After a two week renovation period, the first branch of The Deli Coffee Co has opened, on Kloof Street, home to the former Melissa’s, ironically the first outlet which Melissa van Hoogstraten opened twenty years ago. Melissa’s has closed down all its company-owned stores, while most franchise stores have changed their names, and are continuing to operate, the company having gone into liquidation. Continue reading →
What a lovely evening it was yesterday, to take me away from what had been a challenging pre-Full Moon day, and forget about the world out there, at the Habanos cigar-rolling demonstration held at Luvey ‘n Rose. It made me realise how fortunate we are to have so much to experience in our beautiful city.
Luvey ‘n Rose was opened by Ignatius Claassen on Rose Street last year as an Art and Antique Lounge, and one of its attractions, in addition to its collection of art work and antique furniture offered for sale, is its good cappuccino, friendly barista, and nostalgic Buena Vista Social Club, which music is perfectly paired with the cigars they offer for sale. My father was a passionate cigar smoker, and it was worth going to Luvey ‘n Rose’s new home on Loop Street just to enjoy nostalgic sniffs of the cigar smoke-filled venue. Interestingly the attendees were predominantly men, but the women that were attended were passionate cigar smokers. I spoke to one lady, who confirmed that she smokes cigars regularly, but would never touch a cigarette.
Roque Perez Rodriguez has worked for Habanos S.A. in Cuba for the past 30 years, the company being a state-owned cigar monopoly in that country, controlling the promotion, distribution, and international Continue reading →
The Sweet Service Award goes to Barry Lewis from Hermanus, a former Manager of Whale Cottage Hermanus, who came to the rescue when I had forgotten to bring my laptop charger back to Cape Town with me earlier this week. Barry was coming through to Somerset West the following day, his sister Carole told me, so I arranged for it to be collected from Somerset Mall, spending the rest of the day catching up on e-mails and Social Media postings. Continue reading →
The Sweet Service Award goes to Melissa’s Head Office, which showed its appreciation for ‘constructive criticism and feedback such as yours is seen as a very valuable tool in our endeavours to achieve and maintain the highest possible standards’. They acknowledged that the service problems experienced at their Kloof Street branch on the day that they opened their new branch in the Somerset Mall are ‘not of the standard that you should expect’, sending a voucher with an invitation to return for the ‘true Melissa’s experience‘. While the letter probably is a standard customer response one, Esti Pienaar, Systems Manager, expressed genuine interest in the service deficiency when she called.
The Sour Service Award goes to Pick ‘n Pay Franschhoek, for getting the purchase of gift vouchers so badly wrong. Wanting to save time due to the slow process in loading each voucher individually, we called ahead, and the manager Craig was willing to prepare the 20 gift cards for us. Adding shopping to the voucher purchase, the cashier got herself completely confused, despite the manager standing next to her, and despite confirming a number of times which amount had to be paid, she made an error about the amount due. Adding insult to injury was that none of the cards worked when our staff used them at other Pick ‘n Pay branches. This meant that the whole transaction had to be redone a week later. The worst part was the rudeness of the store manager Stuart Downie, in trying to blame the empty gift cards on ourselves, instead of apologising for the error made by his cashier and her manager!
The WhaleTales Sweet & Sour Service Awards are presented every Friday on the WhaleTales blog. Nominations for the Sweet and Sour Service Awards can be sent to Chris von Ulmenstein at email@example.com. Past winners of the Sweet and Sour Service Awards can be read on the Friday posts of this blog, and in the WhaleTalesnewsletters on the www.whalecottage.com website.
Eat Out 2012 Top Chef Luke Dale-Roberts of The Test Kitchen has developed a full Christmas lunch range for Woolworths, allowing South African families to taste the quality of his food preparation at the most special time of the year.
The Luke Dale-Roberts Woolworths Christmas range consists of a starter of Smoked Salmon, which Chef Luke cured and smoked with rooibos tea, then painted it with pomegranate molasses, and topped it with fresh dill, and grated orange and lemon rind. An alternative starter is The Sausage, which Chef Luke has made as a Christmas Toulouse, adding duck, ginger and cranberries, which should be put on a braai. Main courses are The Lamb Supreme, which he filled with Italian-style stuffing, and added cranberries, fresh herbs, and pine nuts (R164,99 per kg), as well as The Gammon- style belly, to which he added whole spice, orange peel, and fresh ginger root, smoking it, and then cooking it at 85°C for five hours. For the Christmas meal Chef Luke developed a range of relishes: cranberry, sesame and miso dressing (R24,95); summer fruit and kumquat cumberland relish (R24,95); mince pie chutney (R24,95); and truffle, walnut and fig pesto (R29,95). For dessert Chef Luke designed a red Christmas pudding made from summer berries (R169,95), which he paired with his special Christmas mess ice cream (R59,95 per litre).
In the Woolworths advertisement for his Christmas range, Chef Luke writes: “The moment I was briefed, I knew I had to create a new-age, innovative approach to Christmas lunch that would make it easy and very special for you. My main aim was to keep the traditional spiciness…the nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon, and whole spice, the pomegranates, orange peel and Christmas pie filling. Keep them, but lighten them, make them South African, and above all, make them FUN!”
The Luke Dale-Roberts Christmas range is available until 25 December, at Woolworths at Cavendish Square, Canal Walk, Constantia Village, Gardens Centre, Hout Bay, Piazza St John in Sea Point, Plettenberg Bay, Somerset Mall, Tyger Valley, the V&A Waterfront, as well as at some Woolworths stores in Johannesburg, Pretoria, Port Elizabeth, and Durban. It is not easy to see the Luke Dale-Roberts Christmas product range in the Woolworths stores, as they are not displayed in one space.
Chef Luke and his family are featured in the December issue of TASTE magazine, to publicise his Christmas range.
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter:@WhaleCottage
The hotshot coffee shop with a Portugese touch and distinctive red branding, has spread in major cities, and has branches in Stellenbosch, Sea Point, Willowbridge, Camps Bay, Somerset Mall, Cavendish, Claremont, the V & A Waterfront, Canal Walk, Kloof Street, Green Point, Bayside, Green Market, Black River Park, Constantia and Collosseum. In Johannesburg the seven branches are located in Sandton, OR Thambo airport, Greenside, Rosebank, Hyde Park, Parktown North, Bedford Square and Commissioner Street. Knysna and Bloemfontein each have a Vida, while there are three in Durban.
A joint venture is also on the cards between a Vida e Caffe and Nando’s Peri Deli in Rivonia.