Saltwater Grill

They say there is a first for everything, and this is my first post about a meal I had during my lunch break on a working day.

My offices are based in Ndabeni which means that Howard Centre is the neighbourhood shopping mall. I was in the mood to have seafood and suggested to my colleague that we eat at Saltwater Grill.

As it was our lunch break, time was of the essence. Once we were showed to our seats and handed the menu, we immediately started sprawling and made our decision quite quickly. After ordering to our surprise we realised we missed a few pages of the menu with even more options. If seafood is not your thing, not to worry, they also have salads, burgers and pastas and some very yummy sounding dessert options.

I decided to order from the tantalizers and opted for the Grilled Baby Calamari and Portuguese Style Prawns on a stick. My colleague ordered the Grilled Hake with real lemon butter and a salad.

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Words and pictures do not do justice to the mouth-watering delicious tastes of our meals. My baby calamari (which did not seem baby) was grilled to perfection but the best part was that it was made with a herb and lemon sauce. If anyone knows me well enough, you will know that I simply love cooking with fresh herbs and whole spices so this was a big win for me. The dish was also served with what they say is a small side salad but the portion was pretty decent. The prawns in the Portuguese sauce was finger licking good (yes, I ate this with my hands and enjoyed all the flavours). I was a bit sad by the time I finished them. My colleague’s meal looked like a work of art: I do not think I have ever seen a salad look so pretty. It was served in a shoe string potato style ring and topped with edible flower as part of the presentation.  Her fish was done in a fresh lemon butter style and was grilled to perfection.

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The setting is very loci yet very comfortable. There is an outside area that they had covered with simple décor adding to the ambiance. The food is so good that you forget you are at Howard Centre.

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Well done Saltwater Grill! You definitely will be seeing me again.

Keep a look out for a competition that I will be running on my Instagram page (myrestaurantdiary). Please do follow me to follow my journey of food.

 

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Scheckter’s Raw

Yet again sometime has passed since my last post but that is only because I have been on a very strict cleanse and watching what and where I eat.

Last week Sunday was too beautiful not to make the most of the day so I was happy when I found out about Scheckter’s Raw, a gourmet health food restaurant situated in Regent street, Seapoint.

Scheckter’s is a vegan and vegetarian cafe serving the healthiest tastiest meals but also freshly squeezed and natural organic juices and smoothies. Their menu covers a variety, whether breakfast or lunch or even just a snack.

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It was lunch time and I was famished by the time we arrived at the Scheckter’s Raw. It is situated on the corner and welcomes you in with a fresh look with their wooden furniture, smiling staff and plants on the side.

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I sat down while deciding what I wanted as take away. It took me a while to order as too many items on the menu were tantalizing my taste buds. Eventually I opted for the Lentil Gluten Free wrap.

I must admit that I was a bit skeptical not knowing how it was going to taste especially because I ordered the gluten free wrap. Opening the brown bag packaging on the beach I was welcomed to a brown fluffy wrap filled with lentils and served with a small side salad.  I was pleasantly surprised when I took my 1st bite… it tasted absolutely delicious. It was the best feeling: clean ocean air, perfect company and my tummy smiling from the inside out. Before I knew it my food was all gone. It was just too good not to indulge all at once.

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Scheckter’s Raw I will certainly be back to try your breakfast and organic beverages.

To everyone reading my posts, even if I don’t post often enough please do check out my Instagram page called My Restaurant Diary. I try to post every week. Also do stay tuned as I will be running a competition soon.

 

La Belle Bistro & Bakery

It’s been just over two months since my last post which is inexcusable but there is a valid reason for the most part.

Since my amazing Asia sibling vacation I had an operation on my right hand, my dominant hand which meant for nearly one month I was unable to do normal things. The rest of the time was playing catch up on life itself.

Nonetheless, I am back to wet your appetites with my food experiences.

There is no better way to get back into the swing of things than a post about a delicious breakfast with a girlfriend. The venue was the recently opened La Belle in Mouille Point

This laid back spot right next to Pepenero caught my attention one evening after hours when I peeked through their window and found myself quite curious as their front confectionery area caught my eye with their décor alone. This morning I decided to answer my curiosity.

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La Belle

The air was chilly this morning in Mouille Point but walking into La Belle we were instantly warmed with the atmosphere, décor and delicious aromas. I loved the warm feeling I felt as we were escorted to our table nestled at the back. There was something special about the dark wooden furniture, unfinished walls, and an array of clocks mounted on the walls.

After being seated our waiter introduced himself and timeously presented us with their ‘newspaper’ style menus. They are strict that only breakfast items can be ordered till 11.30 am but alas this was no problem for us foodies.

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I ordered the salmon eggs benedict with eggs done medium. My girlfriend ordered the 2 cheese omelet which is served with a choice of 4 breads. She opted for ciabatta. The presentation of both dishes was simple topped with rocket leaves for a bit of colour.

I was very happy with my choice of medium eggs as the consistency was perfect. The hollandaise sauce which is not something everyone can master was delicious. I was surprised how quickly I finished my meal which is testament to how good it was. Compliments to the chef!

La Belle I will without a doubt be back. I need to try your sweet goodies and the lunch menu looked too good to miss.

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Eggs Benedict

Banana Leaf Cafe

Its been nearly two months since my last post but that’s because it was Ramadaan and soon after Eid was my long awaited sibling vacation to Asia.

I am currently posting from Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam), the old capital called Saigon. If you interested check out the #siblingvacay on Instagram to follow my trip. You might find yourself experiencing some jealousy as it is summer and Vietnam is absolutely stunning and rich in history and natural beauty.

It is hard to decide what to blog about as most of our food experiences has been local cuisine. In a nutshell this has been our food journey in Vietnam:

* Meal in a buzzing local street restaurant in Ninh Binh after a scenic tour of Halong Bay on land in Hanoi

* Hoi An Village local meal at a cafe along the Hoi An River

* Cooking tour in the heart of a village in Hoi An where we made a three course traditional meal

* Local restaurant in the Imperial City of Hue

* Halal meals found in whats called the “Malaysian Street” in Ben Thanh area, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City

The meal that tickled my taste buds the most was at Banana Leaf Cafe(Cafe La Cluioi) along the banks of the Hoi An River in the historical town of Hoi An. I never expected authentic Vietnamese cuisine to create so much fireworks with all its flavours. As we were on a tour the set meal was already preselected by our amazing hotel Sofia in Danang. The set menu consisted of these 7 foods:

1. Vegetable Curry and garlic bread
2. Banana Flower Salad with prawns
3. Griller fish in banana leaf
4. Saute sweet & sour calamari
5. Fried green beans
6. Steamed rice
7. Fresh fruit salad

The veggie curry reminded me a lot of Thai cuisine as the flavour was pretty much the same. It consisted of sweet potato which was purple of colour and harder than we used to, potatoes and carrots. The next dish was a banana flower salad with prawns and served with rice paper. Banana Flower Salad was my favourite, like the name says it consisted of the bottom flower which looks a bit like onion. It also had noodles, grated carrots, amazing flavours and topped with sesame seeds and fried onions. I mastered eating this with chopsticks.

Next up was the griller fish which was served wrapped up in a banana leaf. The flavour that the banana leaf pulled through was surprisingly extremely tasty. The fried green beans was normal shoe string beans served as a side dish. The last main meal was the calamari which was the typical tastes of Chinese sweet & sour. This was accompanied with steamed rice grown in Hoi An very own rice fields. Lastly dessert was a plate of fruit consisting of the Vietnam fruit dragon fruit. It doesn’t have much taste, but the more you eat it, it develops a unique taste like a melon. The other fruits were the sweetest watermelon and banana.

If you ever find yourself in Hanoi please do visit Banana Leaf Cafe. Vietnamese are very dependant on tourists and their contribution to the local businesses.

 

Banana & Chocolate Bread & Butter Pudding

First Sunday of the blessed month of Ramadaan and I’m finding myself reminiscing to one of my many Sunday fun days. This one in particular is about a day at Vredenheim Big Cats Park followed by dessert at Spier Hotel. I knew it was going to be one of the last Sunday tea time outings before we fast for a month so I had to indulge a bit.

Arriving at Spier Hotel, I walked straight through to their lounge area outside. There weren’t many options on the dessert menu but the banana and chocolate bread and butter pudding stood out to me which is strange as I usually do not like banana in food or desserts besides pancakes. The chocolate and bread pudding part is what drove me to give it a chance.

The Banana and Chocolate Bread and Butter Pudding was served in a small round dish with hazelnut ice cream. The presentation was simple: topped with a purple flower and some leaves in the plate where the round dish with the pudding was in. Taking my first spoonful into the pudding I was impressed with the texture and even amount of banana and chocolate. I was pleasantly surprised and my taste buds were having a celebration. The hazelnut ice cream was also the perfect pairing combination. Truth be told the actual pudding was so good that it can eaten without the ice cream. My boyfriend was very sceptical trying the pudding as he claims I eat “anything and everything”. To his own surprise he loved the taste of the pudding. We loved it so much that after the pudding was finished we ordered another one.

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Banana & Chocolate Bread & Butter Pudding

This pudding was truly a gastronomic experience!

Well done Spier Hotel, we will certainly be back for more. Hopefully this time we can get a bigger serving!

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Postcard Cafe

Weekends are meant for relaxing, going out and spending time with your loved ones which is exactly what my last weekend was all about. It is quite sad that weekends have to end on Sundays, but alas no better way than to end it on a high note.

I found myself doing the clichéd Sunday drive. My boyfriend and I took a scenic drive to Stellenbosch, through the beautiful Jonkershoek Valley and found ourselves in a piece of heaven called Stark-Condé Wines. I have previously seen images of Stark-Conde and their Postcard Cafe but they definitely do not do justice to the majestic beauty that is Stark-Conde.

Once we parked the car, I took a moment taking in my surroundings. I was overwhelmed by a feeling of gratitude that I am blessed to stay in such a beautiful city.  We were surrounded by the greenest grass, mountains, trees… mother nature at its best.

Postcard Cafe truly has the ideal location within this piece of heaven. The cafe has a relaxed atmosphere.  There are both indoor and outdoor seating. I strongly recommend you sit outside to appreciate the breathtaking views. Once showed to our seats I went camera happy snapping away at the magnificent scenery. I was looking at a green stretch of grass, a bridge crossing over a dam with picture perfect mountains surrounding us.

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In true form it was that time of the day when tea was in order, but browsing through the menu, Postcard Cafe’s selection of homemade drinks caught my attention. I opted for the homemade lemonade which was very refreshing. I couldn’t make a decision as to what dessert I wanted. My options were scones, baked cheesecake, honey & almond tart to name a few. My boyfriend went for the malva pudding which is always a winner. I was impressed with the malva puddings presentation in a shape of a flower. I went for the cheesecake as it was the waitress recommendation. When it comes to food I prefer making my own decisions but this time I was happy with the cheesecake recommendation. My taste buds were definitely happy as I started eating into the cheesecake. It was a plain baked cheesecake, but delicious enough with no need for a topping.  I found myself really enjoying the crust of the cheesecake, I got so caught up in the flavours that I finished the crust before the actual cheesecake.

Postcard Cafe you are without a doubt one of my best places and I will definitely be back to be mesmerized by your beauty!

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Pancake Café

It’s Sunday evening, and the end of the western tradition called Mother’s Day. Up until two years ago I loved this day, all the planning, surprises, food but most of all the company of gold, my mother (may she rest in peace).

It is because of this day I’m reminiscing about a previous Mother’s Day where I took my mum and two aunts to Franshoek.  Last weekend I was in Franshoek with my beloved so the memory is strong. I love the town, its beauty, tranquility and the feeling of being away.  Thinking about Franshoek is reminding me of Pancake Café.

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Pancake Café is perfectly situated in the main street of Franshoek surrounded by the mountains. The café itself shares space with a gift shop.  Inside seating is very limited and looks straight into the kitchen area where everything is prepared and teases you with all the delicious smells. Majority of the seating area is outside with lovely views of the town.

I have been craving pancakes and ordered the caramel with banana pancake. I simply loved the fact that it was served with runny caramel sauce filling my whole plate. Pancake Café thank you for hitting the spot. It was the perfect portion served with what tasted like homemade ice cream.

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If you find yourself in Franshoek and looking for something sweet or savoury I strongly suggest a visit to Pancake Café.

 

 

Yum Eat Café

It’s Sunday and another long weekend and I am feeling nostalgic thinking about my last long weekend break-away with my bestie. Easter Sunday and we had decided to drive out from Hermanus and go exploring.

In complete holiday relaxed mode, we took a lovely Sunday drive with picturesque views along the way. We ended up driving through a small town called Stanford as the quaintness caught my attention.

Driving through the town, which felt like we were in back in history a pinkish vintage style house transformed into a café caught our attention. Naturally I pulled into the driveway of Yum Eat Café.

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It was a public holiday so we were delighted to find the café open. We were welcomed to the café by the owner and shown to a table. As you walk into Yum Eat Café the pink wall where the coffe is made and cakes live pull you in. The café is also an art gallery with beautiful paintings all around.

Yum Eat Café has a warm artsy feel to it. Aside from the paintings they also sell various artisanal local goods. We sat at a table opposite the desserts and looking into a vintage cabinet full of their own brand of teas.

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We loved the fact that the café is owned by a lovely couple and everything is freshly made by them and their friendly staff. We were also impressed to find out that the husband is also a Pilate’s instructor.

It was lunch time but the cakes jumped out to us and it was evident that dessert was going to be lunch. I am a very fussy carrot cake eater but I took a chance and tried Yum Eat Café’s…..my taste buds were blown away with the first bite. Their carrot cake was moist and simply delicious. All the ingredients were carefully put together by hand by the wife. Well done on this pure delicacy!

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Yum Eat Café you have left us with very fond memories, we will visit soon when in Stanford.

 

 

The Orchard

My long weekend started in a good way with the blessings of a Friday. The past Friday has been the best one for me by far. It marked a very important milestone to the start of a beautiful life journey and also marked the start of my bestie road trip to Hermanus.

With road trips come random stops and the inspiration to this post.

We stumbled across the Orchard Farm stall while reaching the end of Sir Lowry’s Pass in Elgin. From the road it looked like a lovely “dorpie”style farm stall with a massive outdoor garden and entertainment area. The explorer in me immediately made a sharp turn and informed my bestie that this was where we having tea. It was such a great spontaneous decision.

As we walked through the farm stall we felt like buying all the homemade goods…not to worry we didn’t break the bank but we did buy Popeye sherbet…how could we resist the childhood thrill of sherbet through a pipe.farmstall.jpg

After making our way to the restaurant / coffee area, we were seated in the enclosed “stoop”area. This was very cosy filled with paintings and overlooking the outdoor garden / play area with easy access to the farm stall.outdoor.jpg

Thanks to our walk-about through Orchard we knew exactly what we wanted before looking at the menu. I ordered the scones that were served with strawberry jam and cream and my bestie took a chocolate butter icing and a dollop of caramel.

I absolutely devoured the scones, it was the best tasting melt in your mouth scones. It was that good there was no time for chit chat.beforedevoured

If you ever find yourself on Sir Lowry’s Pass I strongly suggest a pit stop at Orchard.garden.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

011ze South Africa French Crêperie

After a long stressful morning in the hospital, the perfect end to the fake Sunday was to be treated to drool-worthy pancakes or to be particular, French crêpes. My remedy for the day = perfect company + 011ze French Crêpes

011ze is a French Crêperie that recently opened in South Africa; its home is in Tygervalley Shopping Centre  in Bellville, Cape Town. If you are a pancake lover or a sweet tooth fan this should be the best news for you!

I opted for the Caramelised Banana Nutella and Chantilly Crêpe.  It’s a massive crêpe that folds down to a triangle with fried banana quarters, nutella drizzled everywhere and then finally topped with chantilly which is a sweet frothy cream. No need for ice cream thanks to the chantilly.

Foodgasm is probably the best way to explain how I felt devouring the crêpe.

011ze SA Crêperie you will definitely be seeing me again!

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