Sardines on toast is a lovely food blog by chef Kobus van der Merwe. It’s really sweet and inspiring. Oh, by the way, we will eat at his lovely restaurant Oep ve Koep in Paternoster (West Coast) tomorrow :)
I just heard about The Soft Machine, something that I want to check out soon on a Saturday at the Neighbourgoods Market at the Old Biscuit Mill in Cape Town.
“The Soft Machine is a food design venture that crafts fresh soft serve made from quality natural ingredients with inventive new flavours and pairings. Conceptualised by ideas agency Cow Africa with recipes developed by chef Kobus van der Merwe, soft serve is served from a renovated mobile 1960’s caravan that was designed by Marc Nicholson and Lyall Sprong from Thingking with illustrations by Radio. At launch, flavour pairings will include Leipoldt’s Milktart and/or Coffee garnished with Spice Snaps; and Sweetcorn and/or Buttermilk with tomato jam and shortbread garnish. (..)
“We liked the idea of taking the trailer-park cousin of gelato and breathing new life into it,” says Donald Swanepoel from Cow Africa. “Kobus is an old friend and he’s been doing some really exciting things at his bistro, Oep ve Koep, in Paternoster, on his blog Sardines on Toast, and as one half of food-design duo Saboteur. He got really excited when we started thinking about making pure soft serve from scratch.”
Kobus van der Merwe says, “When we first started, we did a lot of research about soft serve. We had to deconstruct the current commercial formulas to get a feel for what goes into a basic mix. We looked at original custard and gelato recipes and started tweaking and refining them to work in The Soft Machine.”
The Soft Machine soft serve is crafted fresh from quality natural ingredients and contains no preservatives or other artificial nasties, only real spices, quality milk from local farms, free-range eggs, and fresh produce to produce a silky-smooth soft serve, bursting with flavour.
Radio was responsible for creating the illustrations and logo of The Soft Machine and the rollout of all collateral.
Brad Hodgskiss from Radio: “The soft serve was the ultimate inspiration behind the design. We wanted to capture the happiness associated with our childhood memories and bring that to life in various characters. We preferred the use of softer line work to keep things light and breezy.”
“When we created the brand we were inspired by simple character-based designs. It feels a bit Japanese and a bit retro which is cool because soft serve is bigger than gelato in Japan,” says Donald Swanepoel.
Thingking conceptualised and produced The Soft Machine caravan. The aim was to create a mobile unit that was visually open and inviting to customers. The soft serve “drips” on the side of the caravan opens up to reveal a soft serve bar with space for customers to sit around. Inside it’s finished with pine counters and wood trim and bespoke wallpaper. Lyall Sprong, Thingking: “The natural, textured cladding echoes the quality of thought and ingredients that go into making the soft serve. We wanted the caravan to feel polished and considered but with a sense of something real or tactile. We used soft colour backed by wood grain to convey this message. (..)”
For more, visit: www.thesoftmachine.co.za
… and a few restaurant ideas to make your Valentine happy! (I redid this piece for capetownmagazine.com)
All right, it’s Valentine’s Day again. Yes, it is over-commercialised, but it’s wise not to ignore it as your loved one wouldn’t be too impressed. It’s up to you to find the right restaurant in Cape Town to enjoy Valentine’s Day on 14th February! Love and life are always worth celebrating. We give you ♥-insights on favourite, or maybe forgotten, romantic spots!
♥ Coffee: celebrate your love with an inspiring cup of java @
Deluxe Coffeeworks – R12 per cup, and always good. Ask them to pour you a heart in the foam.
Haas – coffee shop, art gallery, design agency, serving the world’s most expensive coffee, ‘kopi luwak’.
Anthony’s Golden Cup Coffee Shop – he must be one of the oldest coffee-men in Cape Town, loving his brew.
Truth Coffee – if you’re a single girl a flirt with the baristas is always reassuring.
Field Office – love working with your laptop and a cup of hot brew.
Yourstruly – ask Daniel for advice on how to get your love life back on track.
Origin – go back to Cape Town’s coffee roots.
Bean There – give love to the world by drinking Fair Trade coffee (girls love this space).
Rosetta Roastery – experience a passionate team of roasters and baristas.
Espresso Lab Microroasters – love the old Biscuit Mill even more with a cup of coffee.
♥ Brekkie: start off Valentine’s Day with a lovely breakfast @
Caffé Milano – Italian and intriguing at the top of Kloof Street.
Café Mozart – with Madame Zingara’s love and magic, your gal will love the décor, we promise!
Foodbarn Deli – enjoy the drive to Noordhoek via Chappies (your little ones will love this place too).
Sidewalk Café – the Cape Town breeze feels lovely while enjoying a filled croissant.
Arnolds on Kloof Street – your purse will love it and a happy atmosphere is always guaranteed.
River Garden Deli at Lourensford – head out to the winelands, romance is a given.
♥ Lunch: meet your honey for a lunch break of love @
The Kitchen – oh, there’s so much love at this place… great to come here as a single, too.
Royal Eatery – “a burger for my lady, please”. Your arty girlfriend will love this place!
Millstone – a lunch at the Oude Molen Eco village is a very natural thing – for your organic gal!
Maremoto – this Mediterranean delight is well decorated and their food is delicious.
Superette – the lunch place filled with cool cats. Also, you can buy the cool furniture you sit on.
♥ Sweet treats: for your cupcake @
Bread, Milk & Honey – best cheesecake in town.
Hmmmh Tastes and Flavours – enjoy yummy brownies.
Charly’s bakery – no doubt this is a ♥-place.
The Queen of Tarts – impress your madame with Parisian flair.
♥ Foreign love @
Mint & Bombay Brasserie – five-star Indian food will spice up your night at the Taj Hotel.
Fat Cactus – such an institution in Cape Town for Mexican food and chilli poppers.
Nobu – there’s no need to add anything but the name. Nobu is simply the best sushi restaurant in the world.
Chef Pons – the authentic Chinese restaurant is a favourite amongst local celebrities and South African politicians. Show your girl you know the Chinese (restaurant) politics.
♥ Fine Dining @
Planet Restaurant – a special experience at the famous Mount Nelson Hotel.
Constantia Uitsig Restaurants – classic fine dining, set in natural beauty. La Colombe is considered South Africa’s best restaurant.
Waterkloof – French fine dining within vineyards flanked by an unforgettable view.
Five Flies – fine dining in the centre of town.
The Roundhouse – where Prince William would take his Kate.
Aubergine – secretly known as Cape Town’s best restaurant; this establishment is consistent.
Savoy Cabbage – feel like you’re in historic London while experiencing unusual flavours.
Fork – love only needs a fork so feed your lover little bites.
French Toast – the name says it all. Dreaming of a French lover? Maybe you’ll find him or her on Bree Street.
Buena Vista Scoal Café – love, good food and good music go hand-in-hand.
La Boheme – good value for money in a happy atmosphere before a romantic walk on the Sea Point promenade.
♥ Seafood and the sea @
On the rocks – located on the water’s edge in Blouberg with an amazing Table Mountain view.
Ocean Basket – the Sea Point Ocean Basket offers excellent service, a happy vibe and prices are always reasonable.
Onse Huisie – a very old Afrikaans seafood restaurant in Blouberg. Baie goed.
Olympia Café in Kalk Bay – the cosy atmosphere will grab your attention.
Polana in Kalk Bay – the waves crash against the glass wall while you whisper in her ear.
♥ City is calling you @
Bizerca – eat gourmet cuisine in a vibrant and buzzing bistro.
Bombay Bicycle Club – Show your rock-and-roll bride what a good chocolate chili steak is all about.
Carne SA – Milanese cuisine in preparation for your Italy-love-trip.
♥ Drinks: yes, you have to cheers on the everlasting love @
Planet Bar – makes for an elegant Valentine’s night out! Champagne and oysters, please!
Blue Peter – he and she will like it, beer, beach and a view, what more do you want?
&Union – give me German beer, that’s all I need! You’ll get it here.
Rafiki’s – 40 metres of a sun-kissed balcony for you, your gal and your single friends.
Friends, I know, most guys hate Valentine’s Day. But guys also like to eat, so enjoy the lurve day… and find most of the restaurants and places mentioned in our Eating Out section.
by Antonia Heil who is deeply in love with her husband Des
Headquarters raises the steaks
The menu: salad, sirloin and chips. The only thing your waiter will ask you: ‘How do you like your steak?’
Welcome to HQ, where you can have anything you like, as long as it’s salad, sirloin and chips.
I like HQ. I like restaurants that focus on what they stand for and what they’re good at. HQ simply stands for steak. For really good steak.
HQ (Headquarters) is located in central Cape Town on Heritage Square. It has a large, yet narrow dining area, an upstairs, as well as a bar and lounge. And, in all, you’ll enjoy a warm brasserie-like atmosphere. We start at the bar with a Jack Black beer for my partner and a grapefruit Cosmopolitan for me. These are helped quickly along with a few snacks, and a chat with the mixologist. You find all the classics as well as new creations on the cocktail menu (most are also available in a non-alcoholic version).
The menu states: ‘Our experienced mixologists can prepare almost anything you might not find on the menu.’ So, we take them up on that and William makes us a martini with rooibos. At the bar you can order snacks like olives, nuts and biltong. There’s a good range of cigars too. In the cosy lounge area I see friends enjoying an evening out, and the fireplace is welcome on this chilly night.
Goldfish is playing in the background, and the feeling is happy and comfortable. After a good start at the bar our friendly waiter seats us in the diner-like area with the balloon lighting. We enjoy the vibe, watching people and spot many old as well as young fathers with their sons. This is indeed a perfect father-and-son-spot.
At HQ you know what you’re coming for
Headquarters is a concept restaurant based on a restaurant in Paris, Le Relais de L’Entrecote. On our brown paper tablecloth our waiter writes down in bold letters how we like our steaks done.
We can’t wait to get started with the organic 250g, top cut of sirloin (Halal-friendly) served with delicious café de Paris butter, which consists of eight different herbs, spices, onion and garlic. You have a choice, have your salad before or with your sirloin. And this salad won’t disappoint – a yummy mustard dressing covers different kinds of lettuce leaves, shaved Parmesan and pine nuts.
Don’t worry, here, you won’t go home hungry. Your skinny fries, herb butter and salad will be topped up, if you wish so.
Yes, there is a dessert menu, which offers ice cream, sorbet, chocolate fondant, crème brûlée, apple tart, tiramisu and more.
Other restaurants offer over-extended menus, whereas Headquarters focusses on one dish to ensure excellence in every meal. Owners, Brendon Crew, Jean Muller and Marc Langlois had a great idea. Focus on what you’re good at and you will succeed.
By Antonia Heil – written for www.capetownmagazine.com
P.S. HQ offers a number of spaces that can be rented out for private functions.
P.P.S. Have a look at HQ’s specials: 2 for 1 on a Monday night; everyday R99 lunch (125g)
I just bought yummy birthday presents. Honest Chocolate. Made with love in Cape Town.
“We believe in keeping things hand-crafted, using quality raw and organically produced ingredients and making a pure dark chocolate that has a deliciously distinct feel and taste.” Anthony and Michael
You might recognise this brand from various shops and markets throughout Cape Town and now they have their very own chocolate shop. Their chocolates are dairy free, don’t contain processed sugar and are made from raw, organic Ecuadorian cacao.
Opening times: Monday – Friday: 9am – 5pm, Saturday: 10am – 2pm.
66 Wale Street | City Centre | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 423 8762
Sidewalk Cafe, Vredehoek’s much loved neighbourhood eatery, turns two in October and they’re inviting you to enjoy their two-for-one 2nd birthday specials from 1 – 31 October 2011; breakfast to dinner. Order a selection from their extensive menu, such as ravioli of roast butternut and ricotta with lemon rocket and cream, while taking in while taking in the breathtaking sweeping views from the stadium to the harbour and Robben Island. – It’s one of my favourite spots, so be there ;)
Pollsmoor Prison Restaurant ‘Idlanathi’ serves delicious food for cheap cheap
I had one of my best friends visiting Cape Town; she has been to all the cool spots, so I wanted to surprise her with a special lunch. Destination: Pollsmoor Prison (official name: Pollsmoor Maximum Security Prison) in Tokai, about 25km from Cape Town. Who would have known one could lunch there? My husband and friend were surprised, but ready for the ‘gangsters’.
I guess this is what makes it so exciting. Some of South Africa’s most dangerous criminals are held in Pollsmoor Prison. The inmates, low security prisoners in orange, cook and serve you lunch in the Pollsmoor Prison Restaurant ‘Idlanathi’ which means ‘eat with us’. Well, we didn’t eat with them, but we had our eyes open when we spotted the guys in orange jumpsuits who spend the majority part of their day in the kitchen of the Pollsmoor Recreation Centre.
The official blurb states: “Experience the exquisite thrill to be in the historical vicinity of the legendary and notorious Pollsmoor Prison. Dine in style on local affordable meals and grills, specially prepared by Pollsmoor cooks and chefs. Enjoy the professional catering service for special events.”
The menu is compiled by the Pollsmoor Restaurant staff and offers a good selection of sandwiches, fries, grills and traditional meals in the canteen-like restaurant. The ambience is as low-key as you’d expect, but it’s still worth a visit. If you’re feeling brave, ask your waiter what he’s in for.
Breakfast options include a farm-style breakfast, a budget breakfast and a healthy breakfast (R16 – R27). Sandwiches range from cheese and tomato to egg and bacon, as well as beef, chicken and steak (R6 – R19). Mains are surprisingly affordable from a cheese burger and chips/tossed salad for R20, a rib burger and chips/tossed salad for R24 to a steak burger and chips/tossed salad for R26. Find daily specials such as curries, stews, lasagne and more on the blackboard. Other lunch options are seafood and salads. I opted for the yummy deep-fried calamari (R32 for 200g) with chips. My mates had the hake (R33) and the ladies T-bone with chips (R42). The most expensive option on the menu: large pork spareribs with chips for R60.
Interestingly, Nelson Mandela was once an inmate of the prison—so this is an enjoyable way to get closer to history.
by Antonia Heil
Pollsmoor Restaurant Idlanathi
Steenberg Road | Tokai | +27 (0)21 700 1270
Opening hours: Monday to Sunday 7:45am – 2pm
P.S. No tipping allowed. The Pollsmoor Restaurant Idlanathi also offers catering for functions.
written for capetownmagazine.com
Since I am still fairly new in Cape Town, I only heard about Pieter H. Walser’s concept ‘BLANKbottle’ now.
“As owner-winemaker, I form alliances with vineyards, winemakers and wineries all over South Africa. As the name implies, BLANKbottle leaves you in the dark about the cultivar, region and year of vintage, giving you no label to go by, only your taste! I sell straight to the consumer only, mainly via this website. It’s here where you’ll find the full story behind your BLANKbottle by searching under its unique BATCH NAME.” I like this idea.