This week has rattled past, I’ve been so busy. Norm has his board still here from the UK and we have seen very little of him, he warned me he would be unavailable this week so I planned accordingly.
Tuesday I went to see my myosteopath who worked out the pain I’ve been having in my neck, I always leave there so relaxed, even though part of the pleasure is tinged with a bit of pain. It’s a fine line between pleasure and pain.
Wednesday evening was all about the pleasure though as we had booked a girls night out at one of my fave venues in Cape Town, Cheyne’s. My daughters are busy with Uni exams and Wednesday was the 1st of 4 for Lily and the only one for Caitlin. But Cait had plans with her beau so Lily and I joined my friend Retha and her work colleague Kerry-Anne for dinner.
I was pleased to see Cheyne has finished decorating his venue, I love the charcoal walls (says the colour blind one….they look grey to me but who knows!?) Cheyne displays art by a brilliant Banksy-esque style artist. I would love one of her pieces. (Is it a her? I realise I have no clue?!)
Lily looked lovely as always.
As it was a school night and I was the only one drinking white, I just ordered a glass of wine. It was yummy whatever it was, I didn’t pay attention, it was the only Sauvignon Blanc available however, I did note it was R220 a bottle. It was nice.
We ordered separately off the menu instead of doing dishes for the table as we normally do, Retha is allergic to garlic and Kerry-Anne has various things she doesn’t eat, so everyone ordered a portion of the Firecracker Crayfish to start, as always it was so divine.
The next round Lily and I shared the Mumbai chilli beef and the line fish on cucumber noodles. The fish was divine, moist and yet firm. Perfectly cooked. I think Cheyne has changed the noodles, they were previously served long like noodles, however these were a bit chopped up. I prefer the way he served them previously, they felt more substantial. But the taste combo is still the same and we really enjoyed both courses.
For dessert Lily and I shared 2 desserts, a double thick peanut butter and miso butterscotch shake and a thick dark chocolate infusion slab which was so rich I could only cope with 1 bite. I am a peanut butter fanatic and that shake was wonderful! Full of chunky peanuts and crumbled chocolate cookies, it was just delicious. But even 2 of us could barely make a dint in it. It was a puddle of heaven.
We had a lovely evening. I am so pleased to see Cheyne was chockablock for a weeknight. I love to see our wonderful Hout Bay venues being supported.
Thursday I had a pedi appointment after work and I had a relaxing visit and a lot of giggles with the girls in the shop, we rehashed our Halloween party and I am happy to say they are now converts to our annual celebrations. They had a blast 🙂
As I knew I’d be home late I asked Lily to phone in a sushi order at the place next to the nail salon, Mila Noodles. I finished my pedi and having forgotten to bring sandals, I had to trot off barefoot. I went Into the tiny restaurant and asked for our order, they said ‘oh I told her 30 Minutes.’ The chef was sweating and shouting. I checked my phone as Lily messaged me after ordering and it had been 26 minutes. So I said ok so it will be ready soon and waited. Eventually after 2 other people had come in and collected food and left I went up and said I would just pay so I could go when the food was ready. They hand me a slip which I knew was not what we ordered, and when I question it the chef shouts at me again, ‘what you order what you order?’ Well, heck if I know, I just know I didn’t order that, I told Lily to order whatever she fancied, all I asked for was bamboo rolls. That order had none. I phoned Lily to confirm and repeated the order back to them. They then whip out another receipt. I was getting rather annoyed by now and asked ‘ok how much longer will it be for THIS order?’ Chef shouts ‘quick quick’. I paid an extra 10 bucks for extra mayo, sat back down and waited. They really need to take names of people who phone in to reduce the chaos.
It finally arrived, 45 minutes after we originally ordered. I went home and when I opened it I thought it looked like he had made it with his flipping feet. What a mess. Loosely rolled, and the bamboo rolls had all manner of stuff in it which should never be in a bamboo roll. Adding insult to injury, the added salmon had bones in it. We also ended up with something we didn’t order, a deep fried mess with what tasted like Chicken Mcnuggets on top. I’ve never eaten worse, in fact we put all R220 worth in the bin. They also didn’t include the mayo I paid extra for.
All in all the worst sushi I’ve ever tasted. I won’t say ‘eaten’ as we binned it, it was dreadful I cannot say how bad. My daughter actually gagged. This was our 2nd time at Mila, we had Chinese the 1st time, the beef was tough and stringy. I gave them a 2nd chance and they failed that one too. I won’t be back. K1 sushi in Red Sail Centre is divine, I will stick to their sushi in future.
Friday I came home from work and spent the early evening by the pool, it was incredibly hot. Also Cordelia is busy cleaning on a Friday so it’s best to get off side. It was too hot to cook so Norm popped down to Spiro’s for chicken kebabs and a halloumi salad and we hired a movie, we had a lot of giggles over 22 Jump Street.
Saturday Lily and I had to be in the CBD for 10am at the hairdresser. We raced off and had a relaxing session, we munched almond croissants and had cappuccinos. My hairdresser has a new colour which takes 10 minutes and covers as well as the longer stuff so we were outta there quite quickly. We had errands to run and I even managed to get a bit of Christmas shopping done!
Last night we were out for Elmari’s birthday celebration at the Foodbarn in Noordhoek farm village. There was a huge gang of us and it was lovely hanging out with both old friends and new.
I’ve been to a few of the venues in the village there but had not tried the Foodbarn. I’ve been very keen on trying chef Franck Dangereux’s culinary skills, I’ve heard so much about him. I’ve wanted to do his cooking evening many times but it’s so expensive. I can’t justify it.
However when we arrived at The Foodbarn we were redirected to the tapas venue in the deli. There’s a deli?! Off we went across the green to the deli and tapas venue. It’s very French, inside is a shop in the daytime, selling everything you need to whip up a stunning lunch from fresh flowers to meats, cheeses, fresh breads and all manner of deliciousness. On Tuesdays through Saturdays they are open from 6pm for sit down tapas meals. You choose ala carte from the big chalkboards.
Or if you have a large table of people you can do a per person price of R175 which is so unbelievably reasonable as oh honey – we had a feast!!
The inside is a warehouse sort of style with exposed pipes and beams but decorated with a rustic, almost French cafe decor. It was noisy and full of laughter, a fabulous vibe. I could imagine this place in Provence, the place all the locals shop for charcuterie in the day and gather at night for their dinner and a glass of pastis or a bottle of red wine.
The service was attentive and the staff smiling (that matters to me, nothing worse than someone with a miserable face serving you and harshing your mellow).
The food was delicious and it just kept coming…..I made a schoolgirl error by not pacing myself at the start. I was hungry and launched into the gorgeous fresh baked bread. I don’t even like bread?! I liked this, such a gorgeous texture. The butter was room temperature. Cold butter is my pet peeve!
There was a big wooden board piled high with bread, butter, a round of Brie and some juicy melon slices, all accompanied by the charcuterie with chorizo and Parma ham of an excellent quality. As a person with the sense of smell of a wolf in human form I am overly sensitive to the smell of foods and especially some cured meats, particularly Parma ham, to me can smell almost rancid. I can’t eat it if it smells. These meats all tasted so beautiful – fresh and they really were divine.
This was followed by the arancini, risotto balls with tahini mayo. These were gorgeous! Sometimes I have had these at other restaurants and they are not cooked adequately resulting in a pasty mushy texture which is very unpleasant. These were perfection. Crispy outer covering, rich and creamy inside, yet the risotto maintained it’s firm texture. The sauce was creamy, but light and slightly spicy and the perfect accompaniment. I had 2 of these, part of my failure to pace myself.
They brought grilled halloumi and ripe rosa tomatoes with basil and balsamic.
It was fresh tasting and lovely. I had this with the lentil Dahl with poppadom crisps. It had chunks of coconut and some yogurt I think. It was so full of amazing flavour I could have eaten it off my fingers, but the poppadom crisps were nice. I would have preferred them served separate as poppadoms absorb moisture and become rather soggy. But the 1st few were delicious. Wow that whole bowl was so full of amazing flavours! I didn’t get a pic unfortunately and neither did Retha. I used most of her pics, so thank you Retha.
We had Steamed mussels in a basque sauce with chorizo which was fab, plump fresh mussels flavored with smoky chorizo and what tasted to me of paprika, all in a chopped tomato and onion mix.
Then they served salt and pepper fried calamari with aioli. There were both rings and crispy baby squid heads. This was a brilliant dish. The batter was very light and crispy. The calamari was tender.
After that we had the line fish. It looked amazing.
Unfortunately for me it was salmon, but not our local cape salmon which I adore. It was the pink variety, Norwegian or wherever. I detest that salmon so I passed on the fish.
We had a gorgeous wee field mushroom dish with asparagus and a buttery, cheesy sauce, also fire potatoes, which is a wetter version of potatoes bravas. Nice but I’d prefer them crispier. Retha and Pierre had without sauce as they can’t eat garlic and theirs were better I thought. When I go back I will order the potatoes with no sauce.
They went perfect with the seared fillet steak with mushroom duxelle. This was to die for! Oh. My. Gawd. It was like a deconstructed beef Wellington, covered with garlicky chopped mushrooms, the fillet was perfectly cooked. There was a wee pastry hat and a puddle of delicious sauce.
I will definitely have this again. It was so nice.
However I couldn’t believe it when yet more food arrived. There was braised pork belly, normally I don’t eat pork belly despite loving pork roast, bacon or pretty much all pork, I find belly too fat and can’t eat it. But I had to try it and wow! It was crispy outside, rich and moist inside, the fat either cut off or grilled off, it was perfection. But I was so full I could only literally manage a bite just to taste it. It’s the price I pay for you all my little voyeurs! I could call myself a pig, but that would reek of cannibalism in this scenario.
This was still followed by Panko fried chicken breast strips with a gorgonzola dipping sauce. These were very nice, the chicken was firm and crispy, yet moist and not dry. I am not a fan of Gorgonzola, it is too overwhelming for me. To me it reeks of mold. (See previous wolfhound comment). But it was a nice creamy texture and suited the crispy almost cornmeal type of breading on the chicken. This dish tasted very southern American to me. Maybe because my mom makes bleu cheese dip. Who knows how my mind works? Not me.
The encore was the fried churros with chocolate dip. I love churros so and you seldom find them in SA so I was lying in wait for those saving a wee corner of my glutinous self just for those. They were so yummmmmm.
My friends have a rather…saucy sense of humour and it’s the only pic we took.
They were crispy and light, no horrid oily aftertaste like I find with most South Africa fried dough products. (Wonder why that is- what’s different?)
The chocolate dip was warm but not molten hot, so once everyone else admitted defeat my fingers were right in there haha. I was so full by this stage.
It was getting late and I needed to take off my pants lol. I was bursting with food. I had gotten a lift with Retha and Pierre as Norm appears to have gotten a touch of sunstroke, silly Scotsman. So he came home and slept and we carried on.
The drive there and back is over Chapman’s Peak drive, one of the world’s most beautiful drives.
Coming home we could see all of the lights of the harbour reflected in the bay. This pic does no justice to how stunning it is in reality.
Today Lily is studying and Cait and Norm are out so I’m having a pajama day. I hope you all enjoy what remains of your weekend.