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Klutz in the Kitchen

The Klutz in the Kitchen

Pescarne, Main Road, Hout Bay

Late last week there I was beavering away at the keyboard and the phone goes, breaking all thoughts of what I was doing. To my pleasant surprise it was the sultry voice of a very dear friend whom I had not seen for quite sometime saying they had arrived for their regular holiday in Cape Town. She asked me to join her hubby and his sister to join them for lunch, which I gladly agreed to. They had lived in Hout Bay some twenty and then some years ago and had returned to Europe after a number of very happy years of living here. Now I have not been on that side of the mountain for a really long time, so was excited at the prospect of visiting the area again.

Yesterday, Tuesday, I headed for the Republic of Hout Bay, remembering how bad the traffic and access was I made sure I left with plenty of time to of arriving with a little time in hand to pick them up. On arrival at the Beach Club and joined them for a cup of coffee and catch up before heading out for lunch. The chosen venue was discarded due to the extreme windy conditions, and went on a search of Cheyne’s in the old village, which had been recommended by a friend of my lunch hosts. Finding parking and getting ready to walk to the restaurant, we were asked by the friendly manager of the close by Pescarne, if he could assist, and we told him we were looking for Cheyne’s and he pointed us in the right direction, quickly looking up the info on Zomato found they weren’t open for lunch. Never having been there before, we were invited by the manager to check out Pecarne.

There is a large outside deck area, again due to the wind we elected to sit inside the large dining area. The waiter introduced himself, Jimmy was his name, and presented with a number of laminated menu’s. After looking through and discussing the options, we ordered our drinks, a glass of red for my mate and myself, which we later found out to be Spier Signature Shiraz at R35 per glass, My host had to glasses and I had one. The ladies opted for a couple of glasses of Spier Brut Sparkling at R59 per glass and a small bottle of sparkling water at R15. I though good chance after all the fuss about water in restaurant to ask for a glass of tap water, Jimmy immediately asked if I would like ice and lemon to which I said yes please. Good start not so?

The menu was quite extensive and covered all bases, breakfast, burgers, steak, , Seafood, Shellfish, Greek Cuisine, Salads all pretty reasonably priced. My companions decided on the seafood option with my host and his sister opting for the Baby Calamari he with Chips and his siter with Baked Potato at R79, my host’s wife on finding out the line fish option was either Cape Yellowtail or Dorado, decided on the latter at R99 with salad instead of chips stating she’d not had it in a long while. Both of the fishes are on the SASSI Green list. I decided to go the Carne route and ordered the Beef Trinchado at R79, a favourite of mine. I then asked Jimmy if the chips were fresh or frozen, he was unsure and hesitant, but said fresh, being the sceptic with that answer decided on the baked starch instead.

The food arrived, with the Calamari looking reasonably good but the chips were the frozen variety, The line fish, was not Dorado at all but a couple of fish fillets of indiscriminate type and totally dry, fried and not grilled as requested. The Trinchado was not much better swimming in some sort of spicy pinkish orange liquid with the meat tough really awful, BTW it came with a bowl of those frozen “chips” instead of the baked potato as requested. I tasted and immediately sent it back and eventually the “Dorado” was also returned. I was not asked is I would like anything else but saw the kitchen was fussing over another portion of Trinchado and said I was not willing to have the dish again and again not asked if I wanted something else from the menu, to late I said my friends had already finished their meal.

Coffee and Espresso at R18 each, sent mine back as the cup was chipped and the crema was almost black, second cup was much better with the crema the right colour.

A very disappointing lunch at Pescarne and I asked for the owner to voice our complaints. He eventually arrived at our table apologising profusely laying blame at the feet of his new Malawian Chef who came with good references. I asked if this new Chef had cooked his signature dish and a dish from the current menu, you’ve guessed right, no he had not. That’s not the way one hires a Chef, on paper and telephonic references at all. A few other excuses were used by this time I was so over the discussion. They also had an extensive. Sushi menu and there was a Sushi Chef on duty as well. Jimmy had tried his best, but was lacking in training, not his fault, and he did not know what the food was like on the menu. When I chatted to him a little earlier. When I was in the trade I made sure all of my staff tasted everything on the menu over a period. When a new dish was due to be added to the menu the entire staff, from waiters/waitresses right through to dishwashers all tasted and gave their opinion and that opinion was highly regarded. Will I go back to Pescarne after the abortive disgusting lunch, the answer is yes as I always promise to do.

The Klutz in the Kitchen’s Grub Rating

★ = Really bad, horrible, unpleasant, and abysmal, blerry awful

The Klutz in the Kitchen always revisits establishments whether the review is good or bad because nobody has a good day everyday. Looking forward to a return visit.

 

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Klutz in the Kitchen

Klutz in the Kitchen

The Avenue Restaurant and Grill

It was one of those day’s, students doing their #Tag thing, a muggy Thursday and whilst beavering away at the listening to newly arrived music which were to be added to our playlist I had some fat finger trouble and suddenly there was this beautiful, mouth watering picture of a thick juicy steak all over my computer screen. Were the food gods being crazy to lead me off the work path, ‘cause this revelation led me to think what the Klutz was going to prepare for dinner. Quickly casting aside all thoughts ot the Klutz getting behind the hot stove and mostly because there was no steak fixings in the apartment at all. Then it happened, yep the word Avenue popped into my mind, eureka, The Avenue Restaurant and Grill. It was a total random spur of the moment choice, so hopped into the mechanical chariot and headed over the bridge to 2nd Avenue.

Once parked entered the emporium and greeted by smiling friendly wait staff and was led to our table the charming waitress Perpetua and left with the menu after placing a drink order. Not being in an alcohol frame of mind opted for a soft drink instead. Looking through the wine menu an was very happily surprised to see that all wines on the list were well under R200 per bottle. At last a restaurant where the wine costs more than the food one is to consume. Timer to start a #tag restaurant wine prices must fall movement, eh!

The food menu was also very reasonably priced and was informed by the affable waitress that the chips were hand cut from real potato’s, so on the advice of Perpetua and being quite hungry, decided on the 350gm sirloin medium rare (R145) with chips and also came with “roast” veg which I turned down, can’t stand them see, never had a good experience with “roasted veg” We were immediately offered a side salad instead which was gratefully accepted and also ordered a side of onions (R28) as well.

My order duly arrived in good time and looked good on the plate with the chips, onion and salad in side dishes, so far so good. Cutting into my steak was like using a blunt butter knife, tender as a ripe avocado. The first mouthful was juicy and very tasty, the basting sauce used was flavourful and did not detract from the meats flavour but enhance the taste experience. A truly wonderful piece of steak, best I’d had in a very long while. The salad was fresh and very tasty with their homemade salad dressing.

Now for the sad part of this tale, the chips were very oily and horribly verlep. This is often due to the raw chips not being rinsed off under fresh water and dried before being thrown into the fryer or the oil was used one time to many or not hot enough. Not much good can be said about the onions either, the batter was cooked hard, and one could if not careful chip a tooth on the horrid things. Nuff said if that.

The coffee was very good and rounded out a pleasing steak and salad meal, The Klutz in the Kitchen was satisfied with the friendly service and will be back in the near future.

The Klutz in the Kitchen’s Grub Rating

★★★ = Middling, tolerable, almost acceptable to adequate, still could be much better

The Klutz in the Kitchen always revisits establishments whether the review is good or bad because nobody has a good day everyday. Looking forward to a return visit.

Email the klutzinthekitchen@alljazzradio.co.za

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Klutz in the Kitchen Confessions

August – Coffee and Deli Harfield Village Kenilworth

Sjoe feeling quite industrious at the moment this is the second review I’m writing today, now as one may gather I love living in the Southern Suburbs and going to discover some of the food emporia in Claremont and those radiating outwards from our home base. Now listening to the new album by Cape Town Chartreuse Amanda Tiffin Consideration currently just a six track promo EP with the full album due next week prior to the her launch concerts on Friday 13 at the Nassau Centre (Groote Schuur High School) at 20.00 and on Sunday 15 November 2015 at 19.0at The Reeler Centre Theatre (Rondebosch Boys High School) South African Jazz is really in a good place now.

Ok back at the G & GA again (Gin & Ginger Ale my Late Dad’s Favourite tipple) so refreshing on a muggy day in Ol’ Cape Town, hey theres a song in them that words somewhere. 🙂

This is a review of a new little place that opened in 2nd Avenue’s famous restaurant row about a month and a bit ago. The August Coffee and Deli is a little emporium that wishes it could I guess. My first visit was to reconnoiter the place and being a deli had a look at the meat and veg products on offer. So far so good, neh! While browsing around and asking questions about their expectations and philosophy for the place which was simply to provide residents in the area with the best produce they could find so I ordered a coffee and also got myself a nice piece of Rib eye and a half a kilo of mince. Both items were cooked by the Klutz over the ensuing days and were really very good and of great quality, best of all reasonably priced far better than Frankie Fenner Meats that has recently opened in the area.

On the strength of my first small meat order I ordered a couple of Lamb Shanks and a few day later popped in once again to check on my order that sadly have not yet arrived. I was there, and again fell under the aroma of their coffee and decided to order their much-touted burger. The restaurant side of the business is tiny as is the blackboard menu they have some pasta’s and salads on the menu as well, all reasonably priced. They however didn’t serve any chips on the day of my visit.

The burger came and was the same size as the bun, which they get from Knead just up the road and mixed salad greens underneath the burger patty, but no tomato or onion. The first bite was delicious the meat was perfectly cooked medium rare and very tender. The basting sauce was tasty but I’m not to sure if it that was homemade? Had a commercial flavour to it. I also asked what spices were used in the burger and was told coriander, paprika, cumin and salt and pepper all of which were extremely subtle and hardly there, could be the BBQ sauce overpowering the flavours. Sadly the ubiquitous wooden board was once again, like so many other places used, as a serving vehicle for the meal, shame about that and hope that chuck the things into their next braai fire and get proper crockery to serve on. At 30 bucks for the burger, was a treat.

As to my Lamb Shanks, after being assured that they would have then in a few days and would called to let me know of their arrival. Still waiting for a call as this this little issue is now well over a month old. Guess I’ll just have to go give them a real bollocking.

The Klutz in the Kitchen’s Grub Rating System


★★★ = Middling, tolerable, almost acceptable to adequate, still could be much better

The Klutz will be back.

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Klutz in the Kitchen

Klutz in the Kitchen

 

Truth Coffee – Cape Town

 

The Klutz made a Haddock Mornay for dinner last night, which was very good by the way and had a nice little Chateau De La Doos Sauvignon Blanc from the Robertson Winery to accompany the meal, yummoloicious it was too. I took a portion of it to Mum and dropped it off a wee bit earlier for her lunch. On arriving home decided it was time for a lunchtime G & GA (Gin & Ginger Ale) before sitting down to write this review and listen to the brand new sophomore album by the group Deep South called Heartland and get to write this review of Truth Coffee which was visited some si to seven weeks ago. Pleasant way to kill two birds with on stone, neh! The talented twosome of David Ledbetter and Ronan Skillen are to launch the album next week, Saturday 14th Nov 2015 at The Reeler Theatre in Rondebosch from 19:30 – 22:30.

It’s not often The Klutz in the Kitchen ventures out of the suburbs but was forced to due to a technical problem with his Lap Top. So decided to continue the quest of finding the best coffee in the Cape and headed to Steampunk HQ, Truth Coffee shop, after finding street side parking ambled over to the packed joint’ I was greeted by the cheerful smiling and very affable floor manager Haley who showed me to a table. I was offered the breakfast menu having arrived a half hour or so before the menu change and being a first time visit I asked for the lunchtime menu to peruse too. I asked about the coffee and what her recommendation was and she suggested the Resurrection blend, which was agreed and ordered with cold milk on the side. The cold milk was a safety measure, just in case the beverage turned out awful.

Looking through the very grubby and dirty photo copied menus; hands feeling quite dirty after handling the clipboard things. Got to carry some wet wipes for occasions such as this. Besides, what’s it with this grubby method of presenting menu’s these days. It certainly ain’t trendy at all and is very off putting.

Jovial waitress Neli brought my coffee after a long wait and told her I couldn’t make up my mind between The Croque Monsieur or the Steampunk Benedict could she make a suggestion, she immediately stated she enjoyed both so was difficult for her to choose. Mmmm, not much help I said with a smile. It all boiled down the difficult choice of the Bayonne Ham or the crispy bacon. Ok, so you guessed which won out eh, the bacon naturally. So Steampunk Benedict was ordered along with another cuppa nice java.

When the food arrived it looked really good and tasty but my expectation was lowered drastically on seeing the blerry wooden board, which was bedecked with some greaseproof paper on which the Sourdough toast with two softly poached eggs, crispy bacon and hollandaise sandwich and topped assorted greens was placed. First bite was quite lekkerlicious so cast my misgivings about the wooden board to the back of my mind, though not to easy must say. It was a pleasant meal with very nice coffee with good service in an interestingly decorated space with a pleasant bustling old world atmosphere, but still the search continues for that perfect cup of coffee.

Will be back again sometime in the future.

The Klutz in the Kitchen’s Grub Rating System


★★★★ = Enjoyable, pleasant and satisfactory, worthy of a visit from time to time.

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Loco Lounge Harfield Village Claremont

My 86 year old Mom had a really bad fall late last week, her being a fanatical gardener, she was heading inside to answer the phone (landline) when she attacked by the garden hose, you know the problem with these pesky garden hoses, they get quite ornery from time to time when neglected. I took her to her quackter on Friday for a check up. Mom’s quite ok but looks like she’s been through a round or two with Laila Ali, she’s is quite a trooper. So the Klutz in the Kitchen made a huge pot of Aunty Sarah’s Truly Excellent Pea and Bacon Stoup, her favourite, last night and delivered it to her this morning. Hope she’s going to enjoy it and will relieve her of cooking duties while she convalesces. Aunty Sarah’s Stoup somehow works better than any amount of chicken soup see.

After stopping off at the supermarket to get a few much-needed victuals, it was a total spur of the moment decision to head to the Loco Lounge in Harfield Village to have a bite. Having read and heard so many great reviews and reports about the little place.

On walking in I was greeted by Dexter, the very affable and charming waiter on duty and led upstairs to the dining area. Impressive and inviting simple, clean lined décor with interesting denim tablecloths decking the tables. I was the only soul in the place at the early lunchtime. The menus were somewhat tired and grubby raw cardboard with a few grease spots and someone had written something intelligible at the bottom of one of the clipboard presented menus. I felt the urge to wash my hands after touching them.

On being handed the Lunch/Dinner menu I was told the Steak and Line Fish was not available at lunchtime and only available at dinnertime. Ok then so why have it on the menu then, huh? I then asked the big question, fresh or fake frozen chips, the answer, fake frozen. Blerry hell I thought, that really spoilt my first impression of the place. I also had a good look at the very tacky and overpriced photo copied wine list, really atrocious. The cocktail list was just as boring and plain, nothing jumping out saying try me try me. The list of cocktail’s can be got at any average cocktail bar anywhere in Cape Town. The one surprising thing was the beer list, mundane though it is. The Amstel price of 20 bucks was the cheapest of all other beers on the list. Having been put off by the drinks menu I ordered a cup of coffee and the Loco Burger to munch. There was no indication that the meal came with any starch or salad at all, they did however have a separate sides and extras section, which included “Skinny Fries”. After being asked if I wanted any extras and enquiring if anything else came with the burger I was told that “skinny fries” came with the burger. Mmm, makes me wonder is it a ploy used by restaurants at large to get punters to order the paid for extras and are only told if enquiring whether the meal comes with anything at all. A little dishonest don’t you think?

The coffee arrived on an interesting saucer, more like a tray and rather unique, the beverage was hot and not too bad at all. My burger arrived looking a little anaemic and flattop fried as opposed to grilled. Before chowing down I cut a piece of the burger patty off to taste, there was a total lack of seasoning but there was also a strange sourish taste to the damn thing. Can’t describe the flavour and it also left an unpleasant aftertaste in my mouth, which a gulp of the coffee could not remove. The much bragged about bun was toasted and tough, seemed like a day or two old. Not a good lunch at all, damn still got that hellish taste in my mouth as I write this despite rinsing with a couple of glasses of water once I got home.

There was no ownership on duty at the time of this visit, so told Dexter of my concerns and disappointing experience.

The Klutz in the Kitchen’s Grub Rating


★★¼ = Just ok but really needs to be so much better, a little off putting but has potential for improvement.

The Klutz in the Kitchen always revisits establishments whether the review is good or bad because nobody has a good day everyday. Looking forward to a return visit.

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Grub Review

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Who doesn’t enjoy a good curry, huh! Some say the best Durb’s curry can only be found in, well, er, um Durban. Well, got to say the Klutz is one of those quirky grub nutters who just doesn’t like curry; he just has a weakness for a really good one, it’s Klutz Kryptonite, see. All right then, I know this is Cape Town, the Gatsby and false tooth Kingdom of Afrika, and don’t we all know there is a whopping difference between the Kaapse and Durbs curry varietals, all ‘n all.

It was with great glee that I discovered a new little place, to me, a couple of months ago in my home range of Claremont, Belvedere Road to be precise, called Nice ‘n Spicy. On entering the tiny space the aroma’s engulphed warmly and rapping one in a blanket of gorgeous flavours, immediately my mouth began salivating in anticipation of what was to come. It was a surprise to see a well-known face, apron bedecked somewhat rotund character behind the counter. Hey I’m rotund too, so no slight intended, comes with age see. Former Cape Town radio DJ, Lee Downs, yes and somewhat surprised, as I did not know he had any cooking aspirations or credentials at all.

We started chatting, catching up on occurrences of the past few years, then the inevitable question arose, what does a former radio personality do after the glitz and glamour of commercial fades? Easy answer, he said, he is a food lover and has been for years, so what better than to open a place that features homemade nosh from his childhood. Bunny Chow, a multiplicity of Curry’s, Solomes, Samoosa’s, Hamburgers, Homemade Pickles and what has become a firm favourite of mine, the Pulled Beef Marsala Sarmie, totally morish, but beware it’s highly addictive, though I’m a large fella could not finish two in one sitting. There is a small seating area, very small, being a take away, so I sat down to enjoy the Sandwich, yummolicious, mouth tingling, telling me it was enjoying the spicy concoction. I promptly ordered another to take home for dinner later.

Been back a couple of times and eventually tried the Bunny, which was large, tasty, spicy like a good curry should be. I couldn’t finish off the container, the contents however did not last long, full of flavour it was, the only drawback was the lack of potato in the heady spicy mutton stew, only a small piece of the starch was included. Not to serious an infringement in the Klutzes eyes but will make sure to ask for extra potato’s on the next visit.

I highly recommend curries and specially that wonderful Pulled Beef Marsala sarmie, but I will have to have a good strong talk and boxing match with myself when next visiting, ‘cause I’ve got to try some of the other menu items.

The Klutzes Grub Rating for Nice ‘n Spicy is ★★★★ = Enjoyable, pleasant and satisfactory, worthy of a visit from time to time.

Contact Nice N Spicy, Belvedere Road, Claremont, Cape Town on 0837703024

Email The Klutz In The Kitchen at klutzinthekitchen@alljazzradio.co.za

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The Klutz decided it was time to gallivant around the neighbourhood again, this time in search of his groovy, celebrated hero’s much loved food, Lasagne. We refer to that goofy cat Garfield naturally, and to find that beautiful baked concoction perfected by the Italians who gave it to the world at large to enjoy with a good bottle or two of wine, Pinotage of course and some freshly baked bread to soak up the delicious sauce.

The search was narrowed to Kenilworth, where we found ourselves sauntering through the doors of Bardelli’s, which we’d not been to before. We were pounced, ok not really, accosted didn’t sound like the right word to use, so pounce it’ll have to stay, by a waitress, who we later found was the manageress and quite fetching she was too. She took us through a number of inter-leading rooms, with tables and an outdoor cover area at the back, bigger than it looks at the storefront.

I decided the we’d like the table I’d spotted in the front room which was quite busy with a sports team and parent celebrating the good season they had. On being seated was asked what we’d like to drink. I said Pinotage, she said yes they had a great house brand bottled for them by Beyerskloof, I said I’ll try a glass. She sauntered off to get the vino while I perused the menu, unnecessary but being a first visit i deemed it was.

When the wine arrived I placed the order for Lasagne and a Garlic Pizza, then found out they had some Beyerskloof Chenin/Pinotage Blend in stock too, and something very rarely found in restaurants. Not being a big white wine drinker, this was one I always make an exception for and ordered a glass of it too. The evening looked very promising.

The Garlic Pizza arrived looked good and was the thinnest I’d ever come across and though, sjoe, too good to be true ‘cause that just how I like my Garlic Pizza, great start and contentedly started munching. The Lasagne arrived steaming hot, good sign, but still had to pass The Klutz In The Kitchen’s famous and exacting great Lasagna Test, oh alright, it’s simply a knife stabbed into the centre of the dish, the tip must be piping hot to the tongue, if not it, fails and is sent back with the promise of not returning to the venue again in a hurry. Pass it did and was one of the most yummolicious Lasagne’s I’d had in a long while.

Good food, wonderful wine, but sadly the only downer was the coffee, nowhere near good at all, in fact blerry awful and horribly bitter. All in all a fantastic evening of really great food and marvellous wine, we’ll just forget about the coffee and have a Kahlua Don Pedro next time. Oh, and Bardelli’s is near the top of my go to Italian food joints. Lasagna rule’s OK.

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The Klutz in the Kitchen’s Grub Rating System

★ = Really bad, horrible, unpleasant, and abysmal, never visit, ever!!!!!!!!

★★ = Better than bad, still not good enough waste of time and money. Visit at ones own peril.

★★★ = Middling, tolerable, almost acceptable to adequate, could be still better

★★★★ = Enjoyable, pleasant and satisfactory, worthy of a visit from time to time.

★★★★★ = Magnificent, really fantastic, truly well worth a visit regularly.

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Bardelli’s gets The Klutzes seal of approval with a ★★★★ rating on this visit

Email The Klutz In The Kitchen at klutzinthekitchen@alljazzradio.co.za

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All Jazz Radio Logo Face Book1The Klutz In The Kitchen’s Recipe n' Foody Goodies, Utensil Review & Titbit News Blog

The day before National Heritage and Braai Day, what does one do, huh! And with the Rugby World Cup games starting on the goggle box today, well what to do, preps of course, that’s what. It’s all about research. Like any good radio presenter we tackled the braai day Braai the belovedtask, pardon the pun, with gusto and found some great Braai Recipes on a number of websites and decided to put together a few for one to choose from. Have fun and make your choices wisely and be sure to be prepared for the celebrations

What is your favourite meat to slap on a sizzling braai. Here are my personal choices, it’s difficult task to choose, but choose I must so hear goes in order;

T-Bone, because you get the fillet and sirloin together in one go, remember too the they should be at least 5cm thick

Lamb Leg Chops should be at least 3cm thick

Sirloin should be at least 4cm thick

Lamb Cutlets should be at least 3cm thick

Whole Sirloin

Pork Belly Strips

Chicken Thighs

Chicken Legs

Pork Bangers

Sosaties

And finally a Whole Snoek when in season

Grabouw Boerewors

Grabouw Boerewors

You ask why is Boerewors not on the list, well it is and really deserves to be categorised under its own name see, and variety is your choice. The Klutz goes for Grabouw Wors, but who remembers Morris the Butcher in Town, I mean the wors was just the best.

The Klutz in the Kitchen has really been hard at work and found some truly splendid and exciting braai recipes from drinks to starters to main dishes and desserts

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Here are some of the Klutzes drinks suggestions;

Well it’s a no brainer really Beer, Heineken or Windhoek are the choice of the Klutz, and Pinotage is the wine of choice. However our first recipe is one that will act as an accompaniment with any dish braaied (barbequed) and alcohol additive on the day; mind you it can also be enjoyed on its own with lots and lots of ice. Thanks to Woolies Taste Mag and Abigail Donnelly for this simple ‘n quick recipe. Please note it only serves 4 so one will have to adjust to make much more to satisfy your thirsty friends and family

Braaied lemonade

Braaied Lemonade

Braaied Lemonade

Serves
4

Prep Time 
5 minutes

Cooking Time
 15 minutes

Ingredients

20 lemons

150 g brown sugar

100 g white sugar

Ice, for serving

500 ml soda water

Method

Halve the lemons and dip the cut side into the brown sugar. Place the lemons, cut side down, on a braai grid over medium heat coals.

Turn when the lemons are charred and almost blackened. Braai for a further 5 minutes, then place in a large bowl

Once the lemons are cool enough to handle, squeeze the juice into a jug. Add the white sugar to the lemon juice and mix until dissolved.

Add lots of ice and top up with soda water.

Tastes take: When life gives you lemons, make braaied lemonade. We love the rich flavour created by charring the lemons. It’s easy to make once your coals are going, but handle with care as those lemons get hot! For a twist, you can add a splash of bourbon.

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A non-alcoholic suggestion is for a colourful bright Sunset Cocktail, which is also very moreish and thirst quenching.

Sunset Cocktail

Sunset Cocktail

Ingredients

Lime cordial

Plain water ice-cubes, crushed

Grenadine syrup

Apple juice or Pink Lemonade

Orange juice blend

Pomegranate juice blend

Method

Pour lime cordial into ice-cube trays and freeze.

Spoon crushed ice into each glass (optional).

To mix the cocktail, vigorously combine a handful of lime cubes with orange juice in a shaker. Pour into each glass.

Slowly pour on some pomegranate juice, onto the back of a spoon held just above the orange juice layer.

Do the same with the pink lemonade or apple juice, to fill the glass.

Pour a few drops of Grenadine syrup on top and allow it to slowly sink through the other juices and create a 3-tone sunset effect.

Serve immediately with a stirrer and/or straw.

Hints and Tips

There is no strict proportion of ingredients for this type of cocktail; we used approximately one-third of each of the three juices.

Have all the ingredients, glasses and utensils ready in front of you before starting, for smooth preparation and perfect results.

Don’t deviate from this order of adding ingredients, or the effect of the colours will be lost. Do not mix before serving.

Do not expect the lime cordial to freeze hard and pop out of the mould as water would.

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Apricot Crush

Apricot Crush

Apricot Crush

Ingredients:

50ml Gin

50ml Fresh Orange Juice

25ml Sugar Syrup

25ml Fresh Lime Juice

2 spoons of Apricot Jam

8 Mint Leaves

Glass:

Julep Cup or Tumbler

Method:

Shake with a couple of ice cubes in a cocktail shaker and strain into the glass.

Garnish:

Mint Bouquet and Dehydrated Orange Wheel

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Raspberry Sling

Raspberry sling Photo by Mark O'Meara

Raspberry sling Photo by Mark O’Meara

Recipe by Diageo

Serves 2

Ingredients:

60ml Gin

1 Tbsp of raspberry cordial

30ml freshly squeezed lemon juice

50ml pomegranate juice

Soda water

Ice

Lemon slice & cherry, to garnish

Contains 2 standard drinks.

Method:

Fill a tall glass with ice

Pour in 60ml Gordon’s Gin

Add raspberry cordial, lemon juice and pomegranate juice

Top with soda and stir

Garnish with a cherry and lemon slice

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Starters

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Chakalaka soup with boerewors balls recipe by Jane Anne Hobbs Rayner

Chakalaka is a highly spiced African vegetable relish usually eaten cold as an accompaniment to braaied meat, but here I’ve transformed it into a chunky soup brimming with punchy flavours. Topped with juicy mini-meatballs made from boerewors filling, this is a dish that will bring tears to the eyes of chakalaka devotees (especially if you increase the quantity of fresh chillies in the recipe).

Chakalaka, said to have been invented by Johannesburg’s migrant mine-workers (although I can’t confirm this) usually includes chillies, peppers and curry spices, plus – depending on who’s making it – carrots, beans, cabbage, and so on.

You may be wondering why I’ve turned a relish into a soup. Well, because I love soup, I really do – to distraction. (And I’m a little annoyed that winter is over in the Southern Hemisphere, because it means the end of soups – at least hot, rib-sticking ones – until next year.) Also, I like turning recipes around to see what happens. This soup is good on its own, but the little meatballs make it really special. (And I’m grateful to my friend Nina Timm of My Easy Cooking for showing me how to make instant boerie balls.)

You can leave the baked beans out of the soup, if you like (as I did in the photographs, because I wasn’t in the mood for beans) but I recommend including them because they help thicken the soup. If you can’t find authentic South African boerewors, use a raw, loose-textured sausage and, before you roll it into balls,  mix in a teaspoon or so of toasted, ground coriander, plus some of the spices listed in this recipe.

Although it’s best on the day you make it, you can prepare soup a day in advance. For best results, though, fry the meatballs just before you serve the dish.  This is also very good with chopped green beans and cauliflower florets. If you don’t have tomato juice, use a tin or two of chopped Italian tomatoes and a little tomato paste instead.

The chickpea flour and spices are used to give the meatballs a nice, toasty crust. Chickpea flour, also known as channa flour, is available from spice shops.

Chakalaka Soup with Little Boerewors Balls

Serves 8

45ml Sunflower oil

4 carrots, peeled

3 small green peppers, finely sliced lengthways

4 onions, peeled and finely chopped

1 stick celery, finely chopped

1 green or red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped (or more, to taste)

4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed

30 ml grated fresh ginger

6 large, ripe tomatoes

1 litre tomato juice (the sort you’d use for a tomato cocktail)

750ml water or vegetable stock

2 tins baked beans in tomato sauce

10ml medium-strength curry powder

7.5ml cumin

Salt and milled black pepper to taste

125ml finely chopped fresh parsley or coriander

For the Boerewors balls

500 g slim boerewors, or similar sausage

125ml channa [chickpea] flour

5ml paprika

2.5ml turmeric

Heat the oil in a large pot. Dice two of the carrots and set the others aside. Fry the diced carrots, pepper slices, onions, celery, chilli, ginger and garlic over a medium-high heat for 8-10 minutes, or until softened but not brown. Roughly chop the tomatoes, place in a blender and pulse to form a rough purée. Pour the purée, the tomato juice and the stock into the pot and cook at a brisk bubble for 30 minutes, skimming off any foam as it rises. Stir in the baked beans, curry powder and cumin, season to taste with salt and pepper and simmer for 20-30 minutes.

For the meatballs, squeeze the boerewors filling from its casing and roll into balls the size of a marble. Combine the channa flour, paprika and turmeric on a plate and lightly roll the balls in the mixture. Fry in hot oil over a medium heat for 4 minutes, or until cooked through. Drain on kitchen paper. Coarsely grate the remaining two carrots. Serve the soup piping hot, topped with hot frikkadels, grated carrot and a shower of parsley.

This recipe was originally published on Scrumptious SA

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Luxury Braaibroodjies by Jan Braai

Luxury Braaibroodjies

Luxury Braaibroodjies

Ingredients

Slices of fresh sourdough bread

French style mayonnaise

Whole grain mustard

Gypsy ham

18 months matured cheddar

Sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil

Spring onions

Olive oil

What to do

Go for a oval shape sourdough bread as opposed to a round one. This way all the slices will be the same size. Slice the bread fairly thin, the same thickness as normal toaster bread. One has a natural tendency to slice these types of bread thicker, so be conscious of avoiding that.

Lay out half of the bread slices on a cutting board and liberally spread with the French style mayonnaise and whole grain mustard.

Add the gypsy ham, slices of cheese, sun-dried tomatoes and chopped spring onions. Do not be stingy with any of the ingredients, this is a super luxury braaibroodjie and not only should the quality of ingredients reflect it, but also the quantity.

Add the top layers of bread and drip or spread olive oil on them.

Place in a hinged grid (toeklaprooster)  and braai over medium-low heat coals. After the first turn, also spread olive oil on the other outside, the side which was at the bottom when you assembled the units. Continue to braai over the gentle coals, turning very often, until the cheese is melted and the braaibroodjies are golden brown on the outside.

It goes without saying that you serve these beauties with glasses of ice cold Methode Cap Classique. The South African – vastly superior – version of what the French call Champagne.

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Main Dishes

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Oxtail Potjie with prune and port with Drostdy-Hof Pinotage

Recipe by Chef Johan van Schalkwyk

Oxtail Potjie with prune and port with Drostdy-Hof Pinotage

Oxtail Potjie with prune and port with Drostdy-Hof Pinotage

Chef Johan van Schalkwyk could not resist teaming this succulent wine with its subtly spicy oak nuances with a potjie of oxtail in prunes and port. Whether you are camping or treating your guests to a three-course dinner, this dish is perfect for any occasion.

The full-bodied Drostdy-Hof Pinotage is available from most liquor outlets for around R40.

Ingredients:

2 medium onions, chopped

2 celery stalks, sliced

3 carrots, peeled and sliced

2 leeks, sliced and well washed to get rid of grit

6 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped

2 tins (410g) of whole peeled tomatoes

2kg oxtail

10g thyme, chopped

10g parsley, chopped

2 bay leaves

50ml balsamic vinegar

350ml Drostdy-Hof Pinotage

150ml Allesverloren Port

Zest of ½ an orange

50g prunes, pitted

1 tsp juniper berries, crushed

2 cloves, crushed

Olive oil

Flour for dusting

Salt
Coarse black pepper to taste

Method:

Place a cast-iron potjie over coals and heat well

Season oxtail pieces with salt and pepper and dust with flour by rolling them in a bowl with about a cup of flour in it and shake off the excess flour

Heat the oil in the potjie and seal in all the juices by browning the pieces of oxtail on all sides Do a couple at a time and set aside

Fry all the vegetables in the olive oil until the onions are transparent. Do not brown

Add back the meat and deglaze the potjie by adding the vinegar, wine and port

Allow some of the alcohol to burn off then add the tomatoes and bring to the boil

Scrape some coals away from underneath the potjie and allow the contents to simmer

Add the herbs, prunes, zest, bay leaves and season with salt and pepper and cover with the lid

Place two or three coals under the potjie and simmer for three to four hours. Do not stir the pot. Remove the lid every 30 minutes to check the liquid is at a gentle simmer and add some coals if necessary

The dish is done when the meat comes away from the bone

Enjoy with some creamy mashed potatoes and vegetables of your choice

Serve with a glass of Drostdy-Hof Pinotage.

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Leopards Leap Braai Basting Sauce Recipe by Chef Pieter de Jager

Works for red meat and chicken

Leopards Leap Braai Basting Sauce

Leopards Leap Braai Basting Sauce

Ingredients

80g treacle sugar

80ml soy sauce

60ml balsamic vinegar

2 bay leaves

1 Tbsp of paprika

½ tsp peri-peri

1 tsp of garlic flakes

1 tsp of mixed dried herbs

1 Tbsp of tomato paste

Method

In a saucepan, heat the sugar, soy and balsamic vinegar over moderate heat.

Allow the sugar to dissolve before adding the remaining ingredients. Cook the sauce for 2 minutes or until thickened.

Allow to cool down.

Baste meat on the braai regularly.

Turn meat regularly to prevent the basting sauce from scorching.

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Beef Wellington by Jan Braai

Beef Wellington on the Braai

Beef Wellington on the Braai

Ingredients

1 tot olive oil

1 onion (finely chopped)

250g mushrooms (finely chopped)

250ml cream

1 sprig fresh thyme

300 to 500 g steak (rump, sirloin, fillet)

400 roll of puff pastry

Grated cheese (optional)

Smoked ham (optional)

Method

Finely chop the onion and mushrooms. Add olive oil and/or butter and the finely chopped onion and mushrooms to a pan and fry until the mushrooms lose their moisture and starts to brown. Then add the thyme.

Add some or all of the cream to the pan and let this mushroom, onion and cream sauce reduce to a fairly thick paste.

Trim the steak of your choice (rump, sirloin or fillet) of all sinews and fat and braai over very hot coals for about 8 minutes until medium rare. Let the steak rest a few minutes and then thinly slice.

Unroll the thawed puff pastry on a cutting board. Spread the mushroom and cream paste on half the surface of the pastry and lay the slices of steak on top of that. Generously season with salt and pepper.

Optional step: finely chop smoked ham and grate some cheese. Add this on top of the current residents of the puff pastry.

Fold the uncovered half of the pastry over the filling and use a fork to press all open sides of the pastry closed and seal it.

Now braai in a hinged grid over medium coals for about 20 minutes until ready. You want the pastry golden brown and crispy and all ingredients heated and melted throughout. As puff pastry braais there will be a moment where it seems to ‘melt’ and sag into the grid. Don’t panic. After this it will firm up again and start to cook.

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The Klutz has called this recipe The Poor Mans Beef Wellington, which is really Justin Bonello’s braaied Beef Wellington

Think of this as a giant steak sandwich and definitely something for the boys to enjoy.

The Poor Mans Beef Wellington, which is really Justin Bonello’s braaied Beef Wellingto

The Poor Mans Beef Wellington, which is really Justin Bonello’s braaied Beef Wellingto

Ingredients:

A small handful of coriander seeds

A small handful of mustard seeds
Lots and lots of peppercorns

A couple of cloves

About 4 garlic cloves, crushed and chopped

A good pinch of Maldon salt

1 beef fillet

A drizzle of sunflower oil

1 government loaf (this is a whole loaf of bread that you buy from your corner shop)

Plenty of butter

Method:

First, you’re going to make a rub using the ingredients. Take equal amounts of coriander and mustard seeds and about double the amount of peppercorns. Put it all in a mortar and pestle and add to that a couple of cloves, garlic and a good pinch of salt. Bash everything together until you have a nice, crumbly rub

Next, take the whole fillet and coat the meat generously with the rub, pressing it into the flesh

Make a fire and when the coals are moderate to hot, put the fillet on a grid and drizzle a bit of sunflower oil over it to get the flames leaping

Cook the meat on all sides for about two minutes a side, drizzling oil and allowing the flames to lick the fillet as you go. Once sealed, remove the fillet and allow to rest

Next, take a whole white bread loaf and put it on a table so that it faces up, and cut out the top rectangle. Keep that rectangle for later then hollow out the rest of the bread

Take butter and smear it generously all over the inside. Stuff the fillet into the bread. Take the bread crust you cut out earlier and use it as a lid where the hole is. Now take tinfoil, wrap about two layers around the bread and braai it on the (hopefully now-ready) coals for about 15 minutes

When you take it off the braai, the bread should be toasty and when you cut it open, the fillet should be medium rare. If the bread isn’t toasty enough, remove the foil and let it bake on the open coals, like you would do with braai broodjies, turning it every now and then until nice and toasty.

This should feed about four relatively hungry men or one Karoo farmer.

If you’re really strapped for cash substitute the fillet with a couple of minute steaks instead, but make sure you don’t overcook the meat!

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Easy snoek braai with chili sauce

Easy snoek braai with chili sauce

Easy snoek braai with chili sauce

Ingredients

1 large snoek, cleaned

1 lemon, sliced

1 onion, sliced into half-moons

A handful of coriander

5 tsps of olive oil

2 tsps of butter

Heavy gauge tin foil

Method

If you’re a pansy like me, you’ll have bought your snoek cleaned, gutted, and decapitated. This means that the assembly is simple: roll out a large piece of foil onto a baking sheet or large breadboard (don’t cut it yet) and drizzle some olive oil onto it. Now place your fish on top of the foil, and layer your slices of lemon and onion into its cavity. Sprinkle as much coriander as you dare on top of the slices, drizzle generously with oil, and (carefully) close it up. If you’re particularly worried about it being dry, you can cut slits into the skin (at an angle, so as not to snap any bones) and slide a sliver of butter into each of them.

When it comes to the wrapping, more is more. You don’t want your buttery fish-juice to drip out onto the fire, so be careful to wrap it as water-tight as you can and place it onto a medium-hot fire.

Give each side 10 minutes on the fire, then sneakily check it by prodding a fork into the flesh and twisting. If the flesh flakes, it’s ready. Well done!

Mozambican chilli sauce

This is thick, spreadable, utterly delicious, and goes beautifully with snoek (and most fish, in fact). It’s easily made from ingredients available at any Mozambican market; but it’s not the typical thin peri-peri sauce that you might have met at a roadside stall. If that’s what you’re looking for, have a look out for Jan Braai’s Peri-Peri Sauce.

Ingredients

1 onion, diced

1 red pepper

1 large tomato, diced

8 to 10 bird’s eye chillies, chopped

3 Tbsp of chopped garlic

Juice of one lemon

2 to 3 tsps of honey

A handful of coriander, chopped

Cooking instructions

Fry the onion in a generous amount of olive oil on a medium heat until soft, then add the garlic and chili. After about two minutes, add the tomato and bell pepper and simmer until soft.

After about fifteen minutes, add the lemon juice, honey and coriander, and mix well. Simmer for another five minutes or so, until the honey has caramelised a little.

If this is more than you can finish in one sitting (fair enough: it’s powerfully hot stuff) you can cover it with olive oil and keep it in the fridge for up to two weeks.

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Salads

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Classic Caesar Salad

Classic Caesar Salad

I love a good, simple Caesar salad , remember that the true Caesar salad is a salad made up of romaine lettuce and croutons dressed with parmesan cheese, lemon juice, olive oil, egg, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, and black pepper and nothing else.

The salad’s creation is generally attributed to restaurateur Caesar Cardini, an Italian immigrant who operated restaurants in Mexico and the United States, Cardini was living in San Diego but also working in Tijuana where he avoided the restrictions of Prohibition. His daughter Rosa (1928–2003) recounted that her father invented the dish when a Fourth of July 1924 rush depleted the kitchen’s supplies. Cardini made do with what he had, adding the dramatic flair of the table-side tossing “by the chef.”

According to Rosa Cardini, the original Caesar salad (unlike his brother Alex’s Aviator’s salad) did not contain pieces of anchovy; the slight anchovy flavour comes from the Worcestershire sauce. Cardini was opposed to using anchovies in his salad.

In the 1970s, Cardini’s daughter said that the original recipe included whole lettuce leaves, which were meant to be lifted by the stem and eaten with the fingers; coddled eggs; and Italian olive oil.

The above was drawn from Wikipedia

Common ingredients in many recipes:

Romaine or cos lettuce

Olive or vegetable oil

Fresh crushed garlic

Salt to taste

Fresh-ground black pepper

Lemon or lime-juice, fresh squeezed

Worcestershire sauce

Raw or coddled egg yolks

Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Freshly prepared croutons

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The best damn potato salad recipe by Kati Auld

Although a braai is ostensibly about the meat, it’s the quality of the side-dishes that makes a braai into a feast. Everyone’s got their favourite twist on a potato salad recipe: some folks are passionate about the inclusion of hard-boiled eggs (shudder) while others say that the key is roasting the potatoes, not boiling them. This recipe’s secret weapon is nutty, buttery, roasted garlic, and it’s a life-changing addition.

I like to keep this veggie-friendly, especially when it’s just an accompaniment to piles of sticky-sweet pork chops, Garlic-Butter Steak, or Lamb Curry Sosaties: but if the thought of pigless potato salad hurts your soul, you could add bacon. If you want a salad that actually has leaves in it, you must just check out Justin Bonello’s mushroom and potato salad

The best damn potato salad

The best damn potato salad

Ingredients

1 kg of potatoes

1/3 a cup of mayonnaise

1/2 a cup of sour cream

2 tsps of chopped chives

2 heads of garlic

3 tsps of olive oil

Method

Peel the papery outer layers of each garlic head, leaving the individual cloves intact, and slice off the top of each head of garlic, and about a quarter-centimetre of each clove.

Drizzle the garlic with olive oil, trying to ensure that it goes between the cloves.

Wrap the garlic heads in tin-foil and roast them at 180 degrees for 45 – 60 minutes.

While that’s going, cut potatoes into quarters and boil until soft, approximately 30 minutes.

Once your garlic is browned and sticky (like in photo below), let it cool slightly and then carefully remove each clove, add to a bowl, and mash them with a fork.

Add your sour cream, chives and mayonnaise to the roasted garlic paste, and mix well.

Once the potatoes have cooled slightly, pour the roasted garlic mayo-mix over the top and mix well. Season to taste.

Serve in a pretty bowl, with some chives for garnish if you’re fancy.

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On the Braai Desserts

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Braaied Chocolate Mallow Pud

Braaied Chocolate Mallow Pud

Braaied Chocolate Mallow Pud

Ingredients:

An enamel coffee mug/ metal cup/ clean tin can (to put on top of the braai)

A packet of Marie biscuits/Digestive biscuits

A packet of marshmallows

Caramel treat (you could use bar one/mars bar instead of buying a tin of caramel treat AND a chocolate)

A chocolate of your choice

Custard

Method

Crumble one or two Marie Biscuits or Digestive Cookies into a metal cup or enamel coffee mug.

Add one or two Marshmallows (one white & one pink), add a few spoons of caramel treat, sprinkle on a few chunks of chocolate bar and top with Custard.

When the coals of your fire are on their last legs, put the cups on a very low heat under a suitable lid like a Weber lid or a box that has been lined with tin foil.

Leave the cups under the lid for about 5 minutes or until the marshmallows have turned mushy and the chunks of Chocolate have melted.

Remove the cups from the fire with a glove, dishcloth or paper napkin (the handles of the metal cups will be hot!) and enjoy by scoffing it down with a big spoon.

Thanks to the My Chef Blog

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Braai Roasted Brandied Clemengolds

Braai Roasted Brandied Clemengolds

Braai Roasted Brandied Clemengolds

Recipe by Sarah Graham

Preparation time: 5 min

Cooking time: 10 min

Ingredients

4 Clemengolds, halved, with peel intact

4 tsps of brandy

8 tsp of Muscovado sugar

Vanilla bean ice cream, to serve

You will also need a baking tray lined with a double layer of tinfoil.

Method

Pre-heat your braai grill to med-high. When it’s hot, place each clemengold half cut-side down and grill for about 45seconds – 1 minute. Remove and place the clemengold halves in an ovenproof baking dish, cut side facing up.

Sprinkle each half with a little brandy and muscovado sugar. Place the baking dish on your lined baking sheet and cook for 7-10 minutes until the sugar has melted and the clemengolds are just starting to bubble.

Chef’s tip:

Using a sharp paring knife, slice around the inside of each clemengold skin so that the segments are loose before you cook them, this will make them easier to remove, which means you’ll be able to get to them faster. Believe me, they’re so delicious that things could get messy.

Thanks to Sarah Graham.

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Braai Chocolate Mallow Cones

Braai Chocolate Mallow Cones

Braai Chocolate Mallow Cones

Ingredients

Ice Cream Cones

Marshmallows

Chocolate chips / broken up pieces of a chocolate

Nutella

Tin foil

You can add nuts, peanut butter, banana, and anything else that may tickle those taste buds!

Method

Fill the ice cream cones with marshmallows and the other treats.

Wrap it in tinfoil and place on indirect heat on a grill or campfire for about 5-10 minutes or until all of the contents are melted.

Unwrap and enjoy!

Thanks to the My Chef Blog

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Braaied

Braai Bread & Butter Pudding

Braai Bread & Butter Pudding

Preparation time: 15 min

Cooking time: 25 min

Recipe by Sarah Graham

Serves 6

Ingredients

8 croissants

3 Tbsp of Butter

150g of Dark chocolate chips or just dark chocolate, roughly chopped

150g of Roughly chopped pecan nuts

2 Tbsp of light brown sugar

4 eggs

2½
cups
of milk

1 tsp of vanilla extract

Generous pinch each of nutmeg and cinnamon

Double thick cream / custard for serving

A baking sheet lined with a double layer of tinfoil

Method

Pre-heat your braai to medium-high heat. Slice the croissants into about 4 parts each on the diagonal and butter each of the cut sides. (Alternatively, just melt the butter and pour over the croissant slices). Layer the slices in a medium-sized ovenproof dish, or individual ramekins. Scatter with the chocolate chips, pecan nuts and then finally the sugar.

In a mixing bowl or measuring jug, lightly whisk the eggs and then add the milk, vanilla, nutmeg and cinnamon. Pour the liquid over the bread slices. Sprinkle with the sugar, place the baking dish on the lined baking tray and braai with the lid on for 25-30 minutes (or about 20 minutes if using individual ramekins).

Remove from the oven and serve as soon as possible with the cream/custard.

Thanks to Sarah Graham.

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Braaied Bourbon/Brandy Bananas

Recipe by Sarah Graham

Preparation time: 5 min

Cooking time: 10 min

Serves 4

Braai Bourbon/Brandy Bananas

Braai Bourbon/Brandy Bananas

Ingredients

4 Ripe Bananas, peels removed

4
tsp of Bourbon or Brandy

4 tsp of Demerara or light brown sugar

2 tsp of vanilla extract

2 handful’s of walnuts (or pecan nuts), roughly chopped

4 ovenproof ramekins

1 baking tray

1 sheet tinfoil, doubled over, to fit the baking tray

Double thick cream, for serving

Method

Pre-heat your braai to the highest setting and line the baking tray with the tinfoil.

Slice the bananas and put the equivalent of 1 banana into each ramekin. Then divide the remaining ingredients between the ramekins, place on your lined baking tray and then onto your braai grill and cook for about 10 minutes, until golden and bubbling.

Serve as soon as possible with the double thick cream (or vanilla ice cream).

If you would prefer not to use brandy, substitute this with about 1 Tbsp of fresh orange juice and a drizzle of honey.

Thanks to Sarah Graham.

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Eateries of all Genera Straight Talkin’ No Punches Pulled Reviews

 

All Jazz Radio Logo Face Book1It’s getting to that time of the year when important choices need to be made, tough ones they are too. jeez, lots to ponder upon. I never really like this time of the year, but I guess both choices are and can be good, though mixing them isn’t a very good idea at all. I’m talking about two of my three favourite liquid refreshments, Beer and Pinotage. Summer is really good for beer but then again so is Pinotage under certain circumstances, I like to chill the Pinotage in the freezer for a wee bit, and never put any ice into any wine at any time, just a quick freeze chill will do it. Now the moral of this stunning disclosure is that no choice is really necessary ‘cause given the right occasion the choice will be made by the circumstance not the time, because it’s midday somewhere in the global village, therefore it’s drinking time.

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Heritage day falls on the 24th September and is also known as National Braai Day (Barbeque Day) Get the braai ready it’s going to be a wonderful meaty, beery, Pinotage and potjie day to remember.

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I see the annual Franschhoek Uncorked Festival is drawing close and runs on the 26th and 27th September. What could be better than tasting the wines of the Franschhoek Valley over that weekend, it looks like it going to be great just add wonderful food, awesome entertainment for the entire family. The hospitality offered by the participating estates will certainly enhance the entire weekends pleasure.

Find out more at: http://www.franschhoekuncorked.co.za or mail info@franschhoek.org.za or contact for any media info Pippa Pringle at pippa@onthemarque.co.za

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It’s National Apple Dumpling Day, an unofficial find holiday observed in the United States on September 17 of each year. However the Klutz in the Kitchen has decided it should be also included as an unofficial food holiday in South Africa too. The day celebrates the food item it is named for. Apple dumplings are fruit dessert.

These dessert items are made from an entire apple, which is cored, has butter and sugar added and is wrapped in dumpling dough before baking with a syrup. Apple dumplings may have additional flavourings added like rum or vanilla. The dumpling may be made from scratch or from purchased dough. The apple dumpling is the subject of a festival each year in Sinking Spring, Pennsylvania.1

National Apple Dumpling Day History

Apple Dumpling Day Photo by Chef Lee

Apple Dumpling Day Photo by Chef Lee

Dumplings are first mentioned in print documentation in the 17th century. These ancient food items were found in many cultures and included grains, vegetables, and fruit. Dumplings in ancient days were steamed, fried, and boiled depending on the food item and the culture. Dumplings range from small bits of dough like gnocchi to finger noodles like spatzle. In Europe, larger dumplings were made using local seasonings. Dumpling mixtures varied using flours, cereals, stale breads, potatoes or cheeses. 2 There is no documented mention of the evolution of the dumplings to the current day baked apple dumpling.

Celebration of National Apple Dumpling Day may involve learning to make the fruit dumpling for those who have never prepared them. If apple harvest season has begun, the day of celebration could include a trip to the orchard to pick apples to be prepared. Easy apple dumpling recipes using crescent rolls may be considered for use if children will be helping to bake the dessert. In areas where apple festivals and apple dumpling festivities are observed during the apple season, local restaurants may offer apple dumpling desserts for special sales on this day.

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Todays Recipe

Beef Stroganoff or Beef Stroganov (Russian: Бефстроганов Befstróganov) is a Russian dish of sautéed pieces of beef served in a sauce with smetana (sour cream). From its origins in mid-19th-century Russia, it has become popular around the world, with considerable variation from the original recipe. Read more at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beef_Stroganoff

Beef Stroganoff

Beef Stroganoff

This is a quick .n easy version of stroganoff, using beef fillet thats seasoned with mustard and brandy instead of paprika. It takes no time to cook and it’s wonderfully tender and delicious – makes an expensive cut of meat go a long way too. Serve with noodles if you like, or some chips go down a treat. If you prefer, you could use some well-trimmed sirloin instead of fillet.

Totally yummolicious.

Recipe

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

600g beef fillet

25g butter

1 onion, thinly sliced

250g button mushrooms, thinly sliced

1 tbsp Dijon mustard

400ml beef stock

1 tbsp vegetable oil

2 heaped tbsp soured cream or crème fraiche

1 tbsp (or more) brandy (optional)
squeeze of lemon (optional)

finely chopped parsley

sea salt
to taste

freshly ground black pepper to taste

Method:

First prepare the beef fillet. Cut it into slices ½–1 cm thick, then slice these into strips about 1cm wide. Season the meat with salt and pepper and set it aside for a few minutes.

Heat the butter in a large frying pan. Add the onion and sauté for 2 minutes, then add the mushrooms and continue to cook until both are soft. Stir the mustard into the pan, coating the onion and mushrooms thoroughly – we find it easier to add the mustard at this stage than to mix it into the stock. Pour the stock into the pan, then leave it to simmer until the liquid has reduced by about half. Stir in the crème fraiche and set the pan aside for a few minutes.

In another large frying pan, heat the vegetable oil. When it’s smoking hot, add the strips of beef. Fry, stirring continuously, until the meat is browned on all sides. This should take about a minute at the most. If you want to flambé the beef, put the brandy in a ladle and carefully heat it over a flame. When the alcohol starts to burn off (you will see the fumes), tip it very gently towards the flame and it will ignite. Immediately pour this over the beef and give it a quick stir. Stand well back when doing this and be very careful.

Reheat the onion and mushroom sauce, then add the beef. Check the seasoning and add more salt and pepper to taste. If you find the sauce too rich, add a squeeze of lemon. Sprinkle with parsley before serving.

Thanks to the Book or By Cook website for this great recipe

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Durban Street Food Festival celebrates heritage

Publicity Matters

09/16/2015 10:20:17

A Durban Street Food Festival will be held in Morrison St and Environs on Heritage Weekend from 24-27 September.

Living the wise words of travel blogger Deborah Cater who aptly said: “You have to taste a culture to understand it,” there will be a festival of Durban Street Food over the Heritage Day long weekend, at Morrison Street and surrounds in acknowledging Heritage Day and honouring the city’s diverse cultures.

The Durban Street Food Festival will offer an extensive showcase of some of the city’s most interesting food, culturally specific fare, home grown staples and meals respecting various special diets. A diverse range of vendors and foodies will be displaying and selling their wares over the weekend, encouraging visitors to sample new and interesting food: organic fresh veggie dishes; “walkie-talkies” chicken street food; coconut water; craft beer; bunny chows; shisa nyama; halaal; vegan and vegetarian fare and avocado dishes. The organisers have also included sponsored stalls for local disadvantaged street traders to ensure that visitors can experience a truly unique and authentic range of fare from the streets of Durban.

The Festival will particularly showcase food representing Durban’s various diverse cultures, as well as food typically representing the cuisine of our city’s sister city networks.

Although food is the focus of the festival, the city’s many cultures will be further honoured through its performing arts – with a stage showcasing Durban’s finest – from jazz to hip-hop; comedy to acoustic; contemporary to traditional, in music and dance. The activities will include street dance battles to small theatre performances, comedy and musical acts and DJ’s. They will be hosting a series of workshops and presentations focused on food and street culture in Durban.

A feature on Heritage Day – which is alternately known as “National Braai Day” – will be a Guinness World Record attempt at the longest time spent braai-ing. Media personality / comedian Masood Boomgaard and friends are attempting to braai non-stop for 90 hours in a charity endeavour.

The festival programme and entertainment line-up will be family-friendly during the day, and will segue to a party atmosphere as the sun sets.

In essence the event is about showcasing Durban’s diverse authentic heritage, through its food and culture.

Durban Street Food Festival

24-27 September

8 Morrison St and Environs

Thursday 24 (Heritage Day): 11am until 10pm

Friday 25 Sept: 5pm until midnight

Saturday 26 Sept: 11am until midnight

Sunday 27 Sept: 11am until 10pm.

Tickets:

Four day special R150 pre-sale through website

Daily at the door: R50

Website: http://durbanstreetfoodfestival.co.za

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/durbanstreetfood

For info, e-mail info@durbanstreetfoodfestival.co.za or contact Georgios Kretsos on 073 274 8649.

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NB, Please note that careful notes are taken at the time of the visit and all reviews are written and published a few weeks or more after the date of the visit, All meals are paid for in full

Listening to Tony Cedras’ new album Love Letter to Cape Town and met say loving it.

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hearty Goulash Soup RaithThere I was scrolling through my Twitter thinking should I or shouldn’t I, well the long and the short of it was that on the day I decided yep I would specially when I came across this picture of a bowl of soup with a message blazoned across it white chalkboard lettering Hearty Goulash Soup. Now the last time I had Goulash Soup was at the Avalon Hotel in Montague, must be 20 or more years ago. The late owner Mrs Sowade had it on her menu and was the best I had ever had, try as much as I could she would not divulge the recipe to me. Disappointed I kept searching for a decent recipe for this heart warming meaty soup, no make that stoup (a cross between soup and stew)

I’m rambling on a bit, but got to lay down the background of this story, having seen a gorgeous picture of some Hearty Goulash Soup on the Raith Facebook page, and as I was on the way to pick up the mail at Contantia Village. I though what the hell, guess as I’m in the area I might as well do it and headed to Raith Gourmet Constantia Butchery, Bakery, Restaurant, Deli, Shop in the High Constantia complex, to check out this soup.

Raith GourmetAfter picking up the mail I wondered around the Constantia Village complex, having my fill of window shopping, seeing things I wanted, but could not afford decided to head for my lunch date. On walking through the door of Raith I was immediately stopped by a waiter and asked if I wanted a table, yes I said, but first wanted to have a look around, which I duly did. Suitably impressed by the delicacies spotted on my ramble found a table and sat down, no sooner had I sat down the waiter appeared menu in hand and asked what I’d like to drink. In short I ordered a pint of Paulaner 500ml Draught, which on arrival at the table I gulped down a mouthful, thirst slaked.

I was then told of the days special. As it was a Monday, the special of the day was delicious sounding Pork Belly, slow roasted pork belly rasher with mash potato, gravy and Sauerkraut sounded good and a bargin at R85.00 for two portions, but being on my own I couldn’t justify eating two Pork Belly’s, The waiter cheerfully said I could take the other portion home for dinner. I said with a wry smile my wife would not be happy with that scenario at all. I know I don’t have a wife but thought it was a funny little joke to myself.

So I finally settled for the Pork Schnitzel, something I’d not eaten in a while and it’s served with salad greens, either bratkartoffeln or frozen chips and cranberry jelly at R75.00. I chose the bratkartoffeln because they only serve those blerry awful frozen chips, which really cheapens any restaurant into a fast food joint. Besides frozen chips are a total cop out and very lazy way of serving so called chips. Yes I’ve said it the management of Raith Gourmet Constantia Butchery, Bakery, Restaurant, Deli, Shop are lazy and sloppy and do a complete disservice to all of their customers.

The food finally arrived and being ravenous I tucked in right away. There’s another pet peeve of mine, serving a cold salad on a hot plate of food, which this was, leading to unappetising wilted salad green, luke warm tomato’s and such like and spoils the meal somewhat too. I really don’t know why experienced chefs do this, seems like they forget their basics of food prep and service.

Schnitzel RaithThe Pork Schnitzel was nicely crumbed and very tough, not sure what cut of meat it was, also not that pleasant, not bad with the cranberry jelly though, which strangely saved the day as far as the meat dish goes. The best on the plate was the bratkartoffel, sautéed thinly sliced potato rounds with crispy bacon and onions, absolutely yummolicious. Don’t know why they just get rid of chips on the menu and serve bratkartoffel or their German potato salad with all of their dishes instead. There was sadly, also an overall lack of flavour to the entire meal, I had to add lots of extra salt and pepper to coax out the flavours of the entire dish. I’m a tough critic and as the title states it’s The Klutz in the Kitchen’s Straight Talkin’ No Punches Pulled Restaurant, Bisto, Cafe, Pub, Food Truck, Street Food & Take Away Grub n’ Cooking Maguffta Reviews, no compromises just tell it like it is, that’s how the Klutz rolls.

 

Key Lime Pie

Key Lime Pie

Not one for having dessert at the best of times, ok so I’m telling a little fib, but for give me, don’t do it all the time, So I asked my friendly waiter what was on the menu for dessert. He ran through the list of cakes am pies they had and when he said the magic words, Key Lime Pie I was sold and ordered a coffee to go with it. The pie arrived and looked totally scrumptious and the coffee aroma was rich and luscious. Took a sip of the coffee and was surprised by the flavour of the smooth tasty beverage, the best darned coffee I’ve had anywhere in Cape Town and surrounds in a long time, ‘s true I tell you, loved it.

Lemon meringue pie

Lemon meringue pie

Now to the big test, The Key Lime Pie, on first mouthful the crust was crunchy and really good, the merengue topping was light and fluffy and looked good. The pie filling however was another story sadly it was not Key Lime at all, but regular lemon, thereby making it a regular Lemon Meringue Pie. Now I’ve a particular liking for both style of pie and know the taste and look of both, never the less it was really delicious.

I’m a tough critic and as the title states it’s The Klutz in the Kitchen’s Straight Talkin’ No Punches Pulled Restaurant, Bisto, Cafe, Pub, Food Truck, Street Food & Take Away Grub n’ Cooking Maguffta Reviews, no compromises just tell it like it is, that’s how the Klutz rolls.

See what’s happened, you forgot too that I’d actually forgotten too, I went to Raith’s try their famous Goulash Soup and was completely side-tracked because their entire menu looks delicious, mind you I don’t recall seeing it on their menu. I’m just going to have to pay them another visit soon, when that will happen, to soon to tell but back we will go, that’s a promise.

The Klutz in The Kitchen rates the Raith Gourmet Constantia Butchery, Bakery, Restaurant, Deli, Shop ★★★

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Klutz in the Kitchen

Klutz in the Kitchen

Review

There I was, hanging around at the computer at home checking things on Facebook, Twitter and on the Internet seeing all sorts of interesting things I decided to follow up on a couple. So I went out to try out a new coffee shop in Kenilworth called The Bootlegger, now after seeing there Facebook page with a picture of one of their burgers which was on special offer celebrating their new liquor license, now as one knows The Klutz in the Kitchen is a real sucker for a really good burger at anytime of the day.

Bootloegger logoI arrived around 11:17 on Saturday morning, looked for a table in the nearly full shop and found one, sat down, casting my eyes around he buzzing, vibrant shop, and soon after was presented with the breakfast menu by an attending waitress for which I was not there for. I asked if they had another menu and was told yes and given 3 other menus. Two of which stated they were only in operation at certain times of the day but was pleased to see the burger menu had no such restrictions.

Whilst perusing their menus I ordered a cup of their coffee, shock and horror a mini cup was served, no not an espresso cup nor a regular cup but something in between, the young waitress, hate the word waitron, noticed my look of consternation and disappointment, I said, “don’t like the small cup? er, what do you think young lady” I said. I won’t say what she said because I fear her bosses may victimize her. The offending cup was 175ml cup as opposed to a normal 250ml cup and at 20 bucks and was a serious rip off to my way of thinking. The coffee itself was horrible, bitter with scum on top. They claim huge pride in their coffee, don’t know how because it was like dishwater, ugh! It makes something I’d not drunk since a child, a certain brand of cheap chicory based instant “coffee” taste good.

The Coffee Cups

The Coffee Cups

I was now ready to order and the manager over to take my order. I told her I wanted the Burger Special as advertised on Facebook. I was told no that the kitchen for that side was not open nor were the burgers ready, huh! I was told that the burgers are made fresh and weren’t ready another huh! This was now around 11:45. I was further informed that the equipment for making and cooking the burgers was not ready, again huh! Having been in and run professional kitchens and owned restaurants I knew there was a problem and that the manageress was totally out of her depth forgetting about customer service and that the customer is king. She single handedly destroyed The Klutzes faith in the Bootlegger Coffee Company, I do however lay blame at her bosses for a complete lack of customer service training. I won’t be back at the Bootlegger in Kenilworth in a hurry nor do I recommend them highly at all.

The FB picture wot started it all

The FB picture wot started it all

I left hungry, disappointed and ripped off, shame is that I’d hoped to find a local coffee shop to arrange meetings at on a regular basis, sad it’s not to be at this stage, depends on a second visit sometime in the future. The search continues.

The Bootlegger is lucky to get ★★ = Better than bad, still not good enough, waste of time and money. Visit at ones own peril.

The Klutz in the Kitchen will be visiting one of the other branches in the near future to see if the experience is repeated.

Visited Bootlegger Kenilworth on Saturday 29 August

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All Jazz Radio Logo Face Book1Klutz in the Kitchen Confessions 

 

Nice N Spicy

Who doesn’t enjoy a good curry, huh! Some say the best Durb’s curry can only be found in, well, er, um Durban. Well, got to say the Klutz is one of those quirky grub nutters who just doesn’t like curry; he just has a weakness for a really good one, it’s Klutz Kryptonite, see. All right then, I know this is Cape Town, the Gatsby and false tooth Kingdom of Afrika, and don’t we all know there is a whopping difference between the Kaapse and Durbs curry varietals, all ‘n all.

It was with great glee that I discovered a new little place, to me, a couple of months ago in my home range of Claremont, Belvedere Road to be precise, called Nice ‘n Spicy. On entering the tiny space the aroma’s engulphed warmly and rapping one in a blanket of gorgeous flavours, immediately my mouth began salivating in anticipation of what was to come. It was a surprise to see a well-known face, apron bedecked somewhat rotund character behind the counter. Hey I’m rotund too, so no slight intended, comes with age see. Former Cape Town radio DJ, Lee Downs, yes and somewhat surprised, as I did not know he had any cooking aspirations or credentials at all.

We started chatting, catching up on occurrences of the past few years, then the inevitable question arose, what does a former radio personality do after the glitz and glamour of commercial fades? Easy answer, he said, he is a food lover and has been for years, so what better than to open a place that features homemade nosh from his childhood. Bunny Chow, a multiplicity of Curry’s, Solomes, Samoosa’s, Hamburgers, Homemade Pickles and what has become a firm favourite of mine, the Pulled Beef Marsala Sarmie, totally morish, but beware it’s highly addictive, though I’m a large fella could not finish two in one sitting. There is a small seating area, very small, being a take away, so I sat down to enjoy the Sandwich, yummolicious, mouth tingling, telling me it was enjoying the spicy concoction. I promptly ordered another to take home for dinner later.

Been back a couple of times and eventually tried the Bunny, which was large, tasty, spicy like a good curry should be. I couldn’t finish off the container, the contents however did not last long, full of flavour it was, the only drawback was the lack of potato in the heady spicy mutton stew, only a small piece of the starch was included. Not to serious an infringement in the Klutzes eyes but will make sure to ask for extra potato’s on the next visit.

I highly recommend curries and specially that wonderful Pulled Beef Marsala sarmie, but I will have to have a good strong talk and boxing match with myself when next visiting, ‘cause I’ve got to try some of the other menu items.

The Klutzes Grub Rating for Nice ‘n Spicy is ★★★★ = Enjoyable, pleasant and satisfactory, worthy of a visit from time to time.

Email The Klutz In The Kitchen at klutzinthekitchen@alljazzradio.co.za

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It’s not often I find myself in the Sea Point area but last night saw me heading there after a meeting with American Berlin based blues man Sydney “Guitar Crusher” Selby and his good wife Mara who were visiting the Mother City. I was alerted to their stay at the Hilton Hotel in Cape Town. We met up at 18:30 in their hotel room after their all day winelands excursion. After spending some time with them on leaving the hotel, I thought it would be a great chance to visit another of Saul Beder’s food emporiums, Franky’s Diner in the Main Road of Sea Point. As I drove along the main road of Sea Point I drove past the Diner only on the slow drive back again did I find Franky’s, better signage is needed.

Franky's Diner logoIt was a chilly, but very quiet night with few people at the tables and was met and warmly welcomed by a very affable waiter and the establishment’s manager. On being seated. The waiter, Yossi ran through the “Blue Plate Specials” for the night and left to get the Homemade Lemonade, which I ordered. If truth be told it was that beverage which drew me to visit the Diner, ‘cause it not often one finds real Homemade Lemonade on any menu in Cape Town. I perused the menu. It took a little while for the drink to arrive; I did not expect it to take as long as it did on such a quiet night.

When Yossi finally arrived with my drink I decided to try the Special of the night which was a Double Stack Burger, two beef patties with a Hash Brown between the Patties and topped with Bacon and a Fried Egg and Pan Fried Onions naturally there was the ubiquitous uncooked tomato, lettuce and onion on the bottom bun. Also on the plate were a couple of breaded onion rings, chips and a small plastic bowl of coleslaw. Sounds good huh! Looked good too.

Not the "Blue Plate Special" but a typical Franky's Burger

Not the “Blue Plate Special” but a typical Franky’s Burger

Now, where to start, chips and onion ring’s are a good place, both were blerry awful, both were manufactured in some sweatshop factory in Cape Town and I couldn’t taste any potato or onion respectively. Why is it that restaurants serve up such crap when there is so much wonderful fresh produce around to give the diner an experience of excellence? It’s easy to get real potatoes and onions and chop and make them fresh to order. So far not a good start to my eating experience.

Cutting into the burger was far from easy to do, two slabs of tough, heavily compressed of minced meat. Horribly flavourless, a little salt and pepper whilst cooking on the griddle would have helped. The basing sauce was not to bad and about the only flavour profile on the pattie’s, the sauce was kind of an afterthought. The hash brown disappeared into a globular squashed mess between the two patties. The bacon was cooked to my preference, soft crispy, but the egg was very over fried with the yolk looking like a casino chip and should have been a lush, runny, compliment, to the whole burger, so not too good, neh! Wait there’s more, the top bun had some pan fried onions stuck to some white sauce, mayo perhaps? The bun on the bottom was a soggy mess of hot lettuce, and tomato. The best thing on the plate was the coleslaw, tasty, tangy crunchy and fresh.

Chocolate Double Thick

Chocolate Double Thick

Any other good to come from the evening, yes the Homemade Lemonade was excellent and the Chocolate Double Thick was not to shabby but then who can screw up such a simple thing. All in all not a very good meal at all, yes Franky’s Diner may be a fast food joint but there is no excuse for not using fresh produce and making sure that the burgers are juicy and flavourful instead of frozen bricks of minced meat.

The menu is very uninspiring, predictable and really quite boring. I would like to see some more American Diner style foods such as Meatloaf, Classic Potato Salad, Fried Chicken, Honey Butter and Biscuit Sandwiches, Cheesy Chili Mac & Cheese, Chicken Pot Pie, Crispy Grilled Cheese Sandwich, Grilled Corn on the Cob with a flavourful butter, like chilli lime, Biscuit’s and Gravy, Huevos Rancheros, Buttermilk-Chive Mashed Potatoes, a good really Poor Boy. I mean there are some really great ideas to create a really exciting menu in addition to the ubiquitous burgers and hot dogs on offer, and the “Blue Plate” Special will be something special.

The main thing I would like to see is more fresh produce and foods done and prepared on the premises. There are many burger joints in Cape Town and most offer the same style of menu, I just hope that owners will take some more pride in their offering which if done may leave a marked impression on the bottom line. Fresh is best.

There is another American Styled Diner I’ve yet to visit and will be reviewing them very soon.

Please feel free to suggest a place to visit or write a review and send it to us at info@alljazzradio.co.za with Klutz Review in the subject line.
See the reviews below.

The Klutz in the Kitchen rating – ★★

The Klutz in the Kitchen pays for all food and drink consumed when reviewing venues, and all visits are unannounced and never booked at all. The Klutz will visit the venue again in a few months after the review is published on the website and social media pages. The second visit is to see if any improvements have been implemented and will again review the venue. The Klutz takes careful notes during his visits then after the meal chats casually to the staff and chef about the menu and food to gain a better insight into the venue. His reviews are posted some time after his visit so as to regain a sense of anonymity.

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Klutz in the Kitchen - Guitar4

The Klutz in the Kitchen’s Grub Review

Lyra's Logo

Monday night at Lyra’s Restaurant Rondebosch is just not another week night, it’s Jam Session Night, so one can expect a night of cool jazz by mix of the numerous musicians, instruments in hand waiting to be invited on stage, just a figure of speech, on the floor to perform. Damn, the Klutz has cracked the whip, so got to get on with the task at hand, evaluating the service, food and ambience.

On arrival I was taken to my booked table with a menu laid down and asked what I wanted to drink, so naturally I said beer, draught beer. On asking of the draught beer menu I was hoping for a long cool Heineken, but told they only had one beer on tap, expecting the worst, Castle, I was told they only had Windhoek much to my relief, as that was to be my second choice. After a long wait the amber cooling liquid arrived, icy. Being thirsty I took a long hard quaff of the magical golden liquid of the god’s immediately knowing that it would not last long. After that sipping away merrily as the band was setting up, perusing the rather shabby, sorry looking menu, scuffed and plastic cover torn whilst waiting for the All Jazz Radio Webitor, Carol Martin to arrive. I was told that they have a Jam Session special which one could choose, in any combination, a pasta dish and a pizza for under a 100 Bucks which to a poor and highly underpaid Online Jazz Radio Presenter’s wage was very good value, indeed. Being a chef the klutz knows the margins on such dishes.

When Carol arrived she too ordered a pint and started perusing the menu

. I knew immediately what I was going to have because when Pasta is involved it’s got to be Lasagna, the yardstick I judge and evaluate Italian style eateries on. Between chatting and quaffing the Draught, the damn glass emptied just far too soon, also being a warmish evening helped do the job too, so I naturally ordered another.

Not a picture of the dish I had, just an impression. I keep forgetting that there is a camera on my phone. ☺

Not a picture of the dish I had, just an impression. I keep forgetting that there is a camera on my phone. ☺

This time sipping of the nectar slowly, having placed our order, Carol chose the Linguine Alfredo, and I the Lasagna with strict instructions that if the dish was not hot in the centre the venues chef was going to pay for our entire meal. Only kidding on that threat, cause The Klutz knows what chefs get paid these days, and the waiter was not to know it was really an empty threat, so after a rather longish wait the dishes arrived. Nice portions, The Alfredo looked very good as did the Lasagna, now for the big but! Why oh why do restaurants send out a cold salad on a hot plate laying next to the hot dish containing layered baked pasta dish, big pet peeve of the Klutzes, no one likes a wilted salad. Along with the garlic pizza we’d ordered, came a small portion of Chilli, not sauce, more of a past, grated pecorino and in a bowl on the pizza, sour crème. Sjoe, hot cannot describe the chilli

Doing the knife stab test in the Lasagna and holding it in the centre of the bowl of what looked really yumolicious Italian baked perfection. The knife came out at the perfect temperature, so partially satisfied I tucked quickly in to the tasty, cheesy, tomato meaty goodness that oozed out of the pasta layers and with a sprinkling of pecorino all over the top it was yummolicious. It was Lasagna that even the baked pasta-devouring machine that is Garfield would truly have enjoyed and respected, compliments to the chef.

Linguine Alfredo

Linguine Alfredo

Carol said she enjoyed her Linguine Alfredo which Lyra’s on their menu says it’s a Classic with ham, mushrooms and sliced peppers in a cream based sauce. Sadly not a classic Italian Alfredo because the true Classic Alfredo dish is made of fettuccine tossed with Parmesan cheese and real butter and that’s it, no cream or anything else then it may be called an Alfredo.

Booking is essential, visit their website for details at http://www.lyras.co.za

Alfredo Di Lelio, who was a restaurateur who opened and operated restaurants in Rome, Italy, throughout the early to mid 20th century, named the dish, sjoe! the Klutz is just showing off now.

All in all it was an enjoyable evening whiling away the hours with good food, good beer, good friends and jazz, not a shabby way to spend a Monday night. I shall return.

Fettucine Alfredo Photo Credit: Landon Nordeman

Fettucine Alfredo Photo Credit: Landon Nordeman

Here is the Original Fettuccine Alfredo that any Klutz in the Kitchen can make very quickly and easily/

Ingredients

500g dried fettuccine

250g unsalted butter

250g finely grated Parmesan, pecorino can be use at a push it’s a little cheaper.

Method

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add fettuccine and cook, stirring occasionally, until pasta is al dente, about 8 minutes. Meanwhile, cut butter into thin pats and transfer to a large, warmed platter. Drain pasta, reserving 3⁄4 of a cup of the pasta water, and place the pasta over the butter on the platter. Then sprinkle grated Parmesan over the pasta and drizzle with 1⁄4 cup of the reserved pasta water. Using a large spoon and fork, gently toss the pasta with the butter and cheese, lifting and swirling the noodles and adding more pasta water as necessary. The pasta water will help create a much smoother sauce. Work in any melted butter and cheese that pools around the edges of the platter. Continue to mix the pasta until the cheese and butter have fully melted and the noodles are coated, about 3 minutes. (For a quicker preparation, bring the reserved 3⁄4 cup pasta water and the butter to a boil in a 30cm skillet; then add the pasta, sprinkle with the cheese, and toss with tongs over medium-low heat until the pasta is creamy and coated, about 2 minutes.) Serve the fettuccine immediately on warmed plates.

At this point I must add that The Klutz in the Kitchen using his own recipe has made a potful of lekkerlicious minced beef curry with potato’s, peas, carrots, celery and bacon with a touch of sriracha for a wee bit more kick and is cooking down slowly on the stove top, be ready for dinner tonight, though tasting better every time I check the pot. J

The Klutz in the Kitchen pays for all food and drink consumed when reviewing venues, and all visits are unannounced and never booked at all. The Klutz will visit the venue again in a few months after the review is published on the website and social media pages. The second visit is to see if any improvements have been implemented and will again review the venue. The Klutz takes careful notes during his visits then after the meal chats casually to the staff and chef about the menu and food to gain a better insight into the venue. His reviews are posted some time after his visit so as to regain a sense of anonymity.

See The Klutz in the Kitchens Grub Review here.

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The Klutz in the Kitchen with his shredding guitar

The Klutz in the Kitchen with his shredding guitar

So Sunday brings to the end the weekend, so the Klutz in the Kitchen decides on the spur of the moment take mum of to lunch. Now when I visit on Sunday’s I’m personally very tired of the institutionalized meals of the retirement village she resides in. On picking her up her first question was where’re you taking me to, I said can’t talk now I’m driving, the traffic was hell you see, the annual cycle tour was on forcing cars to take alternative routes to the south, anyhoo it was just a defection tactic so that I didn’t have to tell her where I’d planned to take her, wanted it to be a bit surprise, see. Finally arriving at out destination, by now she could see the restaurant she gave a squeal of delighted surprise exclaiming she’d not been here in years, er, um, make that quite a number of years The Barristers façade loomed large and inviting and there I was just waiting for the first icy sip of my beer, ho boy, delicious, refreshing it was too the Windhoek slid down my throat with graceful ease, mum also enjoyed hers too. We decided on the Cesar Salad to share as a starter, not to difficult to stuff up, eh! Everything was perfect except the leaves of the salad, nary a leaf of cos lettuce in sight; they were spinach or some such like, just really blerry awful. It’s one of my favorite salads, having had it a number of times at this venue and they’ve stuffed it up barring once. No more Caesar Salad ever again at Barristers.

Klutz in the Kitchen ConfessionsI thought ok, the main dish was going to synch again a simple dish, I decided on the Steak, Egg and Chips and mum not being a beef eater chose the Pork Chop Veg and Chips. After ordering another couple of pints, make that half pint for mom the grub arrived, looking good on the plates and being hungry we tucked in. The chips really nice of the hand cut variety not those horrid extruded excuses things that one gets at a certain steakhouse chains. Mom enjoyed the accompanying veg, carrots and peas. As to the pork chop, lets just say tough and not easy to cut with the serrated steak knives and very little sauce/gravy to keep the little piece of porker moist. Now to my steak, can only say it wasn’t cooked to my request, medium rare, more medium it was and not an aged piece of steak at all, rather somewhat tough it was too and again too little basting sauce covering it. I’ve been to this venue a few times to catch the jazz on Sunday evening and have yet to have a really good meal experience and as the Klutz in the Kitchen I do have high expectations and have the right to those expectations and when reviewing any venue I tell it how it is and don’t pull any punches at all, nor will I compromise for any reason whatsoever. I had the same dish at the Perseverance Tavern in town before Buddy Wells’ gig on Thursday and boy what a difference it was, a beautiful Steak, Egg And Chips was serve, meat tender and juicy, egg over easy, perfect and the chips total perfection. What further can I say do I give Barristers another chance after four attempts to experience a really good pub lunch at the popular eatery, pray do tell me please.

 

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Klutz in the Kitchen

Klutz in the Kitchen

My alter ego has not been very well at all over that past few months since his enforced hospital stay. Fear not he’s a tough old codger and is battling through the trials and tribulations of his stoically. He is also very lucky to have me, your friendly Klutz in the Kitchen who is now completely tired of chicken, I mean just how often can one make chicken soup. I’m tired of eating or should I say drinking the brothy stuff and don’t want to see another chicken in a pot again for a looooogn time.

It’s also Fritters Day today and I’m partial to Pumpkin Fritters but really hate making them, nuff said, but these little tasty morsels find themselves mage in may different ways and styles

Fritters are fruits or vegetables or small cakes that are fried in batter. Try your hand at preparing some today, Fritters Day.

Here’s a tasty recipe from Benin the Klutz has found, known as; Akkra Funfun

Akkra Funfun logo

Ingredients

1½ cups dried white beans

¼ cup water

2 teaspoons salt
oil for deep-fat frying (a mixture of two parts peanut oil to one part palm oil gives an authentic taste)

2 tablespoons finely chopped onions
salt, to taste
cayenne pepper, to taste

Akkra FunfunMethod

Wash and soak the beans and cook them according to directions on the package. Drain them well and place in a blender with the water and salt. Blend until they form a thick, doughlike paste. (Add more water if necessary.)

Heat the oil to 350 to 375 degrees F in a deep, heavy saucepan or a deep-fat fryer.

Fold the chopped onion, salt, and cayenne pepper into the bean paste. Drop the mixture into the oil 1 tablespoon at a time and fry until golden brown, drain the fritters on paper towels and serve while hot.

Coarsely chopped hot Guinea pepper-type chills or finely chopped okra may also be added to the mixture.

Akkra Funfun Fritter balls

Akkra Funfun Fritter balls

The Yoruba people of South Western Nigeria and South Eastern Benin are notorious snackers. They are also legendary merchants. Markets and snacking come together perfectly, as one offers ample opportunity for the other. One of the classic dishes of Yoruba cooking is Akkra. A fritter made from either black-eyed peas or white beans, this dish has crossed the Atlantic to be found in many different guises. 

In Brazil the Akkra has been transformed into Acaraji – a black-eyed pea fritter that is not only Bahias quintessential finger food but also the ritual offering made to Yansan, the goddess of tempests in the Candomble religion. 

In the French Antilles, Akkra becomes Accras de Morue, made from salted codfish that has been fried in a batter. There, these fritters are the traditional starter for any Creole meal and a perfect accompaniment for the Ti-Punch that is the areas traditional cocktail. In Barbados, the African waste-not-want-not theory of cooking comes together with Akkra to produce Pumpkin Accra, yet another twist on this traditional snack.

Recipe Source: Iron Pots and Wooden Spoons: Africa’s Gifts to New World Cooking / Jessica B. Harris

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Eateries of all Genera Straight Talkin’ No Punches Pulled Reviews

Klutz in the Kitchen - Guitar3Of late there has been a steep growth in burger joints not just any burger joints, offering a range of “gourmet” burgers. Even the fast growing food truck movement has got on the bandwagon.

The humble mince patty has grown in stature since way back in the 12th century when the nomadic Mongols carried food made up of several varieties of milk (kumis) and meat (horse or camel during their journeys. During the life of their leader Genghis Khan (1167–1227), the Mongol army occupied the western portions of the modern-day nations of Russia, Ukraine, and Kazakhstan, forming the so-called Golden Horde. This cavalry dominated army was fast moving and sometimes unable to stop for a meal, so they were often forced to eat while riding. They would place a few pieces of meat in the form of fillets wrapped in skin and placed under their saddles so that it would crumble with the constant jogging and be cooked by the heat from the animal. This recipe for minced meat spread throughout the Mongol Empire until its split in the 1240s, thanks to Wikipedia for this small part of ‘burger history. Moving forward in time to when it was served on the Hamburg/USA liners crossing the Atlantic to America and then finally the USA adopted the mince delight as its own, thus was born a global culinary phenomenon.

HudsonsWith this all in mind I headed to Hudson’s Burger joint in Claremont to try their “gourmet” patties. On finding a table on the terrace on a beautiful warm summer day i was attended to by a smiling toothy young check shirted, miniskirt-clad waitress, a first for a long while, smiling that is. First big points to the venue, that turned to a huge minus when the menu was presented, a rather scruffy paperboard menu, which had seen better days a long time ago. I took my time perusing the dirty hard to read menu. It’s was a rather large menu offering a number of other types of grub, but it was a ‘burger I was after. There are a variety of 20 either 180g or 250g ‘burgers on offer plus a selection of 60g Sliders to choose from. After finishing my first cola and ordering another, no beer as I was driving you see.

I decided on a slider selection, as I could not make up my mind of what to order. On offer was The East Village, Harlem and TriBeCa selections each consisted of three 60g mini burgers with different sauces. I chose the East Village mini ‘burger selection made up of The Cheese topped with tomato relish, onion marmalade and cheddar cheese, The Wiseguy topped with tomato relish, fresh chilli, jalapeño and rocket and The Original Royale topped with bacon, cheddar, chilli and battered onion rings.

Enjoying the sunshine, the cola, damn on a day like it was a craft beer would have been better but hey I took an oath to myself that I would not drink if I was driving and was going to be at a place for less than an hour. I figure one beer would be ok if I was going to spend more than an hour and a half at a place, time enough for the alcohol to dissipate me thinks.  Anyhow back to the mini meal.

The three ‘burgers were presented on what can be best described as a plank which like the menu had seen much better days, now I don’t quite like the idea of any food being served on anything wooden for sanitary and health reasons. The one I got with the ‘burgers had a piece of paper on top of the board and showed many bacteria filled knife cuts through the varnish and was quite beat up, ugh!

Now to the mini ‘burgers, each with is sauce was atop three tiny stale bread buns which were much smaller than the 60g meat patties, worst of all the bottom half of the buns were a wet and soggy mess, very unappetising. The mince patties were overcooked and very bland with no seasoning, I think the chef thought that no one would notice the missing flavours, relying on the relish and chilli to cover that lack of flavour. The battered onion ring on the Royale was totally soggy, ice cold and awful. What was served show a totally lack of respect for the paying customer and worst again a total lack of respect for the food by the cooks concerned. Our Klutz in the Kitchen doesn’t miss a trick; everything is checked when reviewing any venue’s menu and meals. I did enjoy the tomato relish with the chillis and the onion marmalade wasn’t too bad at all but that all, with all that said it was an unsatisfying time spent at Hudsons Burger joint in Claremont.

The Klutz can only rate the venue ★★★ = Middling, tolerable, almost acceptable to adequate, could be still better.

Klutz in the Kitchen - Guitar4The Klutz in the Kitchen pays for all food and drink consumed when reviewing venues, and all visits are unannounced and never booked at all. The Klutz will visit Hudsons Burger Joint again in a few months to see if any improvements have been implemented and will again review the venue.

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The Klutz in the Kitchen’s Grub Reviews:- Slug and Lettuce, Newlands

Slug & Lettuce sepia

So there I was, at a loose end one morning and decided to try out the Slug and Lettuce below the Spur in Newlands, having driven past it a number of times. Breakfast was on my mind, which is something I seldom do, and it was early for me on a weekday morning, so thought in for a penny, in for a pound and went if to check the place out. It was previously a French Bistro, which I’d never been to; they weren’t there long enough for me to try. There were only one table inside when I got there, with no one to greet me I found myself a table and plonked my butt down. A very surly dour po-faced waiter came over with the small laminated menu when he noticed I was at a table. Breakfast on one side and the other lunch specials. I said I wanted to see the full menu and the waiter gave me a strange look of incredulity, his face said it all, WTF do you want it for. Dumb ass I’m customer, you waiter, get it.

Slug & Lettuce newlandsAfter having a good look through all the menus, which were quite boring and pedestrian as with so many franchise restaurants. I wonder what the waiter would have said had I wanted a brunch. Being 11:00 am I decided on The Seanie made up of two slices of toast covered with tomato based savoury mince and topped with two fried eggs, sounds good and simple, neh! On giving my order to the sour waiter slinked off to place the order. I was not asked how I wanted the eggs, which pissed me off, but I was reviewing the place did not make waves as I wanted the full service experience. I had a cold drink that I sipped on whilst waiting for the food. When it arrived dropped it in front of me and he skipped quickly away. I was irritated and somewhat unhappy with what was presented on the plate, one perfect egg and the other, broken yolk and overcooked. Big mistake which should never have left the kitchen pass had the and waiter been trained correctly or the kitchen staff taken pride in their work or had the chef/owner been in the kitchen. The mince lacked seasoning, was quite bland and flavourless. I wonder what the rest of the food is like, if the same standards are used even though The Seanie is really a very simple dish to make and prepare, any Klutz in the Kitchen with rudimentary cooking skills could do better.

What the savoury mince on toast with eggs should have looked like.

What the savoury mince on toast with eggs should have looked like.

The Klutz can only rate the venue ★★ = Better than bad, still not good enough, waste of time and money. Visit at ones own peril.

The Klutz in the Kitchen pays for all food and drink consumed when reviewing venues, and all visits are unannounced and never booked at all. The Klutz will visit the Slug again in a few months to see if any improvements have been implemented and will again review the venue.

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Eateries of all Genera Straight Talkin’ No Punches Pulled Reviews

Where does one find the Best Pub Lunch in the Southern Suburbs of Cape Town?

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The Village BistroIt wasn’t a good week having learned of the passing of a broadcast colleague and was in Meadowridge to attend the funeral service, I was too early so thought to use my time in the area wisely and not having had breakfast I decided to lunch at Village Bistro, though not a pub or offering pub faire.

The venue had been established way back in 1989, starting off as a small really nice coffee shop, vivid memories come to mind, having a girlfriend living in the area. Over the years the venue transformed into what is now the Village Bistro and run by Chef and Owners Peter and Lindsay Ward whose connections to the place going back years.

The place was busyish with what seemed to be many Meadowridgers filling seats. On being seated I perused the menu, which offered a variety of international style dishes and there were a few specials on offer. These were written, rather badly, on a chalkboard above the open plan cooking area, none appealed to me. Then continuing to read through the small uninspiring menu it hit me, a wonderful dish I’ve not had since my restaurant cooking days years ago, Ossobucco that wonderful traditional Milanese speciality of cross-cut veal shanks braised with vegetables, white wine and broth, but wait this was not the traditional Osso Bucco, this was Lamb Shank Osso Bucco in a tomato herb sauce served with grilled gnocchi romaine and garnished with a traditional cremolata. Not wanting a beer as I was going to a funeral after the meal I stuck to drinking a coke.

The Lamb Shank Osso Bucco arrived and was not looking particularly mouth watering in the bowl it was served but was rather drab. I though oh no, problems, though the meat fell from the bone which was great, but I was disappointed that the flavours were lacking. The lamb was tasteless and bland as were the overcooked mushy vegetables in the dish. This was a modern tack on a traditional Italian dish, which did not work for me at all, sadly.

The Village Bistro is currently not recommended by the Klutz in the Kitchen at all at this juncture, and receives ★★★ = Middling, tolerable, almost acceptable to adequate, could be still better

The Klutz in the Kitchen will not write Village Bistro off as of yet, and will visit again in a few months to see if any changes have been made and will again review the venue.

The Klutz in the Kitchen pays for all food and drink consumed when reviewing venues, and all visits are unannounced and never booked at all.

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Eateries of all Genera Straight Talkin’ No Punches Pulled Reviews

Where does one find the Best Pub Lunch in the Southern Suburbs of Cape Town?

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Rascal’s in KenilworthWhat can be said about this neighbourhood joint? Well, er, lots. Picture the scene, Saturday around midday and the Klutz has this fixation to find some more pub grub to checkout, specially a good pot pie, so he heads to a place he’s seen but never visited before, this after careful and painstakingly thorough Interweb research, heads off to Rascal’s in Kenilworth. After finding parking heads into the venue past full tables on the porch, but relatively unfilled interior. One knows that it’s a sports pub, what with all the soccer mostly Man U memorabilia aborning the walls. I thought it prudent to keep my allegiances to myself. After wondering around like a loose football in search of a boot, and no interest shown by the wait staff I realized I’d left my cell in the car so headed out to retrieve it. On returning, again no interest shown by the staff, with peoples names and numbers on bits of paper on the tables I thought were bookings I pulled a waiter aside to ask where I should sit, she said anywhere which I duly did. I was brought the menu and I ordered a “pint”. The beer arrived and she disappeared. I took the first sip and was disappointed, cool beer, not chilled as I was expecting. I started going through the menu and was excited by the choices, which soon turned to disappointment, no pub lunches on the menu. After sitting for almost and hour, menu open by now very warm beer almost finished and no assistance from any of the wait staff although they were bustling past me far to many times to count, I managed to get the attention of a waiter and complain about the warm beer and asked a cold one and asked about the pub lunches, finally I was brought a pub menu and asked for the manager to join me. When he did I started tearing him another one, and after the requisite excuses and stories and the offer of another beer, which I declined after all I was there to review the joint.

I knew what I wanted; I was there for traditional pub lunch faire, the Pie that on being told was homemade and was the clincher. I was actually told the pie dough was made on the premises and the filling made by an outside contractor, huh! Really, homemade? Because they had a pizza oven I decided to get a garlic pizza to start off with, which when it arrived came with some curry sauce, chopped garlic and a chilli oil on the side. The pizza bread was nice and thin with a really nice crunch to it on the first bite, the curry sauce was dead on great and the chilli was killer hot, all in all a great start to the lunch. The beer by this time was on its way to be chilled as it should, so was better than the first and I started enjoying as I waited for the pie and chips to arrive.

When it finally got to my table I was horrified to see the plate with a soggy pie covered with and floating on a sea of gravy, very unappetising it looked. On first bite the sensation of chewing into a wet tea towel came to mind and the taste was awful. Firstly the gravy was out of a packet and the pie filling was a congealed tasteless mess. The meat was like chewing old boot leather, by now I’m not a happy chappy at all. That ended the visit to the pub pretty darn quick, and left a very bad taste on the taste buds.

Rascals is not recommended by the Klutz in the Kitchen at all at this juncture, and receives ★★ = Better than bad, still not good enough, waste of time and money. Visit at ones own peril, however we will not write the place off as yet, we will visit again in a few months to see if any changes have been made and will again review the venue.

The Klutz in the Kitchen pays for all food and drink consumed when reviewing venues, visits are unannounced and not booked.

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The All Jazz Radio Great Southern Suburbs Best Pub Lunch search is underway. Pub visit #2

Where does one find the Best Pub Lunch in the Southern Suburbs of Cape Town?

barristers logoBarristers Newlands

It was Barristers Newlands a warm Thursday when I decided to try the Barristers Pub Lunch menu. Now I have always enjoyed the steaks at this very popular eatery in the heart of Newlands and yet have never tried the Pub Lunch menu. So with The All Jazz Radio Great Southern Suburbs Best Pub Lunch Search underway I thought this would be a great time to test the waters, so to speak. And as the menu invites one to “Come and join us. Pull up a chair. Have a taste. Life is so endlessly delicious.” I did just that. I was welcomed and shown to a table indoors as the patio area was quite full. Being warm I ordered a pint but was a wee bit disappointed that it was not as cold as it should have been, more chilled than icy. I felt like a salad I decided to start with a Caesar Salad, described on the menu as a “Traditional Caesar salad, with cos lettuce, crispy bacon bits, anchovy fillets, capers and quartered boiled egg. Comes with Caesar dressing on the side”. The salad looked truly inviting just the right thing on a balmy warm day. On the first bite, the cos lettuce was not as crispy as described and the end bits were brown and somewhat off-putting. The bacon bits were overcooked and could not be speared by the fork and the egg yoke also way over cooked. All in all not a great start.

The pub menu is quite extensive with a wide selection of pub faire, but no crusty beef or chicken pie instead there was Cottage Pie, which was described as a “delicious savoury mince, covered in creamy mashed potatoes and a side salad”. This sounded quite appealing but as I was there for a pie, so ordered it. Service was quite average and relatively slow. The Cottage Pie arrived on a plate in a rectangular bowl and the side salad resting against the hot pie dish. One thing I dislike more than anything is hot wilted salad leaves and warm soggy tomato. I dug into the Cottage Pie though the mash and hot a forkful of mince and mash and shazam no flavour. The mince was quite watery and unappealing needing a lot of added salt and pepper. The mash topping was equally tasteless again missing seasoning and very watery and not fluffy creamy and buttery as I believe good mash should been sadly.

Overall the meal was a failure and I would not rate it at all. Will I be back, yes because I like to check if the errors I discovered have been fixed and again will report back in the near future.

The Klutz in the Kitchen Rates the venue – ★★

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The Klutz in the Kitchen Rating System

★= Really bad, horrible, unpleasant, and abysmal

★★ = Better than bad, tolerable with a show of promise

★★★ = Middling, acceptable to adequate, not too bad but could be still better

★★★★ = Enjoyable, pleasant and satisfactory, visit at anytime

★★★★★= Magnificent, really fantastic, truly well worth a visit

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The All Jazz Radio Great Pub Lunch/Grub Search Pub #1

2014 ALL JAZZ RADIO VERY SMALL LOGOWhere does one find the Best Pub Lunch in the Southern Suburbs of Cape Town?

Last week I decided to start some research on Pub Fare available in Ward 59 where I reside; the Claremont – Kenilworth – Newlands – Rondebosch areas to start with and may spread our wings further afield over the coming weeks.

I  started with that firm old favourite of so many, The Foresters Arms better known as Forries in Newlands on last week. Established in 1852, Foresters Arms is the oldest pub in South Africa! In fact, it has been listed in the Guinness Book of Records for the most beer sold in the Southern Hemisphere.

forries newlands logo1 The truth be told I hadn’t been to Forries for well over 30 years. I have many wonderful memories of those heady days at the old Forries. On arrival a waiter greeted me with a pleasant smile of welcome, with the lunchtime rush over I was looking forward to some really excellent service along with some really great pub grub. The wait staff was not as attentive as they should have been, don’t know whether it was because the lunchtime rush was over or what and they had shifted down a couple of gears. The pub itself was practically empty however the garden was still abuzz. Eventually I got my pint and menu and took a good look through the entire thing. I was there for the pub grub, not the Al-La-Carte.

I eventually decided on the Steak and Stout Pie, which according to the menus is “a traditional old English favourite, with a crispy pastry top, and served with chips Freshly prepared to order, takes a little longer, but is well worth the wait!” It looked like it when it finally arrived; the pastry was deep brown and flaky as it should be. The accompanying chips were blerry awful soft and mushy, why is it chefs go the frozen route with chips I don’t know, wake up peeps the only way to go the fresh vege route which always wins, hand cut chips made from fresh potatoes are always the best. I would have preferred the choice either fluffy creamy mash or new potatoes in their jackets on the side. A big bunch of points deducted for those chips.

The pie filling did not live up to my expectations at all, though the meat was quite chunky, I just could not find any stout or beef flavour in the mix, there was also an unexpected pungent herby/spice I couldn’t quite put my taste buds to, still don’t know what it was, it was quite unpleasant. it was something that really killed all the other flavours and spoiled the entire dish for me. At R88.00 for what was plated was not worth the price at all, blerry expensive, either fix flavour or take it off the menu. If it is to be kept on the menu, once the flavours have been fixed serve a side of salad with the dish to add value. It would have been a good idea to have a fresh roll to soak up the gravy too. I will pat another visit in a couple go moths to see if they have fixed the problems.

All in all not a very good start to the 2014 All Jazz Radio Great Southern Suburbs Best Pub Lunch search is it? Ok, you too can be part of the fun. Have a go at writing your own review about you favourite watering hole and the food on their pub menu, all we ask is to be downright straight and tell it like it is, then send it to us at info@alljazzradio.co.za and type in the subject line THE GREAT PUB GRUB SEARCH and we’ll publish it on the All Jazz Radio website

The Klutz in the Kitchen Rates the venue – ★★

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The Klutz in the Kitchen Rating System

★= Really bad, horrible, unpleasant, and abysmal

★★ = Better than bad, tolerable with a show of promise

★★★ = Middling, acceptable to adequate, not too bad but could be still better

★★★★ = Enjoyable, pleasant and satisfactory, visit at anytime

★★★★★= Magnificent, really fantastic, truly well worth a visit

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The Village Bistro Meadowridge

Where does one find the Best Pub Lunch in the Southern Suburbs of Cape Town?

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The Village BistroIt wasn’t a good week having learned of the passing of a broadcast colleague and was in Meadowridge to attend the funeral service, I was too early so thought to use my time in the area wisely and not having has breakfast I decided to lunch at Village Bistro, though not a pub or offering pub faire.

The venue had been established way back in 1989, starting off as a small really nice coffee shop, vivid memories come to mind, having a girlfriend living in the area. Over the years the venue transformed into what is now the Village Bistro and run by Chef and Owners Peter and Lindsay Ward whose connections to the place going back years.

The place was busyish with what seemed to be many Meadowridgers filling seats. On being seated I perused the menu, which offered a variety of international style dishes and there were a few specials on offer. These were written, rather badly, on a chalkboard above the open plan cooking area, none appealed to me. Then continuing to read through the small uninspiring menu it hit me, a wonderful dish I’ve not had since my restaurant cooking days years ago, Ossobucco that wonderful traditional Milanese speciality of cross-cut veal shanks braised with vegetables, white wine and broth, but wait this was not the traditional Osso Bucco, this was Lamb Shank Osso Bucco in a tomato herb sauce served with grilled gnocchi romaine and garnished with a traditional cremolata. Not wanting a beer as I was going to a funeral after the meal I stuck to drinking a coke.

The Lamb Shank Osso Bucco arrived and was not looking particularly mouth watering in the bowl it was served but was rather drab. I though oh no, problems, though the meat fell from the bone which was great, but I was disappointed that the flavours were lacking. The lamb was tasteless and bland as were the overcooked mushy vegetables in the dish. This was a modern tack on a traditional Italian dish, which did not work for me at all, sadly.

The Village Bistro is currently not recommended by the Klutz in the Kitchen at all at this juncture, and receives ★★ = Better than bad, still not good enough, waste of time and money. Visit at ones own peril. The Klutz in the Kitchen will not write Village Bistro off as of yet, and will visit again in a few months to see if any changes have been made and will again review the venue.

The Klutz in the Kitchen pays for all food and drink consumed when reviewing venues, and all visits are unannounced and never booked at all.

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