Thursday, June 24, 2010

World Cup eating

In the spirit of the World Cup I think it's my duty to taste the cuisine served at the stadiums at the games I go to. Whether it's a boerie, braaied chicken outside ellis park or chops at Soccer City.

Watch this space! I wonder if they have bunny chows at Moses Mabhida stadium...hmmm

So what do the Fifa VIPs eat at the game?
Well they have almost identical menus at all the stadiums across the country and a staple on the menu is Bobotie in any form they can serve it, plain bobotie or variations think almond laced bobotie or bobotie spring rolls. Needless to say I don't eat any of it, seems too recycled for me although I know they wouldn't fly the Soccer City left overs from Johannesburg to Moses Mabhida in Durban.

But really what it is showing is that the caterers are trying to increase their profits wherever they can after all bobotie really is a mince dish - no prime cuts there!

Other staples are:
  • variations of roast vegetables
  • morrocan rice with raisin aka yellow rice with raisins (Bobotie, yellow rice i sense a trend)
  • stuffed morrocan lamb
  • a chicken dish
  • a roast
The dessert always features a chocolate fountain and various other little desserts which are forgettable. Then a cheese platter that features a Gruyere, Blue, Camembert and a Cream cheese

So I guess it beats a boerewors roll or hotdog but will it beat a braaied chop and a piece of chicken from the mamas outside Soccer City?

Sunday, June 20, 2010

The early bird Tasha's Chai Latte warning it's hot

I happened to be up strangely early this sunday morning and decided to see who was up with me other than the Good Morning Mzansi presenters. Found Tasha's Melrose was, so in I stroll at 07:30. I ask if I can get a coffee this morning and I'm told warmly of course! I almost feel embarrassed that I asked. Everyone is warm and friendly this morning with soft chatter underlying the jazzy music.

I order the Spiced Chai which comes to the table piping hot. I quite enjoy watching them start the day which involves a thorough cleaning. There are buckets of soapy water and the tables chairs get a stiff wipe down while the floor gets a good moping. From what I see there isn't a Kitchen nightmare in sight. They also clean the coffee machine with what looks like scalding water,I'm tempted to have a peep into the kitchen but if this is anything to go by we should be good.

Just before I'm off I'll have a petite cappuccino, which is made strong!

Spiced Chai R22
Cappuccino petite R13

Thank you for the morning

Tashas Melrose Arch
Shop 14, The Piazza, Melrose Arch
011 684 1781
Best for:  My favourite all day eatery! Best for all day eating.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Vovo Telo 44 Stanley can the PE kids make it in Jozi?

It's 08:30 on Saturday morning and I'm at Vovo Telo bakery to see if anything had changed since our last encounter. You'll be pleased to hear they have new wait staff who are friendlier and more attentive with personalities that are very 44 Stanley. All the staff are clad in Vovo telo black tshirts or hoodies which gives it a more professional and less PE brother sister store trying to make it in big bad Jozi.

The vibe is fantastic much to the credit of the banter between the owner/managers and the staff. It has a wonderful family feel and us mere mortals are greeted as warmly as the regulars who come in shortly after me. Their menu is put up on a black board and the pastries and the bread are on display as you walk in.
A great start to my day!

I'm sitting next to a heater with a wonderful cappuccino in hand and an almond croissant. I do like my cappuccino mild so it was perfect but for those who prefer a strong cappuccino be sure to tell them to give you a double espresso.
The croissant is a bit blackened at the bottom but still sweet and enjoyable. It's not Parisian perfect but it'll do as a sweet morning pick me up. A great start to the morning!  
I still say their bread is by far their best product!Watch it rise!
Let's go out and give Vovo Telo a warm jozi welcome, because if you're eating bread, eat the best bread you can find and right now that's Vovo Telo bread!

I leave here with the lingering smell of baking bread.
Cappuccino+almond croissant+large ciabatta to go = R45

Vovo Telo
44 Stanley, Milpark
011 482 4139
Best for: Breakfast and brunch

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Leanne's marrow bone and beans soup

So I wasn't planning on blogging about this, as punishment for not taking pictures, but after Leanne commented on the Soups for All Seasons about her salty soup from the Attic I changed my mind.

Leanne & I celebrated a friend's bday with dinner at the Attic Parkhurst last Thursday.

I'll start with Leanne's order the Osso Buco soup with cannellini beans, now I didn't say anything at the time but in hindsight I should have. Osso Buco for those who don't know is a marrow bone. I'm not Italian so I grew up eating marrow bone soup most winters, if my gran added beans then it was beans and bones soup.

So as you can tell I'm not one who's going to pay for beans and bones soup. I'd rather go to the butchery ask for some bones (osso buco usually the shin or a veal shank) and put on a pot of soup at home. We would expect that the Attic would make a sublime beans and bones soup, but not on this night. As you may have read Leanne said it was very salty and to be honest from where I was sitting it looked more like a bean stew than a soup.

I on the other hand had the French guinea fowl risotto with wild mushrooms & truffle oil. The risotto was al dente, creamy white wine with touches of mushroom and shreds of fowl, the risotto was sublime. The risotto was plated topped with slices of dry guinea fowl breast. Honestly, the guinea fowl was not worth its carbon footprint!
And I would advise that they change the description on the menu or change it all together to confit of guinea fowl risotto with wild mushrooms & truffle oil. Just a suggestion 

I have been to the Attic before and have only had good things to say. Don't say you haven't been warned save the bones & beans for home. The menu on this site is not up to date. this has a few reviews

The Attic closed it's doors in 2012!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Could this be the best slice in Jo'burg? Black on White Beef Boy

Had dinner at Piza e Vino Melrose Arch tonight. They offer thin based pizzas with a crispy buttery crust and a range of tasty toppings.
We ordered four:
1.Melrose Arch – mozzarella, chicken, avo, rosa tomatoes, feta, coriander
2.Beef Boy – mozzarella, slices of rump steak with sweet caramelised onions and rocket. A must for meat lovers!

3.Black on White – mozzarella, garlic-black mushrooms, olives & basil. Must love garlic, which I do!
4.Americano – mozzarella, pepperoni, jalapeno, feta. The pepperoni was a bit bland and couldn’t stand up to the spicy jalapeno.
I did notice that the mozzarella on the pizzas doesn’t overpower the other flavours. So it’s not a super cheesy pizza but I didn’t miss it! The mojitos are good too, but ask them to charge it with appletiser instead of soda

I do have a new combo to suggest black on white beef boy. Topping the beef boy with the mushrooms and olives from the black on white. That was my best slice of the night!

It's not cheap pizza so choose your flavours wisely:-)

Season for Soups: The Tart's Butternut, chilli &Feta

I was lucky enough to have butternut, chilli & feta soup from the Tart for lunch today. My brother picked up the soup from the Tart’s Market Day on Friday.
Nadine (one of the Tart's owners) recommended that milk should be used as a thinner. I chose the healthy lower calorie alternative and used hot water. It is a hearty flavourful, textured or should I say slightly chunky soup, so you’ll need to whip out your blender if you like it very smooth. I just used the back of my spoon to mash the chunks of butternut I found. This is great at home, rustic eating but if I were at a restaurant I’d want my soup smooth strained through muslin cloth!
The chilli complemented the sweetness of the butternut and the flecks of salty feta were a great surprise for the taste buds. I added half a cup of hot water to my serving and it still kept the flavour integrity. I’m sure the milk alternative would make it very rich.
This is a great soup and I would recommend either ordering it from the Tart or picking some up from their Market Day which is every Friday. But be warned either get there early (as close to 10 am as possible) or call and ask them to keep it on hold because they get sold out fast. The Market Day offering does change each week and I know they have another variation of the soup, which is the Butternut, chilli and coconut soup.
The soup is packaged in 1litre containers, that is four servings per tub R60
011 646 4781
Yes I know I need to start including pictures, everyone at the lunch table commented about how lovely the soup looked.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Season for Soups

It's official winter is here and I'm trading in my salads glorious salads for soups wonderful soups! Creamy and thick or Asian clear I am in search of I'd say perfection but not sure if Heston has copyrights, so in search of the tastiest soups.

I have enjoyed the Minestrone soup R40 at Tasha's Melrose Arch. It was lovely rich tomato flavour with carrots and celery and didn't have any animal shape noodles. The part I enjoyed most was dunking my ciabatta topped with Gran Padano cheese into the soup *yum* It is a hearty serving, so you do get your money's worth.

On sunday, friends of mine had Veg soup at the Tasha's Athol. The soups looked wonderfully chic served in small copper pots.

Next on my list is ordering Butternut& chilli soup from The Tart Forest Town.

So this winter I will have my bowl out saying "Please sir I want some more"

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Hong Kong Pears at the Orient

I'm glad that my first blog week is filled with more eating out than usual.
Last night I went to the Orient (Melrose Arch), where the hostesses dain to work, for dinner with the family.

To our surprise we were greeted by the hostesses with warm smiles and promptly seated at our requested table upstairs.Our waiter was good, he had two big tables to attend to and managed them well.

For Starters: we had a selection of Dim Sum:
Hong Kong Pears (3) R55 - A must try!!Potato dumplings stuffed with duck, chicken and prawn. It has a crisp exterior, followed by soft mashed potato and a stuffing centre of tasty duck, chicken and prawn. Wonderful!
Prawn Gao (4) R42 - never disappoints
There's something special about the prawn, rice flour wrapper and soya sauce combination with a hint of celery. I have to stop myself from eating them as a meal!
Sui Mai chicken & mushroom (4) R42 - The item most enjoyed by the group, it has a sausage stuffing type texture and has a great salty taste. All those with low blood pressure will love it! Well the saltiness at least
Chi Chee Gao (4) R58 - Was not my taste. It has a sour cream like filling, which isn't mentioned on the menu and was quite off putting.
I'm glad I tried it first and had the other magnificent dumplings to follow.

Sashimi combo (Salmon & Tuna)R90 - seared tuna, plain tuna & salmon
Bang Bang Duck R99 - Great but not for the faint hearted
Half roast duck asian style R172 - Wonderfully sweet & tender complimented well by the bok choy
Seafood Green curry R98 - I didn't taste it but my mum enjoyed it

We shared a Berry meringue for dessert. I order this almost everytime I visit the Orient. It's a great end to the meal the meringue, offset by the tart berries and rounded off by the yoghurt cream.

I've tried to replicate this dessert at home and I'm close, I just can't get the yoghurt cream right. If you know the secret do share.

Overall a wonderful dinner but comes with a "nice" price.

Hope to go to So Yum (Hyde Park) soon to compare their Dim Sum to the Orient, all I need is a Dim Sum enthusiast to join me.