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

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, to tolerable, acceptable to adequate, but could be still much better

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

★★★★★ = Magnificent, really fantastic, truly well worth a visit regularly.
Please feel free to suggest a place to visit or write a review and send it to us at klutzinthekitchen@alljazzradio.co.za with Klutz Review in the subject line.
 See the reviews below.
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 after months once the review is published on the All Jazz Radio 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.

The Klutz in the Kitchen’s Straight Talkin’ No Punches Pulled Restaurant, Bistro, Cafe, Pub, Food Truck, Street Food & Take Away Grub n’ Cooking Maguffta Reviews

 

Klutz in the Kitchen

Klutz in the Kitchen

The Klutz in the Kitchen’s Straight Talkin’ No Punches Pulled Restaurant, Bistro, Cafe, Pub, Food Truck, Street Food & Take Away Grub n’ Cooking Maguffta Reviews

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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The Klutz in the Kitchen’s Straight Talkin’ No Punches Pulled Restaurant, Bistro, Cafe, Pub, Food Truck, Street Food & Take Away Grub n’ Cooking Maguffta Reviews

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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The Klutz in the Kitchen’s Straight Talkin’ No Punches Pulled Restaurant, Bistro, Cafe, Pub, Food Truck, Street Food & Take Away Grub n’ Cooking Maguffta Reviews

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.

 

The final track of the album ha started, timing could not be better so far so good very enjoyable album. Well done Dave and Ronan.

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The Klutz in the Kitchen’s Straight Talkin’ No Punches Pulled Restaurant, Bistro, Cafe, Pub, Food Truck, Street Food & Take Away Grub n’ Cooking Maguffta Reviews

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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The Klutz in the Kitchen’s Straight Talkin’ No Punches Pulled Restaurant, Bistro, Cafe, Pub, Food Truck, Street Food & Take Away Grub n’ Cooking Maguffta Reviews 

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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 in the Kitchen’s Straight Talkin’ No Punches Pulled Restaurant, Bisto, Cafe, Pub, Food Truck, Street Food & Take Away Grub n’ Cooking Maguffta Reviews 

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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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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

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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The Klutz in the Kitchen’s Straight Talkin’ No Punches Pulled Restaurant Grub n’ Pub n’ Cookin’ Stuff Reviews – Wednesday 03 September August 2015

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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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The Klutz in the Kitchen’s Grub Review – Franky’s Diner, Main Road, Sea Point visited Tuesday evening, 21 April 2015

Klutz in the Kitchen - Guitar3It’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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The Klutz in the Kitchen’s Grub Reviews: – Lyra’s Restaurant Rondebosch Monday Night Jam Session – Rated ★★★★

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The Klutz in the Kitchen’s Grub Review

Lyra's LogoMonday 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’s Grub Reviews – March 03, 2015

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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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The Klutz in the Kitchen’s Grub Review:- Hudson’s, The Burger Joint Claremont

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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The Klutz in the Kitchen’s Grub Review:- 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 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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The Klutz in the Kitchen’s Grub Reviews:- Rascal’s in Kenilworth

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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Filed under 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