased with butter and dusted with cocoa powder
100g unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing the ramekins.
4 tsp cocoa powder (for dusting the ramekins) 
100g good quality bitter chocolate (I use 70% cocoa Lindt)- bashed up
2 free range eggs
2 free range egg yolks
120g castor sugar
100g plain flour sifted
Vanilla ice cream to serve

Secret ingredient- pinch of Maldon Salt- Brings out the flavour of the Lindt!

1. Preheat oven to 160°C.
2. Grease 8 ramekins (about 7.5cm in diameter), then dust liberally with cocoa, shaking out any excess.
3. Slowly melt the chocolate and butter in a small bowl set over a pan of hot water, then take off the heat and stir until smooth. Leave to cool for 10 minutes.
4. Using an electric whisk, whisk the whole egg, egg yolk and sugar together until pale and thick, then incorporate the chocolate mixture. Fold in the flour. Divide the chocolate mixture between the ramekins and bake for 12 minutes.
5. Turn the chocolate fondants out on to warmed plates. Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.


Sunday, 1 July 2012

This little Seapoint spot is my new favourite restaurant. With large fireplaces in every room, an exquisite menu and a beautifully complementary wine list, they are well worth a visit this the freezing Cape Town winter. 
So last Wednesday I gathered my two favourite fellow foodies, my "skoonsissy" Sophie and best friend and fashion blogger, Little Miss Ivy, Nicky Van Zyl and off we went to sample the new winter special. 6 courses for R165. Here are some visuals to get you excited:

First course: Salt and pepper hake, pea puree, roasted garlic aioli, pickled onions  

 Second course:  Artichoke and potato soup, béarnaise relish, mushroom brioche  
 Third course: Pan-fried line fish shellfish foam , fricassee of gnocchi, ginger, baby gem  
 Forth course:  Beef sirloin, mash, smoked onion puree, mushroom crumble, red wine ‘caviar’
 Fifth course:  ‘Fried egg’ and coconut doughnut, passion fruit curd, lime leaf cream  
Sixth course: Carrot cake, walnut ice cream, carrot puree, cream cheese frosting, coriander cress  

Our waiter, Blaise, went above and beyond to make sure we had a wonderful, relaxed evening. The service was impeccable.
The menu will change again in a few weeks so keep a close eye on My Tastebuddies to see what Chef Henry has up his sleeve for next month. At R165 its well worth an evening out.

Bon Apetite!

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

OK so I may be jumping the gun here with my forward planning but I am SO READY for winter to be over... Here's something to look forward to if you are in Johannesburg.

Saturday 1st September 12:00 – 21:00 and
Sunday 2nd September 11:00 – 17:30

*Event taking place at The Pivot ground, Southern Sun Montecasino, in Montecasino complex, consistently rated Gauteng's number 1 entertainment destination. (anyone at Taste of JHB last year has to agree!)

*All the major Sauvignon Blanc producers from recognized areas, known for making Sauvignon with good typicity, have been invited.

*Will be Johannesburg's first as a Sauvignon Blanc highlight, showcasing one single grape and some of the best of SA, right on Spring Day.

*Ticket sales will be managed by Computicket and the cost is R120 per person, inclusive of a tasting glass.


Thursday, 7 June 2012

So it seems to be the new trend... and I am not at all surprised. I only tasted one for the very first time in November last year (can you believe it- I have clearly been living under a rock!) and since that day I haven't looked back...I am now on the hunt for the best macaroon in the world (recently went on a pilgrimage in London) and I am about to embark on the next big step in my relationship with macaroons...I am going to make them! If you are not as ambitious as I, click here for Eat Out's list of best Macaroons in the Country.

 Below is the recipe I am using...


175g icing sugar
125g ground almonds
 large free-range egg whites
75g castor sugar


For the filling

150g butter, softened
75g icing sugar


 Preheat the oven to 160°C. Blitz the icing sugar and ground almonds in a food processor to a very fine mixture, then sift into a bowl.

 In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt to soft peaks, then gradually whisk in the castor sugar until thick and glossy. (At this point you can stir in flavour extract, such as peppermint or lemon, and corresponding colouring such as blue or yellow, to your meringue mixture, depending on what kind of macaroons you want. Or divide the meringue among different bowls if you want to make more than one colour.)

 Fold half the almond and icing sugar mixture into the meringue and mix well. Add the remaining half, making sure you use a spatula to cut and fold the mixture until it is shiny and has a thick, ribbon-like consistency as it falls from the spatula. Spoon into a piping bag fitted with a 1cm plain nozzle.

Line 2 baking sheets with baking paper. Pipe small rounds of the macaroon mixture, about 3cm across, onto the baking sheets. Give the baking sheets a sharp tap on the work surface to ensure a good ‘foot’. Leave to stand at room temperature for 10-15 minutes to form a slight skin. This is important – you should be able to touch them lightly without any mixture sticking to your finger. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool.

Meanwhile, make the filling/s (unless making chocolate macaroons-then use nutella! YUM). In a bowl, beat the butter until light and fluffy, then beat in the icing sugar. (You can now add flavouring or nuts, and colour) Use to sandwich pairs of macaroons together.

(I'll let you know how they turn out)

Monday, 4 June 2012

This is another one of my favourite winter recipes. I usually also add calamari to it that I flash fry in a separate pan with a bit of butter- I get the calamari "tubes and tentacles' in a tub from Woolies....Oh and the prawns should also be those yummy vannamei ones...preferably fresh!

What you need...
  • 2 red chillies split, cut into quarters lengthways and seeded
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2.5cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tbsp vegetable or sunflower oil
  • 1 tsp black mustard seeds
  • ½ tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 14 curry leaves , fresh or dried
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • ½ tsp cracked black peppercorns
  • 250g vannamei prawns- leave some with their tails on if you like
  • 150ml coconut milk 

How to...

  1. In a food processor, blitz the chillies, onion and ginger with 3 tbsp water into a smooth paste - you may need to scrape it down the sides.
  2. Heat the oil in a heavy pan or wok. When hot, toss in the mustard and fenugreek seeds, and curry leaves - they'll crackle and pop - and fry for 10 seconds. Add the onion paste, turn the heat down a bit and cook without colouring for about 5 minutes. Splash in some water if it starts to catch.
  3. Add the turmeric and cracked peppercorns and stir the spices around for a few seconds before tipping in the prawns. Pour in the coconut milk and bring to a simmer, stirring all the time. The milk will take on a yellow colour from the turmeric. Cook for 1 minute until everything's heated through. Squeeze over some lime, sprinkle with fresh coriander and serve with rice.
(adapted from BBC Good Food) 

Thursday, 31 May 2012

I absolutely love going to the Old Biscuit mill (during the week, when the crowds are at bay!) There are some lovely craft and curio shops, as well as galleries, and the Espresso Lab Microroasters! Oded’s Kitchen selling gourmet preserves, pickles and deli specialties. The Old Biscuit Mill is also home to Luke Dale Robert's Test Kitchen and The Pot Luck Club.

I have just discovered my NEW favourite reason for visiting the Old Biscuit Mill.... Burrata!

As soon as you walk through the door you feel at home. Owner, Neil Grant (previously the sommelier from Rust and Vrede in the days of David Higgs) comes right over to the table to make sure you are comfortable, and to offer his expertise on the wine (trust me, he is a genius and his suggestions are always delicious and spot on!)

The next thing you will notice whilst sipping the above mentioned wine, is the stylish décor, incorporating lots of beautiful wood, walls with exposed brick and some amazingly crafted 'wine bottle' light fittings. The centerpiece of the restaurant is a special state-of-the-art red hand meat slicer and the kitchen is open plan so if you feel the need you can peek in to see what Chef Annemarie Steenkamp is whipping up!

We started the afternoon with a bottle of Oldenberg Chardonnay from Stellenbosch. Whilst creamy and delicious, it was not too heavily wooded and paired perfectly with my first starter, the puglia burrata, olive oil, oryx desert salt served with crostini. The Burrata was so buttery and oozy and the mild yet creamy flavour was enhanced by the oryx desert salt.

Half way through this heavenly experience, Neil arrived with a decanted bottle of Delaire Chenin Blanc from the Swartland region. My dining companions (both die hard chardonnay drinkers) were speechless to discover they were in fact drinking a Chenin Blanc, and better yet, they were enjoying it.

Next course was the beef carpaccio with shaved klein rivier grana padano, friend capers and parsley dressing. The beef literally melted in my mouth! The richness of the grana padano was the perfect balance to the meat. I didn't even glance at the salt seller. In fact, nothing I ate during the entire meal needed salting. (This coming from the girl nicknamed 'The Sodium Queen" as I tend to love my a very Craig Cormack kind of way)

Next we were onto a bottle of Thelema Merlot and it was time for the main course. I had a tender and tasty chicken polpette with cannellini beans and tomato ragu. Whilst I don't often drink red wine with chicken, I was so entranced by this sort after and 'very hard to find' Merlot that I didn't even stop to think about what I was doing. You would have had to prise that glass from my cold, dead hands to get it away from me. It was by far one of the smoothest, fruit forward Merlot I have had in a long time and I am quite sure I managed to drink at least half the bottle whilst my dining companions chatted business.
After a couple more glasses 'for the road' we were on our way, having just had a very memorable afternoon. Thanks so much Neil! We'll definitely see you soon.

Open Tuesday to Friday 12 noon-10pm (only pizza between 3.00pm-6.30pm)
Saturday 10.00am 3pm and 6:30pm-10pm.
Closed Sunday & Monday

Monday, 28 May 2012

Hello fellow foodies!!

With the weather definitely getting colder, I seem to have been spending lots of time experimenting with different soups- and what is a bowl of soup without a glass of wine! If you are free this weekend I suggest you head down to Durbanville for the Soup, Sip and Bread festival. Here is the low down...

'Food and wine enthusiasts can nose, sip and taste their way through the heart-warming offerings of wine farms on this verdant wine route, a mere 20 minutes from the city centre. Discover the luscious, fruity merlots from the Durbanville Wine Valley and why it’s one of the most food-loving, fun-loving, soup-loving red wines around.

This friends-and-family-friendly winter feast takes a laid-back approach to the art of food and wine pairing, as vintners join hands with chefs to find soulful partners for the variety of soups, chowders and gumbos from around the world. “Although the cooler weather calls for red wine with blazing fires, don’t be surprised if sauvignon blanc, the valley’s signature white, makes a guest appearance with a creamy mussel bisque”, says Michelle van Staden of the Durbanville Wine Valley Association.”
The event is hosted on all twelve participating farms.'

For programmes and directions visit

Friday, 25 May 2012

So yesterday afternoon I had the opportunity to watch my FAVORITE Masterchef contestant live at the Good Food and Wine Show.
Ilse Fourie did a wonderfully informative demonstration of what she cooked during the early stages of the competition to WOW the judges. I literally came straight home and tried it out....and in her own words.. its BEEAUTIFAAAAL! I hope she won't mind me sharing the recipe with you.

Tip: Don't try and cheat and buy pasta, the best element of this dish is the fact that the pasta is fresh, well seasoned and home made.

Ilse: Pan-grilled Salmon on a Bed of Tagliatelle With Sautéed Baby Spinach and Citrus Syrup

100 g Bread Flour
1 Large Free Range Egg
5 ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil
200 g Scottish Salmon Steak
150 g Baby Spinach
1/2 Large Lemon
100 ml Orange Juice
25 g Butter
Add the egg, flour and olive oil to a food processor and blend together, then mold into dough and cover in cling film and rest for 30 minutes.

Cut the lemon peel into strips, add to orange juice and reduce until a thin syrup is achieved.
Whisk in warm Nederburg white wine to make a sauce, add butter to enrich the citrus sauce and keep it warm.

Roll the pasta dough through pasta maker, fold sheets, and cut strips of tagliatelle.
Boil pasta until al dente, refresh and sauté in a little butter.

Pan grill the salmon until cooked (about four minutes on each side) in a moderate temperature pan.

Dish the pasta on the plate, place cooked salmon and cover with spinach and citrus sauce.

Monday, 21 May 2012

There is something really amazing about visiting the tasting room and Bistro Sixteen82 at Steenberg. I think it might be the view coupled with a fantastic sensory overload when your enter through the sliding doors, that makes visiting Steenberg so unique. The tasting room is stunning, with its water features, beautiful chandelier and clean cut crisp furnishings. The staff are so informative and helpful!

We arrived mid afternoon having tasted wines at a number of other Constantia hotspots, but saving the best for last. I have always been a huge fan of the Steenberg Sauvignon Blanc and 2011 is probably my favorite to date. Its got that typical grassiness and gooseberry overtones and a gentle scent of tropical fruit. I also really enjoyed the HMS Sphynx Chardonnay with its butterscotch/caramel undertones. I think this wine is unique and doesn't mimic the flavours and styles of other Contanstia Chardonnays. After a few delicious reds we were sufficiently pickled and ready for lunch.

As my lunch companion had never tried an oyster, I felt it my personal responsibility to get her to eat as  many as she could. Bistro Sixteen82 have always had the freshest oysters around and what better place to try them for the first time. Five minutes later saw the two of us with lemon juice and tabasco dripping down our arms as we tucked into a half dozen each! What a treat! And she really enjoyed them ('They taste just like the sea!" she said)

All we really felt like after all the wine was some bread and hams, especially the bread part (sometimes you just can't help the craving!).  We decided to go for the Charcuterie Sixteen82 which consisted of Local cured meats, pickles, white bean and truffle puree. Of course we ordered extra bread to go with that. With our meal we decided to go for the HMS Rattlesnake Sauvignon Blanc which was without a shadow of a doubt the perfect accompaniment to the meal. The platter came with rocket which just paired so incredibly well with the wine. It was one of those lightbulb moments where I was definitely in the middle of a PERFECT balance between food and wine.

Tel | 021 713 2211 Hours.  Open daily from 9am til 8pm. Lunch until for 4pm and tapas served from 4:30pm until closing time.

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Stylish wall piece

I had heard the rumours but needed to see for my self! Hemmelhuijs just off Buitengracht! My partner in crime and long time friend, Heinke Kriel, was all set to take some photos and I was well overdue a blog entry.  The perfect combination of food and design elements, Hemmelhuijs was just want we needed to create the perfect afternoon.
Hemmelhuijs, meaning ‘the house of joy’, or it being heavenly, is the brainchild of artist/photographer/stylist/entrepreneur/ all round creative genius Jacques Erasmus.  Like the food, the design and deco of the restaurant is fresh, colourful and expertly crafted to add to the ambiance and overall feel of the dining experience. Whilst it is a devastatingly stylish spot, it doesn’t for a moment feel uptight or posh! Diners are encouraged to relax and soak in the ‘vibe
After a glance at the very excellent, short but ‘well matched to the food’ wine list we settled on two massive glasses of Springfield ‘Wild Yeast’ Chardonnay- a personal favorite of mine so already Hemmelhuijs was getting a ten out of ten in my books.

Prawn and King Crab Cocktail on Iceberg lettuce
Prawn and King Crab Cocktail on Iceberg lettuce
Slow roasted shredded duck on a bed of cucumber and sultana salad
Slow roasted shredded duck on a bed of cucumber and sultana salad
Heinke let me order both of our starters as I just couldn’t decide on what to eat. So we had two salads between us- a delicious prawn and king crab cocktail on a bed of iceberg lettuce, and slow roasted duck on a sultana and cucumber salad.
I have to credit Heinke on his incredible photos.
After finishing our starters and another equally massive glass of ‘Wild Yeast’, we selected our main courses. Again, I chose both of them!
Stone fruits, venision and homemade marzipan on a bed of watercress with a yoghurt dressing
Stone fruits, venision and homemade marzipan on a bed of watercress with a yoghurt dressing
Seared Salmon with White chocolate sauce and cranberries
Seared Salmon with White chocolate sauce and cranberries
I could only manage another starter salad but I instructed Heinke to order the Seared Salmon in a white chocolate sauce with cranberries! Absolutely out of this world. I highly recommend it. The flavours are very unusual together but the combination works, especially with a big, chilled glass of ‘Wild Yeast”. Hemmelhuijs is open for lunch and breakfast from 9:00am until 4:00pm everyday except Sunday and for dinner on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Booking for dinner is recommended

Friday, 18 May 2012

So as the days get colder....and we head into winter, I thought what better way to ease into it than with my own version of Butter chicken. So grab a glass of wine (I usually enjoy a nice Rhiesling or of you feeling in a red mood, a Pinot Noir), head to the kitchen and get creative. The best part of this recipe is you can add your own spices and flavours and most of the time it works!

Serves 2-3 people

500g Chicken mini fillets from woolies
Olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 x square of garlic, chilli, ginger from woolies (or DIY if you can't find it)
1x tin tomato and onion mix
500ml chicken stock
1 tablespoon crushed cardamon seeds
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons curry powder (any will do- I usually use Pako)
2 teaspoons tumeric
1 tub of cream (you may only end up using half-depends on your taste)
Fresh coriander leaves for sprinkling

Tip: serve with Basmati rice and pappadoms

How To...

Chop chicken fillets into bite size pieces. In the olive oil,  fry the chopped onion, garlic (about a heaped teaspoon), ginger (also about a heaped teaspoon) and chilli (to your own taste) with one tablespoon of curry powder. Be careful not to burn so I would stick to a moderate heat.

Add the chicken fillets and 'stir fry' until they are cooked. Add the other tablespoon of curry powder, cinnamon, crushed cardamon seeds, and tumeric. Then add the tin of tomato mix and the chicken stock, put on the lid, turn the pot down low and go and pour yourself another glass of wine.

Over the next 25 min or so occasionally lift the lid and give it a stir to avoid it catching on the bottom. If you see that the liquid is running low add a half a cup of water. After about 25 minutes test the chicken to see if its tender enough. Then remove the lid and allow the curry to 'reduce' (liquid to cook off). During this time stir continuously so as not to burn the curry (you can turn the heat up for this part) Once you have a nice 'thickish' rich curry sauce add some or all of the cream (depending how mild or hot you like your curry) You are now ready to go... serve with basmati rice and garnish with coriander leaves and a pappadom.