Before arriving in Buenos Aires on this my second visit to the city, I had not prepared for my visit from a wine perspective, my main goal in spending a month in Argentina being to learn to dance the Tango. I have planned to visit Mendoza, renowned for its Malbec, have attended a wine tasting and food pairing evening at COWI in Buenos Aires, drunk three wines at the dinner at Buenos Aires’ Tegui, 86th Best Restaurant in the World, one wine at Don Julio, the 34th Best Restaurant in the World and Best in Argentina, and two wines at dinner at 1884 Restaurant in Mendoza. I have summarised my initial knowledge about the wine industry of Argentina, the fifth largest in the world, to which I have added some research information too. Continue reading →
On Saturday afternoon a Whale Shark beached on Camps Bay Beach, rough seas and high swells complicating the operation on Sunday to remove the Whale Shark, which died when attempts to return it to the ocean failed. Continue reading →
The Eat Out judges have a hard time in deciding on the ranking of our country’s top restaurants, especially when our top restaurants are increasingly performing on international restaurant list rankings! This year they seemed to markedly not have considered the top performance of two internationally crowned SA restaurants, The Test Kitchen, and even more so, Restaurant Mosaic at The Orient outside Pretoria. Both these restaurants have just made the prestigious 2019 Top 200 of the La Liste international Top 1000 restaurant List, rubbing shoulders with the world’s top chefs. Continue reading →
A lunch at Coco Safar, followed by a dinner three days later, were two chalk and cheese experiences, the former excellent and the latter hugely disappointing, especially as it was a birthday dinner treat for a special friend! I had last been to Coco Safar for breakfast early this year, after it opened in Sea Point, having moved from Cavendish Square. Continue reading →
It is ironic that Shimmy Beach Club introduced its Winter Menu with a media lunch on an almost ‘summery’ day, for the second year running! It was a sociable event, and the food served in taster portions was a step up from previous Winter Menu launch lunches I have attended in the past. Continue reading →
Popping into My Sugar in Sea Point on Saturday, I discovered a new offering by the innovative chocolate shop on Regent Road. Cruffins are a hybrid of muffins and croissants, with delectable fillings, made with a layered brioche dough, Continue reading →
Staying in Munich for four days, I did day-time outings to what are regarded food temples of the city, including Dallmayr, Kaiser, and the Viktualienmarkt. Most impressed, others were disappointing.I certainly fell in love with tomatoes on my trip, and the rich red shiny stemmed tomatoes attracted not only my attention, but also that of my Facebook followers. I do not recall having seen such fresh looking and smelling tomatoes anywhere in our country. What was an even bigger surprise was the very reasonable Continue reading →
The launch of Jani Allan’s new book ‘Jani Confidential’ created no fireworks yesterday, as many attendees had expected at the Literary Launch lunch organised by Gorry Bowes Taylor for Wordsworth Books. The low-key, almost hidden, A Tavola restaurant was a good choice, with a special lunch, and reflected Allan’s shy and coy nature as a speaker. Surprisingly few attendees bought books, maybe because Allan did not do a good job in marketing her book to her audience, not reading extracts from it nor providing tidbits which would intrigue one to buy the book.
Soon after we arrived at the fully-booked launch event, for which we paid R280 for the three course lunch, a selection of Antipasti was brought to the tables of ten to share: Bruschetta
My friend Whitney and I had not met for dinner for a while, after a very busy summer season, and chose the newish ‘Argentinian’ restaurant Don Armando. It belongs to Il Leone Chef and owner Daniel Toledo, who named the new steak restaurant after his Argentinian father. It opened in December, and is a ‘boutique restaurant’ seating about 50 patrons..
We had never heard of Cobern Street in Green Point, and had to call the restaurant for some landmarks to find it, as a Google Map let us down. It is two buildings up a side road on which Il Leone is on the corner, the building once having been a night club.
We were shown to the small terrace right on top of the two storey building, with
space only for 2 small tables and a six seater, and we enjoyed the privacy and fresh air, despite hearing and smelling the extractor fan throughout the evening, and smelling burning fat at one stage. Lighting is very low key, making it hard to photograph the dishes and interior, Whitney using her Torch App to light up the dishes for me. I went back the following day to photograph the decor, and found the daylight streaming into the rooms very bright.
The deck is clad in wooden slats, so that one cannot see the less glamorous Continue reading →
It was lovely to see ‘Hayden Quinn: South Africa’ back on track in episode 3 last night, with beautiful filming of the small fishing village where nothing happens every 45 minutes, it was joked! The word ‘Afrikaans’ was not mentioned once by Hayden, but he struggled to pronounce the surname of his host Chef Kobus van der Merwe from Oep ve Koop Bistro, previously named Oep ve Eet when we ate there.
Paternoster was shown from its most beautiful side, with an endless beach, fishermen’s boats on the beach, and white-washed houses making the village look like a ‘little Greek island’, Hayden observed. It is the oldest fishing village in our country, and the name of the village comes from ‘Our Father’. Hayden stayed at Abalone House & Spa, and the ‘quirky bohemian feel’ of its interior decor was shown, being dominated by prints of the work by the late artist Vladimir Tretchikoff. The strict architectural guidelines for houses in Paternoster was highlighted. Interesting is that there was no mention of Reuben’s Restaurant at Abalone House, one of the five restaurants belonging to Reuben’s Robertsons Pop-Up and Pop-In Riffel! Interesting too is that Gaaitjie restaurant with unfriendly owner Suzi Holtzhausen also was not mentioned, one of the better restaurants in the village.
Chef Kobus used to work at New Media Publishing in Cape Town before returning to his home town Paternoster, where his parents own ‘Die Winkel op Paternoster’, a mouthful for Hayden to say! Chef Kobus uses a section of the building and the garden to serve his guests, and forages seafood as well as wild greens and shoreline herbs, which he uses in the preparation of his dishes. Chef Kobus was described as being recognised as a WWF SASSI (South African Sustainable Seafood Initiative) ambassador in his sustainable and responsible use of fish in his Bistro. Continue reading →