What a week last week was, I’ve never been out so much before in quite a while. Not that I’m an old fart or anything like that it’s just I like going to gigs that really compel me to attend, just one of those musical events that speak to me, saying get out from behind the computer lift your fat backside and go listen. It happened twice this past week, on Thursday and again on Friday and nogal to the same place, Straight No Chaser, Cape Town’s only Jazz Club where listening is the only option. First was to hear a rare outing by The Buddy Wells Quintet, which was incredible, awesome compositions by Buddy, It’s high time this man recorded his debut album, sooner than later, I mean he’s been around the block a quite number of times, he’s got a trunkful of material, go to it Buddy, I’ve been nagging you worse than your wife, make it so, ‘saamblief. Please go read our webitor Carol Martin’s review on the event on the reviews page.
Come Friday multi instrumentalists Dave Reynolds and Pops Mohamed along with Congolese bassist Sylvain Baloubeta were in town to do a few gigs and a workshop and that was something I was not about to miss. I mean the steel pans and the kora, together on one stage and the masters of their instruments, sjoe what more could be expected? Well, there was so much more to come guest players were the flavor of the night starting off with a man who knows his way around quite a number of instruments, Tony Cedras, then master drummer joined them on stage and the final guest was guitar wizard Steve Newman. Sjoe! It was a magical evening of incredible jazz, yes jazz it most certainly was improvisation of the highest order also because like the true professionals they are each of the players brought something of themselves to the event, all this with little or no rehearsal. Pops as usual the master story teller along with his mix of incredible traditional musical instruments and Dave with his sawn off 55 gallon drums providing mellifluous sounds and the odd bit of excellent guitar playing really had the full house listening with rapt attention. All together it was a truly fabulous one of a kind musical event that will stay in the minds and ears with those in attendance for a long time.
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 institutionalised 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.
I 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 get 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.