Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Craving crab cakes

On my list of favourite things to eat are crab cakes. That salty meaty flavour, served on sandwich or alone with an aioli Yum! There's something about it that touches my heart - yes food equals love to me!

On my 2011 top ten eats is this crab cake sandwich I had at the Ferry Plaza Farmer's market in San Francisco. Crab cake, lettuce, tomato on a fresh toasted sourdough baguette. It was heavenly one hand eating on a Saturday morning.

One of my favourite brunch spots in New York Ze Cafe serves a combination of a perfectly poached egg and a crab cake. That burst egg yolk and the slightly salty sea tasting crab meat is a winner - sublime! Ze Cafe crab cake served with a perfectly poached egg and hollandaise sauce on spinach. 

One thing I don’t get is why I can never find crab cakes in Jozi and dare I say South Africa. I mean we have an abundance of fishcakes especially the salmon variety. Given that Mozambican crabs aren’t hard to find I just don’t understand why restaurants aren’t serving up crab cakes.

So for now I look forward to my next trip to the US where crab cakes are available in abundance. If you know of a place that serves them in Jozi, do let me know.

Starting the crab cake revolution!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Is a Benedict, a Benedict without an English muffin?

Well Manna Epicure in Cape Town seems to think so! 
They serve their eggs benedict on a croissant. Actually they serve it in a croissant, like a sandwich. I guess a croissant isn't bad if you don't count calories - which I do not! But I am a bit of a traditionalist when it comes to a benedict and how I do love a good lightly toasted english muffin.

Overall for service Manna's all white clad staff are friendly, crisp, clean and attentive. The assortment of bread served before meals is always welcomed by a bread addict such as myself.

The eggs were done perfectly to order medium to soft is the way I like it! The hollandaise had almost there consistency, just a tad thick but let me not be fussy, it was also ever so slightly tart which I appreciated. I  found that the croissant is a bit heavy and rich for the eggs topped with hollandaise, the pastry to egg ratio was a bit high for me. Which is why I welcomed the tartness as an attempt at balance.

 The latte is served with the espresso on the side which means I mix my perfect mild latte combo.

A lovely perk was the celeb spotting at Manna, Vanessa Carrera her husband and their beautiful, ok well handsome, little son were there. Such a lovely looking family! 

So if you consider a benedict, a benedict without an english muffin then Manna is a good, crisp, all white cafe to go to when next you're on the Cape Town Cool.


The Christmas Review

Now that the holidays are over, sigh of relief but sad to let go. All the family has headed back to their respective homes, it's a great time to review the holiday successes. I received a wonderful gift from my colleagues at the office Nigella Lawson's Feast: Food that celebrates life.

I can testify that it's been wonderful so far! On Christmas day we used her Fully festive ham recipe for the gammon and it was a hit. Tender,salty and slightly sweet at the same time.

Fully festive Gammon 

 We are traditionalists so at every special meal there is ox tongue and a leg of lamb. This year we decided to put the leg of lamb on the braai. The ox tongue is cooked, well boiled, in water with cloves, mustard powder, onion, carrot and garlic to add flavour.

The lamb was marinaded in garlic, rosemary, thyme and olive oil placed in a bag and in the fridge overnight. Season with salt and pepper just before placing on the grill. Simple ingredients, maximum flavour!

Lamb on braai

 A new entrant on the menu was the Lebanese tabouleh, I'm told that the Lebanese version is greener than the North African one. My Grandaunt's husband is Lebanese, so he was bringing his tradition to our table. 


All in all it was a traditional meal with a touch of diversity courtesy of the Tabouleh!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Cape Quarter COOL & a side of Franschhoek smoked trout

I spent a Friday walking around the Cape Quarter and I have to say I just love it! Besides the beautifully tanned and toned men in shorts, there were a couple of other great finds. A furniture store or let's say a treasure trove of furniture in the form of Private Collections, the Martinosner fine art gallery and of course La Petite Tarte.

We stopped for a late brunch early lunch at La Petite Tarte. It's a quaint, yes you guessed from the name French inspired, cafe that serves fresh fare. Everything made in house including the carrot cake. The service is attentive yet casual and welcoming.

I had the most wonderful, yes most wonderful, smoked trout from Franschhoek at La Petite Tarte. From now on I will accept nothing less. The trout was served with creamy, cheesy eggs and avocado. Due to my bacon love I asked for a side of extra crispy swine!

My friend ordered the butternut, blue cheese and coriander quiche. It's a man sized slice with a lovely base and creamy filling, although it could have done with a little more seasoning.

I've now made it my mission to hunt down Jozi stockists of that trout. You just must must try it!
Going in search of Franschhoek smoked trout!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Loves: Vanilla Concrete

While meandering through the beautiful Cape Quarter I came across some crockery that speak to my whimsical side. Vanilla Concrete with wonderful sayings & images printed on the crockery.
Live for the moment milk jugs, what more could you want from a milk jug?


small bowls

Large milk jug

Milk jug
Vanilla concrete is based in Somerset West, Cape Town. But fear not I am on the hunt for their Jozi stockists, because we just have to have them!