Thursday, 6 August 2015

The Black Sheep

Craig and I walked in without a booking on a Wednesday evening, not sure what to expect because we had just driven past and thought it looked good. We were greeted with a smile and the manager made a plan to seat us at a two seater table near the window. Located near the top of Kloof street, it is in the perfect spot to appreciate some night views if our Mother City. The restaurant look is a mixture between modern deco, with smooth lines and a muted palette, and rustic edges of a melange wood feature wall and some face brick finishes.

No sooner had we sat down and our waiter was at the table, warmly greeting us and offering something to drink. We opted to look at the wine menu, an extensive and well thought out list offering an array of bottles and a fair few different wines by the glass. I chose the Sutherland pinot noir and suggested that Craig try the Anura Chardonnay. Upon arrival I was a bit surprised that my pinot noir was a red wine. I'm used to the Haute Cabriere pinot noir, which is a light peach colour. None the less, surprises are good and this wine was even better than I had anticipated. Craig was in the mood for a red and offered to swap with me, so I obliged and was treated to a sweet honey taste of Anura Chardonnay that kept on whispering "more".

Only a few sips into our tasty wine and a surprise taster arrived at our table. It consisted of a thin slice of toasted ciabatta with purreed avocado, pea and mint served in a generous dollop on top. It was very refreshing and light, not to mention a delicious treat that we didn't even have to pay for!

For our starter, we ordered sweet bread, which is deep fried marrow in a crispy batter, served with an olive oil pesto and parsley dipping sauce. It was something different to the usual genre of starter. The crispy, salty experience was quite lekker, to quote my darling dining partner. 

My main course was a tarragon and mustard marinated chicken breast with sweet corn fritters and sherry sauce - oh my word it was to die for!!! I can't even describe to you how good the flavour was,  but I will try. The mustard added a vinegar/acidity to the sweet sherry, and the tarragon just took things to a whole new level. (I haven't had many things with tarragon so it's difficult to explain the flavor, but this will be changing immediately!) The chicken breast was served upon some crispy broccoli stalks and crunchy green beans. I encountered some interesting vegetables scattered on the side of the plate. They looked as if they came out of a scifi movie. According to the Internet, they are called Veronica hybrid cauliflower. Taste wise, I would say they are the halfway point between cauliflower and broccoli, which to some are horrible, but to me they are the bees knees, so you can imagine my delight at trying the two together! Yum yum and such an interesting appearance .

What a delicious meal, and according to our waiter, the menu changes each night. This was confirmed by the manager, who went on to say that the resaurant is a neighbourhood gathering spot, and that their flavours are constantly being adapted to keep the patrons coming back for more. After almost two years of business, this place is busy every night of the week, and after that gorgeous meal, I fully understand why. So if you're in the mood for something special, call the Black Sheep up and make a booking. You won't be disappointed!
104 Kloof street, Cape Town
Ph: +27 (021) 426 2661 / 426 2753

Mustard and tarragon marinated chicken breast

Average quality panoramic of the scene

Friday, 3 July 2015

Tea time on top of the world

Today was absolutely gorgeous, the sun was shining and the weather was good. It all worked in favor of the hike I had planned with some of my girlfriends, Amy and Michelle. After an adventure though nature in Cecilia Forrest, Newlands, we had worked up an appetite for something delicious. Ok, to be honest, we were munching on apples and peanut butter along the hike, but there was still that small something lacking...

On a whim, we decided to visit Chart Farm, well known for its beautiful roses that you are allowed to pick for yourself at a small cost per rose. It is hidden above Wynberg Park, and the road to the farm is just off Klaasens road, which continues on into Bishop's Court. We arrived to a view of sunny rose fields and vineyards in the background. The last few roses of the year clung to their branches, pink and white against the dark green leaves. Rose season is from October through to May, so I will certainly be returning again later this year.

We made our way down to the tea room and garden, which are open daily until 4:30pm, perfect for those daytime outings when you're looking for a pretty place to go. We sat down in the sunny tea room, basking in the sun's generous warmth. A softly spoken waitress took our tea and cake orders, and within minutes, our orders arrived! My pot of Earl Grey tea was served with a green and white checkered cover to keep the brew at tip top temperature. I was amazed to discover that my small little tea pot produced 3 whole cups of delicious tea! What a treat when you get more than expected.

To accompany my tea, I ordered a slice of carrot cake. It appeared big and bold on a clean white plate, with appetizing cream cheese icing and crumbled walnuts to top it all off. I sliced my cake fork into it, excited to find out what tastes were waiting for me. The cake was moist and nutty, not too sweet but in a good way. I think I picked up on some spices, possibly cinnamon or nutmeg, maybe both. The icing, oh, the yummy delicious icing, it had a creamy sweetness and an unexpected hit of lemon underlying the sweetness. The texture was a bit wetter than I would have normally expected but that isn't a bad thing. It was so enjoyable, sitting in the afternoon sun, sipping tea and eating cake with my girls, chatting about love, life and the contrast of American culture with our own.

Did you know that what we know as scones are closest to what Americans call biscuits? To them, our biscuits are cookies. Well, I didn't know that but my dear friend Michelle brought me up to speed as she snacked on her scones with fresh cream and jam. Moreover, our thin concept of pancakes, which Amy was enjoying with vanilla ice cream, is quite different to the thick American pancakes, which we would liken to flapjacks. The well loved drink, ice tea, is diversely perceived among Americans from different states. In the South, they refer to it as "sweet tea", and concoctions of lemonade and sugary Ceylon tea are blended together into a refreshing cold drink.

Despite a rather challenging week, I drove home this Friday afternoon with a huge smile on my face. It's incredible how some lekker time with friends and good food can turn things back on track. I hope you have a wonderful weekend and keep your eyes peeled for my next installment! Thanks for reading CapeTownfoodisfantastic.

#spreadgoodness #becomegreatness #alwaysgrateful

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

There's only one first time, let's make it count!

Welcome to my food blog! It's been a dream of mine for ages to share my thoughts on the Cape Town food scene, and seeing as though today we have officially made it past half way through 2015, I've made it my Half Year's resolution to turn this dream into reality.

My hope is that I can inspire your love for food and set you off to explore the wide foodiverse that Cape Town has to offer. From fancy upmarket restaurants to local pubs and more, there is such a diverse and wonderful food culture that comes alive in Cape Town, and if you're interested, I'm going to tell you all about it!

Restaurant of the day today is Tasha's in Canal Walk. A smallish arena inspired by the Great Gatsby and art deco is nestled snugly into the hustle and bustle of one of Cape Town's biggest malls. Once seated, I soon forgot about the shops around me as I was transported into a blissful flavour adventure...

The American quessidilla that I ordered comes as a tortilla folded over sweet pulled pork, sliced jalapeños and a tasty slaw. To sweeten the deal even more, a generous side of guacamole accompanied my quessidilla delight. Each mouthful was sublime, and the portion size was perfect for a hungry lunch time customer such as myself. I also enjoyed adding some of the complimentary blended green chilli to my meal to give it an extra kick.

My dining partner, Jenna, ordered the beef ravioli, which was cooked in olive oil and served with sundried tomatoes, pumpkin seeds, crispy sage, sliced parmesan and a herbed crustini. This, too, was scrumptious. The ravioli was flavourful and textually robust - no skimping on the meaty filling and the simple olive oil sauce paid homage to the great flavours supplied by the other ingredients.

To round off our meal, we enjoyed a tasty americano with hot milk. As my first time drinking coffee without sugar, I can say I really appreciated the malty flavour of the coffee, something I've never noticed about coffee before. I feel as if I've stepped up a level in flavour appreciation. Sugar is too addictive anyway, so why not cut it out when we can!

The service was decent and the staff work well as a team. Compliments to the hard working chefs and barristers that remain in the background! You the real MVP!

In terms of cost, the menu is a bit pricey but the quality and quantity of food meets the price. You pay for what you're getting and it's well worth it.

If you're dying for some tasty goodness and have some time to spare, I can highly recommended this place to you for your next trip out to Canal Walk.

Thanks for reading my first ever blog! Keep watching for more news on Cape Town food and feel free to share this with your homies.

I wish you a blessed and joyous day ahead!