Fire and Ice ice baby!

Hiiii again, remember me?? I wouldn’t blame you if you didn’t. I’m quite disgusted in how scarce I’ve been. However, I apologise profusely and would now like to make it up to you by telling you about hamburgers!

So, I visited the Fire and Ice hotel a few weeks ago at Melrose Arch. It’s a popular place for gourmet burgers and milkshakes according to the general public, but I had to check this out for myself.

Then, last week I went to a newer burger joint called Burger Republic also popular for burgers (obviously) and milkshakes!
So basically, I consumed about 523 000 calories (just an estimate) to make it up to you guys! As long as the food is worth is, I don’t mind the extra cal content…but was it?

If I’m being honest and straight up, the Fire and Ice hotel was better all round. Their burgers were of a better quality and it’s just obvious that they’ve been doing it for longer. I ordered a chicken burger topped with their “cheese and chong”. This was a delicious topping made with caramelised onions, chorizo sausage and smoked mozzarella cheese. Seriously…so good. My burger was followed by the deliciousness that was the “chunky crumbs” milkshake – cold, creamy, chocolatey, nutty, bits of brownie – what more could a girl ask for??
Burger Republic wasn’t too bad, but I found that they were trying too hard to be gourmet and not just letting the food speak for itself. There wasn’t even an option for normal fries because they “aren’t gourmet enough”…Heston Blumenthal serves chips people; and his restaurant holds 3 Michelin stars! I’m just saying.
So, at Burger Republic, I ordered the “Rocky”! It definitely sounded like the best option to me, and when all the food arrived, I certainly enjoyed mine the most after hearing the other’s comment; but in saying that, it still wasn’t up to standard. The “Rocky” included a beef patty topped with a blue cheese sauce, bacon and roasted mushrooms. It was nice. After my nice burger, I got the Mint Flake 99 milkshake. I must say, it was quite scrumptious, but unfortunately it was a tad small and that was their biggest and only size – I don’t drink milkshakes often, but when I do, I don’t do it in half measures.
So I’m considering ending things with Burger Republic…it’s just not doing it for me. And besides, F&I has way more experience so I’m certain we’ll be meeting up for another rendezvous.

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Chicken burger from F&I
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Beef burger with blue cheese sauce, mushrooms and bacon from Burger Republic

Croft&Co.

So, I realise that I haven’t  posted for quite some time now, and frankly I’m appalled at my lack of writing and eating! But work is a real thing people.
I am, however, feeling back to my old self having just stepped out for brunch.             
Today I visited Croft&Co. A sweet, woody coffee shop in Parkview. It’s situated on Tyrone Street betwixt and between the strip mall that is situated here…which is really stunning by the way. Full of old fashioned shops and boutiques, as well as more eateries.

Anyway, back to Croft. It was really lovely, but nothing too special. The menu was fairly basic, only offering breakfasts made up of egg, bacon, tomato and mushroom, oh and Portuguese bread called bolo do caco.

They also had toasted sandwiches, salads and little light lunches like pregos and burgers.
So again, it was really nice, but no new exciting flavour combinations or ingredients. And my affaires need to have a little more spice than that.

I stuck to basics and had bacon and eggs. The bacon was really yummy, but then again, when is bacon ever not good?? The eggs were also nice. I had an orange juice..it wasn’t freshly squeezed, but it was so delish! Fresh, cold, sweet and sour…wowza!

The staff were an absolute delight. They were friendly, kind, attentive and patient. That definitely improved my experience.

All in all, my affaire with Croft was rather enjoyable, but they’ll have to up the menu a little to make it really exciting for next time. I’ll certainly be returning.

                               

WAM!!

As I type this, I am sitting at the Wits Art Mueseum – better known as WAM.
The reason I am typing this now is because I am currently eating the most delicious spanakopita and had to start telling you about it right away!

It is of utter most importance that everyone come and try this glorious Greek pastry at least once.

I’ve tried my fair share of spanakopita, including in Greece (Santorini to be more specific) and none compare to this one.
The phyllo pastry is wonderfully crisp and light. It adds great texture and surprising flavour! A huge plus for me is that it is filled to the brim with spinach. There is also not too much cheese in the mixture, which I prefer. It makes the whole thing less rich and more enjoyable to eat.
The one thing I will say, however, is that the bottom of the pastry is a little oily; I’ve had to leave that part out, but it’s a tiny sacrifice when I relect on what I’ve just gobbled down with immense pleasure!   
WAM is run by the on-campus restaurant, Olives and Plates which is really quite lovely. It is no wonder that the food at WAM is so successful.

Introduciiiing….Moemas!

Sooo, I’ve finally taken the plunge and visited Moemas Patisserie!
After hearing so much about it and seeing so many posts, I decided to take advantage of the few free hours I had one morning and pop in with my mom.

It was love at first sight. The beautiful cakes, tarts, biscuits, meringues and macaron were decorating the counter so enticingly that we had to quickly sit down and stare at menus so as not to spoil our breakfast.       

I devoured the most scrumptious omelette. Filled with gorgonzola, caramelised onions and slow roasted tomatoes, it was the perfect balance of egg and ingredients.
My mom had the gluten free fritatta with bacon and spinach; it was served with a side salad. She said it was nice but wasn’t blown away, but then again, it was just your basic fritatta.

We took away two meringues which were a little too chewy for my personal taste, and we got a cinnamon flavoured one which I really didn’t like, but the flavour of the plain one was lovely.

Since Moemas and I have got such a good connection, I went for another visit early this afternoon! Again, Moemas impressed me with its colourful, tasty salads (raw grated beetroot with yoghurt, aubergine with tomato and feta and chickpeas, avocado and coriander) and a delicious Danish filled with ricotta cheese and tomatoes. The pastry was crumbly and crisp and I sat there savouring every bite, hence I was the last eating at my table. It was a beautiful experience.
I was with my sister and cousin. They each had a savoury tart: one was filled with butternut and sweetcorn, the other with chorizo and gorgonzola. Both of them got an extra takeaway because they loved them so much. None of us could stop raving!

To finish, my fellow diners each had a lemon and mascarpone tart and I chose
an apple and pear crumble. Each tart was too tasty for words! I have yet to experience a coffee at Moemas, but at least I’ve got a reason to go back…then again, when does anyone ever need a reason to eat and enjoy great food and drink!

I cannot wait for my next rendezvous with Moemas Patisserie. Soon baby, soon.

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Above is the outstanding omelette accompanied by a strawberry juice.

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The beautiful danish filled with ricotta and tomatoes with my selection of salads on the side

Better than Nice♡

A few mornings ago I stumbled upon the humbly named coffee shop, Nice.
This place is truly a hidden gem; located on the popular 4th Avenue in Parkhurst, Nice sits timidly amongst the beautiful, eye-catching eateries.

I stepped in to an unusual, subtle setting, had a glance at the menu and decided to give it a go. Boy am I glad that I did!

Just sitting there was lovely – the service is friendly and the menu is interesting and varied.
I “built” my own brekkie and had scrambled eggs, their spicy tomato relish and crispy bacon. All absolutely delicious and satisfying.

I sat around relaxing, looking at the simple, quaint decor when I spotted the beautiful cakes at the counter. After enquiring, I chose a flourless chocolate cake. It was amazing! A bit more like mousse because of the lack of flour, but it was filled with Belgian chocolate and was as light as a feather…everything but Nice.
I think it’s safe to say that Nice and I will continue to see each other.

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Lights, Camera, Eat

So, I’m quite aware that the point of my blog is to share my culinary experiences. However, I think it’s only right that I tell you about all aspects of my food journey, including those of a visual nature.

I have just stepped out of the cinema, having watched The Hundred-Foot Journey and I must say, as uncommon as this is, I have no words.

But I suppose I will manage to string a few sentences together for the benefit of my beloved readers.

The movie tells the story of an Indian family who suffers the tragic loss of their wife and mother. They move to a small village in France.
One of the sons is a talented cook, taught by his mother, and the father is quite adamant to buy a derelict building for his family to transform into an Indian restaurant. The only problem is, there is a very popular Michelin starred, French restaurant just one hundred feet away.

From there we, along with the family, experience happiness, sadness, anger, laughter, love and above all…food!
The images of ingredients and finished dishes are mouthwateringly gorgeous and all you want to do is climb into the screen and join each scene for dinner. I found myself growing attached to the family and wanted to carry on with them even after the credits. It probably doesn’t help that the lead character and chef, Hassan, is incredibly easy on the eyes.
His father is possibly the funniest character I’ve come across in a movie. With his one-liners and dry sense of humour, he really lifts the film. Even in more serious moments he lightens the mood – a definite highlight for me.

A beautiful movie filled with beautiful people, beautiful scenery and beautiful food.
A must see for foodies (and females) the world over!

Olives and Plates

The other day, I had the most delicious breakfast at Olives and Plates on the Wits University West Campus.
The Prof. Paw paw wasn’t unlike other health options offered at various eateries, but the fresh sweet fruit and considerate presentation made this specific plate quite a joyous one to eat – allowing for one to add the yoghurt and nuts at one’s leisure or not at all if desired, which I thought was great. The service was patient and attentive.
Definitely worth the affaire!

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I finally found “the foundry”:)

I’d like to start by saying hi, I’m Tayla.
I am a qualified (although not practising) chef. I am an avid writer and eater hence this blog.
My goal is to give an interesting and entertaining insight into the Joburg food scene and my experiences thereof.

Which brings me to my first tale.
Tonight I dined at The Foundry. Located in Parktown North, it is a trendy, cosy restaurant. It was extremely noisy due to the tables and tables of people chattering away – if you’re looking for something DMC appropriate,  then you should probably give this one a miss for
now.

When I caught sight of the menu I was completely sold!
Admittedly, not the cheapest of places, but when you see and taste what you’ve ordered, all those thoughts of expense just go away and you are left alone with your little piece of heaven. I had the sausages and gnocchi – two lamb, one pork and one beef sausage seated next to a tumble of homemade potato gnocchi, a pile of wilted spinach and topped with caramelised onions. All of this sitting on the most amazing onion gravy. It was quite the tearjerker.

To accompany this I had a sparkly sweet strawberry cider – oh so refreshing. My companion had the pork belly with potato and cauliflower pureé and she also requested some of the parsnip pureé which the chef added happily. The plate was drizzled with a coffee gastrique and scattered with macadamia nuts.
I made sure I had a taste and it was positively delightful. I couldn’t really taste the nuts but still lovely!
To finish we shared a classic Eton Mess; as the name suggests, a wonderful, sticky mess of meringue, chantilly cream and berry compôte. A perfect end to the meal.

My food affaire with The Foundry was a passionate one and I believe that it will have to continue.

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