Wednesday, May 30, 2012

NY hit list: Big Gay Ice Cream shop

It seems I'm off to New York for a couple of weeks in the summer, well their summer July to be exact. Cue *happy cupcake dance* I love these vacations because I get to eat my little heart out! So I'm starting to formulate my hitlist of must go to spots, right up there is what started as a food truck (ya'll know how much I love a food truck) and is now a store the Big Gay Ice cream shop

I'm for trying the Salty Pimp (save your chirps!)
I'm also for trying American Globs

Ok who am I kidding I'm probably going to try as much as I can and then I'll try some more! Will check back at the end of July!
Look them up:

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Tequila Tuesday: Cinnamon tequila shot

I am back on Tequila Tuesday this week, with the flu long gone and forgotten. I'm trying to convince a few girl friends to join me for a drink at The Attic bar in Parkhurst this evening. I love the easy going hipster feel and their passion fruit mojitos. Also it's close to home so catching a taxi at the end of the night won't cost much.
Yes I know you're noticing a trend Tequila Tuesday = a shot of tequila + passion fruit mojito

I must confess I have a mineola (we didn't have any oranges at home) and a bottle of ground cinnamon in my handbag. Nothing beats a cinnamon tequila shot, to be precise Anejo with an orange slice and cinnamon 
Courtesy: google images &

My Tequila Tuesday tune The Weeknd - The Birds Pt 1. Taking a shot for the birds, the latest & the greatest!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Taming the Beast of the Deep

Wolves Cafe hosted a tasting of Brewers and Union's latest The Beast of the Deep. So being the occasional beer drinker that I have become, in the last year to be exact, oh how I miss Eurotripping, anyway off to Wolves  I went.
The invitation
Arriving promptly at 17:30 with a girl friend who has never had a beer, we ordered the Beast to share. Perhaps this was too strong a beer for a first timer but she handled it with gusto. It seems we were a tad eager, and clearly better at keeping time than the promo-woman because she arrived as we were half way through our beer. But she did offer free top ups oh yeah oh yeah

The Beast is out to tell you it's a beer, strong with 6.5% to my usual yellow/ gold Steph Weiss and Brewers&Union lagers' 5%. A strong lager that says boldly I am a beer!

Taming the Beast was easy! I enjoy the Brewers&Union lager (the gold label) and this is one up from that in terms of strength but also smooth.

For those who are interested there's the Jozi craft beer festival on Saturday

Happy crafting!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Rhubarb crumble

This is the tale of to crumbles one rhubarb one apple...... Winter has finally hit Jozi and that gets me into a fierce dessert craving home cooking kinda mood. I'm notoriously terrible at baking so I decided that making a crumble is the first step. I started with a rhubarb crumble last week and made a apple crumble yesterday.

Rhubarb should come with a warning:
"You just can't imagine know how tart I am, I'm the tartiest tart a real tramp!" 
a piece of my rhubarb crumble with cream
The crumble topping was wonderful but I have to say that rhubarb is a bit too tart for my liking. My brother and his gf (Themiffany as they are affectionately known by me) loved it! Next time I'll add a few apples just for me to balance it. 
I used Nigella Lawson's rhubarb crumble recipe from her book Feast I adapted it slightly and added a few slices of fresh ginger to the rhubarb. For those looking for rhubarb in Jozi try; Athol oaklands fruit and vegetable or the food lovers markets 

Happy crumbling!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Tequila Tuesday: Melrose Arch hotel Library Bar

Today I've come down with the flu but usually I spend Tequila Tuesday (Wednesday or Thursday) at the Melrose Arch hotel Library Bar. It's really cosy and perfect for winter evenings with the fireplace, although be warned it does tend to fill up for the upper crust slightly "older" after work drinks crowd at 6pm and then is pretty clear from 8pm onwards during the week. It's great if you're looking for an intimate chat or a quite game of pool. It also stays open late, and as long as a hotel guest is present you could be there till 3am - oh I've said too much.
My weekly stop includes a shot of gold tequila and a passion fruit mojito - not to be missed! Cocktails are as you'd expect from a hotel at around R50-R60 depending on what you've ordered.
Tequila's all round
And we love the snacks that come with the drinkies! The library bar is what I'd classify as an oldie but a goodie!

Happy Tequila Tuesday-ing!

Odd Cafe's low tea

I spent a warm Sunday indulging in low tea at Odd Cafe in Greenside about two weeks ago. Why not high tea I asked and was told as per it's name Odd Cafe like to do things slightly differently, so low tea at 15:00 it was. Led through the usual cafe, down the stairs into the lovely back nook where a buffet tea was served at low tables (by low I mean not a dining room table).

The Menu

The Spread

The matcha green tea cake, which to the disappointment of certain patrons was not green due to mary-jane. It was a light and fluffy chiffon cake but didn't have a distinct green tea flavour. Although I have to say I enjoyed the green jelly that topped the cake. Odd Cafe is right on trend for 2012 using Matcha green tea as an ingredient, perhaps a tad more in the cake mix next time.
The luminous green is the matcha green tea cake
Also the bruschetta base of the tapas royale was tooth chipping hard.

The low tea feature sangria con rooibos, it was super yum and well balanced. One of the best Sangria's I've tasted. Caramel slices with a sprinkling of pink salt - sublime! The pineapple & purple carrot was lovely, moist, flavourful and not overly sweet with signature cream cheese icing.
Pineapple & purple carrot cake
The turkish delights were also made from scratch - I love that
The star of the tea were definitely the scones with the non-traditional preserves. I highly recommend the apple jam although the beetroot & plum was a treat along with the naranja jam. A scone with a spreading of apple jam, a dollop of cream and a sprinkling of chocolate soil - what more could you want for?!
Scones & truffles
Overall it was a lovely afternoon filled with creativity and great service, thanks to the hands on owner Christina and her team. I thoroughly enjoyed concocting my own tea flavours as well as conversations with the adjacent tables. Nothing quite draws an afternoon to a close as the chocolate and tamarind truffle did - rich, ever so slightly bitter and tart! 

Odd Cafe
116 Greenway  Johannesburg 2193
011 486 3631

Friday, May 11, 2012

Tonight we Tanqueray!

I hadn't realised that there was a campaign and tag line Tonight we Tanqueray but it is so fitting because that is exactly what I intend to do tonight.

The Tonight we Tanqueray campaign sees film, fashion and music stars make a commitment to start the night right! The campaign features Aloe Blacc, Idris Elba and Michael Pitt as ambassadors. If ever you needed a reason to take up gin, particularly Tanqueray, Idris Elba is enough for me- not that I needed a reason.
Image courtesy:

My gin tipple of choice is a classic Tanqueray and tonic with a slice of lime, which according to the campaign would make me a Michael Pitt girl. I might try Tanqueray and OJ just for you Idris!

For more details of my preferred gin and the Tonight we Tanqueray campaign:

Friday, May 4, 2012

Are those bubbles?! Bubbly craving

A friend commented a few weekends ago that I like the "Champ Champ" as in Champagne. I have to say I do love a few bubbles. I have a penchant for Veuve Clicquot Rosé  that pink label, pink packaging and that price point. The yellow is chic too! I prefer a Rosé because it is delicate, has fruitier undertones and thus slightly sweeter than a typical Brut.

The Shopping bag with its trompe-l’oeil effect
The novelty of Clicquot's packaging has great appeal and is a triumph! I must get that 50s inspired ice box it's just too chic!
The Rose fridge - 50s ice box inspired packaging

Ample helping on my Fisherman's Plate

Headed to our very own Chinatown (as Derrick street Cyrildene is affectionately known) for dinner at Fisherman's Plate over the weekend, wanted to take the man to some place less assuming also he's a sucker for Asian cuisine so it was win win. Fisherman's plate is about as unassuming as it gets - trust me! The interior is strictly bare bones chair and tables no frills and very bright ligthing - all the better to see you with.

We ordered the deep fried garlic prawns, seafood rice and sizzling beef. The sizzling beef is wonderful! Tender with a peppery flavour and balanced salty sweet component. The green peppers and onions are perfectly crunchy. It offers the tender, crunchy, salty, sweet and peppery combo without being overpowering.
Sizzling beef
The garlic prawns are not for the faint hearted, but perfect for a salt lover like myself. Salty, with ample garlic flavour crunchy on the outside with soft sweet prawn on the inside. These are meant to be eaten head, tail and all.
deep fried garlic prawns
The seafood rice is what I'd expect of a seafood chow faan. It had subtle seafood flavours, with pieces of shrimp, clam and calamari. It went suprisingly well with the sizzling beef. I didn't even touch the jasmine rice.

Generally the items on the menu are winning combinations of Indian and Chinese flavours, as this restaurant is owner run by a Chinese & Indian husband wife duo. I can also vouch for the crab dishes, sublime! Fisherman's Plate in Cyrildene is a great no fuss Asian food experience, I would recommend that you bring your own bottle of wine and a big group

Oh and don't judge the book by it's cover!

Fisherman's Plate
18 Derrick Avenue, Cyrildene
011 622 0480

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Woolworths Nicolway Opening

The press, totally chuffed that I'm part of the press, was ushered into the Nicolway W Cafe at 07:30 am. Yes can u believe it 07:30 am, so you know I was in need of a coffee.
Anticipating the early morning grumples a croissant of your choice, chocolate or plain, was served with whipped butter and strawberry jam and then your coffee order was taken - Honey Nut Latte for me please! The croissant was soft, buttery and flaky with the perfect accompaniment of whipped butter and strawberry jam.

Opening remarks by Ian Moir (Woolworths CEO), Zyda Rylands (MD of Food) and Jorges Theodosopoulos (Store Manager), then it was off on our store tour in groups led by Woolworths' representatives.
Jorges, Ian and Zyda
The opening also featured the Masterchef SA contestants Lwazi Ngoma and Berdina Schurick cooking up a storm with Matserchef SA judge Benny Masekwameng on commentary
We ended the morning with a bit of chit chat and breakie. I had the pleasure of being in the witty company of Herman Lensing (Sarie food editor) and Barbera Joubert (Sarie Kos). I have to say that the W Cafe kitchen was overwhelmed on day 1, and orders took forever to get to tables. The slices of brioche I ordered had great flavour but alas was cold. Our conclusion was that they should have focused on the journos as well as special guests and only opened to customers once the opening event was done.
Goodie bags on the way out. It was filled with the award winning Royal Ashton cheese, a kabeljou fillet, 4 day aged steak, pickled onions and a rye loaf. Oh along with dishwasher liquid and a USB.

The steak, cheese, pickled onions and rye loaf just screamed sandwich. Slices of rye rubbed with garlic & olive oil seasoned with salt topped with horseradish sauce, medium done slices of steak, ashton cheese and pickled onions. Oh I may have squeezed a few slices of pear on top, more is more! lol

Woolworths' first Supermarket at Nicolway

A lot of foodie fixing has happened this past weekend and it started off with the opening of the Woolworths Supermarket in Nicolway shopping centre Bryanston last Thursday (26 April 2012). This store has been 2.5years in the making, so I was prepared to be wow-ed.

Zyda Rylands (the MD of Food) was spot on when she said that Woolworths Nicolway has the mind of a supermarket and the soul of a deli!
It is everything you expect from a Woolies and that much more. What is that much more do you ask? A butchery, a bakery, a fishery all that's missing is the candlestick maker. The difference is these aren't just counters but there are meat, fish and decadence aka bread experts on hand around the clock.

Suzy the cheese specialist

Now the bakery isn't just a bakery, it's also a deli and it has a barista who makes a delicious honey nut latte - to go. The deli offers the usual rotisserie chicken as well as roast pork belly and roast beef, they'll fix you any sandwich you like right there on the spot. Think roast beef with tomato slices, rocket, mustard or horseradish.

Another treat in the bakery section are the donuts, not just your run of the mill cinnamon but they also offer lemon curd and salted caramel donuts. That little something extra!

Zyda also said one of the aims of this store was to turn the Woolworths basket customer into a trolley customer. This means offering household necessities and accessories including brands other than the Woolworths branded products.

Woolworths Nicolway is big on customer service and the customer experience, which is much needed in the South African market. This includes offering extras such as the customer service hub. For those who don't like grocery shopping fear not, you can call into the customer service hub and place your grocery order with them and someone will do the shopping for you. All you need to do is come in add a few deli items and be on your way.

I like the feel of the Woolworths Nicolway it is more spacious (yes bigger aisles) and has great flow. You move from the fruit and veg world to the dairy world then oils and vinegar world.... I'm sure you get my point. If you're in Jozi and you happen to be in Bryanston area pop into this Woolworths, it has an almost European feel to it.

Did I mention there's a W Cafe too!

Woolworths Nicolway Bryanston, located in the new Nicolway Bryanston Shopping Centre, Cnr William Nicol Drive and Wedgewood Link, Bryanston, is open seven days a week from 08h00 to 20h00