Tag Archives: food

Flower syrup at Delvera

Flower syrup at Delvera
Crisna, from Crisna's Olives at Delvera, doesn't only sell olives and olive products. I happened upon these bottles of jasmine and hibiscus flower syrups. Don't they sound divine? In case you can't read the price sticker on the bottles in this photo - at time of writing they cost only R30 for a bottle - which is pretty reasonable, don't you think?

OMG, deep fried oreos!

OMG, deep fried oreos!
Who thinks up this stuff?! Oh, the Americans. Right. I should have guessed. :) Hudsons sells these for R25 (for all four oreos), which is pretty much a bargain for any dessert. They were pretty damn good and the only recommendation I have is to order it with a small bowl of vanilla ice cream.

French crêpes in Cape Town

French crepes in Cape Town
It's been a real long time since I've had real French crepes. In South Africa, we mostly get pancakes, which are similar to crepes (also round, big, and super-thin), only the batter is somewhat sweeter.

On spotting the stall along Camps Bay's Victoria Street (near Blues), I eyeballed the words "French Pancake" and decided that these probably weren't the real deal. But, when I walked up to the stall I first noticed the Nutella (a filling that's really popular in France), and then realised that the owner really was French - and that the pancakes were indeed real crepes.

I chatted with the owner for a while and learned that he makes both sweet and savory crepes called galettes (made from buckwheat flour), and that he's at Camps Bay most days, unless he's out doing a private function.

Sweet treats

Sweet treats
Isn't it weird that a store named "Fruit 'n Veg" sell cakes and sweets and everything not healthy? These are exactly the antonym of fruit and vegetables! :)

I felt like Augustus Gloop and really had to restrain myself no to dive over the counter and smash as many cakes as I could into my mouth before store security arrived.

The heart of good food in St George’s Mall

The heart of good food
We don't frequent the open-air St George's Mall that often - so we were really surprised when we stumbled upon Fruit 'n Veg City, a fresh food chain that started off many years ago as an alternative to regular supermarkets, selling only fruit and vegetables (normally directly from local farmers).

In subsequent years they expanded, introduced more variety, branched out into selling meat, dairy, and baked goods, and is now in many ways South Africa's equivalent of the renown American Whole Foods Market.

This particular Fruit 'n Veg store (near the top of St George's Mall in Cape Town) surprised us a little - it was fantastic. The food looked especially yummy. The store was neat and squeaky clean. It wasn't thronging with people, and the variety of food was simply awesome.

If you're hungry and looking for take-away food (other than fast-food), then pop in at Fruit 'n Veg near the top of St George's Mall. I think I even spied an informal group of tables and chairs where you can sit down to quickly devour your meal.

Chicken karahi special!

Chicken karahi special!
When I saw this sign in Woodstock's Lower Main Road I had no idea what chicken karahi was. Friendly Google was helpful enough to explain that it's a Pakastani and North Indian dish that uses plenty of chili to make it hot 'n spicy. The price of R120 doesn't seem like an exceptional bargain though - unless it's a family pack that they're selling (which is possible if, as I suspect, the white writing in the lower left corner reads 1KG).

Ice cream cone

Ice cream cone
Many years ago there used to be a little place that sold ice cream next to the Sea Point public swimming pool. The vendor closed down some time ago, leaving the spot vacant for several years.

Only recently, while walking in the area, did I notice that a small group of vendors have opened shop on the same spot, selling a variety of treats - including this, my favourite. :)

Jive!

Jive Rocky soda
Jive a popular fizzy drink created in 1989 and produced by Quality Beverages in Cape Town. This particular wall painting of if the flavour Rocky - which is actually ginger beer, and a competitor to Stoney (produced by Coca-Cola). While not inferior, Jive is generally a few rands cheaper than internationally-popular drinks like Coca-Cola or Fanta, which makes it popular among those who drink large quantities of fizzy drinks.

Fig preserve and cheese – a perfect snack

Fresh figs on cheese
Clearly these are fresh, they're not preserved figs - but they are lying beautifully positioned on a large round cheese, which reminded me of how much I really do love sticky-gooey-sweet green fig preserve on cheese; especially camembert cheese!

It's just before 12am in the evening, and posting this photo has compelled me to prepare for a midnight snack - I do believe I have fig preserve and camembert cheese in the fridge. :)

Mixed herbs and other leafy things

Mixed herbs and other leafy things
Kerry-Anne's brother, the family horticulturist, started a business growing herbs and other leafy salad things from their little farm in Langebaan a little while back. I visited the Market at the Palms (a bi-monthly market in Woodstock, where he sells some of his produce) on Saturday to touch base with the family and (I have to admit) indulge in chocolate from the chocolate fountain operated by Rococoa, the most insanely-awesome chocolatier I've ever visited. If you have a chocolate addiction, then be warned, I'll share those photos tomorrow!

But for now, if you're interested in doing the healthy thing and buying seedlings to start your own herb-and-salad-leaf garden, visit the Mixed Herbs Facebook page and leave a message on the wall, or email John directly for more info.

It’s the sweetie man coming

It's the sweetie man coming
This photo, taken at Cravings Delicatessen in Sea Point, reminded me of the reality-type movie District 9, shot in Johannesburg.

The scene below shows the main character entering the home of an alien who's been suspected of criminal activity. I have the idea that one has to have grown up in South Africa to appreciate the humour, but I'd be interested to know if folk who have not grown up here find the scene amusing.

N****r balls. Really? What were we thinking?

N****r balls. Really? What were we thinking?
Edit: I wrote this post about 7 years ago. Recently I've learned that seeing the n-word typed out in full is triggering for many people, regardless of the context in which it appears. For that reason this edit redacts the word.

I guess it's no surprise that we no longer call these black sweets N****r Balls.

As a kid I was oblivious to the fact that the name given to these could be derogatory - I'd never linked the name to the obvious connotation, and I suspect that the same was true for most people (or kids at least) back then. Today they're simply called Black Balls, which I guess is a less objectionable name.

The word "n****r" has never been a commonly-used term in South Africa. We have our own set of offensive terms that have for many years now been considered unacceptable.

Old brands of food – old memories

Old brands of food - old memories
Do you remember these brands? Remember these old bottles, tins and boxes? Click here to see an up-close photo of the photo on that wall - you'll be able to make out many brands that I'm sure you've (if you're old enough) have used over the years.

Oxo makes milk very interesting?

Oxo makes milk very interesting
So yes, I know Oxo as a thick, sticky, beefy spread (that one normally applies to toast) and as a beef stock cube used in cooking - but Oxo in milk? You have to be kidding me!

I'm sure the tag line is quite correct - not tasty, not yummy, but "interesting".

Sweets and things

Sweets and things
A friend grabbed my camera and shot this photo while we were standing in the queue at a local supermarket.

This got me thinking about the times that we've been to Australia, the US or Europe and how even, though we have an adequate array of sweet goodies, folk in those countries have dozens more options when it comes to satisfying their taste buds. It's just not fair! :)

Seeing this photo reminds me of the Mentos and Coke experiments... aren't they just awesome?

Best waffles in town?

Best waffles in town?
I took this photo inside of Den Anker, a well-known Belgian restaurant at the V&A Waterfront. But, before you go thinking that Den Anker serves the best waffles in town... allow me to tell you my story.

Several months ago we had waffles at a restaurant called Blonde, just behind the Company Gardens in Cape Town. The waffles that we had that night were undeniably the best that I'd ever (ever) tasted. I tried typing a sentence to describe how awesome they were, but I just can't seem to come up with something to adequately convey how great they really were.

Subsequent to our visit to Blonde, we were told that Den Anker sells great waffles - so, we naturally headed over there to give theirs a whirl. Unfortunately, even though they were pretty good (and a definite second-place contender) the waffles that we had at Blonde significantly outclassed any waffle we've ever had - including those at Den Anker.

Do you know who sells "the best" waffles? If so, and as long as you don't say Milky Lane, please do leave a comment on this post.

Blonde closed down for a little while - but I believe that they'll be opening again... in which case, you know where to find me. ;)

Fanta flavours

Fanta Grape
Most people are familiar with Fanta Orange - it is after all the second drink that the Coca-Cola company produced after the original Coca-Cola. In South Africa we get two flavours of Fanta, the traditional orange flavour and the dark red grape flavour - shown in this photo.

I learned that Coca-Cola in Australia doesn't produce Fanta Grape, so I did a little research on the subject. I was surprise to hear that worldwide Coca-Cola produces several flavours of Fanta... so I wonder why we only get two.

What flavours do you get in your country?

A bright green Creme Soda

Creme Soda
One of South Africa's most popular soft drinks is Creme Soda which, in South Africa, is a bright-green, sweet, bubbly, vanilla liquid. The earliest memory that I have of the drink is enjoying it as a Creme Soda ice-cream float at one of our local restaurant chains. Yum!

I believe Creme Soda tastes fairly different in other countries and is more often a clear, light brown, pink, red, or even blue drink. For us, drinking a glass of differently-coloured Creme Soda would be much like trying to drink a mug of red coffee or blue tea. Perfectly distasteful!

When visiting South Africa, you absolutely have to try Creme Soda.
It's green, but you'll love it. :)

Trifle is from the Devil

Christmas Trifle

If trifle is indeed from the Devil then it's quite ironic that its a dessert that my mom saves to make once a year, for Christmas day. If you're not sure why I'm of the opinion that the dessert is born from pure evil - just click here for a Google image search (beware, not for sensitive viewers). ;)

From what I"ve read the earliest reports of a trifle-like dish stem from England in the 1590s - except that back then the ingredients were possibly simpler: thick flavoured cream, sugar, ginger and rosewater.

Trifles are quire different today - they contain sponge cake that's been soaked in alcohol (sherry, for example), pieces of fruit (often berries), custard, jelly (which I think our American friends call jello), and a whole lot of thickly-whipped cream. These ingredients are (as you can see from the pics) layered to form the multi-layered decadent pudding that's perfectly yummy.

Falafel or Felafel?

Falafel on a menu
I guess there's no real debate here, Falafel is spelled Falafel (although, to be fair, I wouldn't have known had Kerry-Anne not pointed it out). :)

Don't get too excited - I'm sure the chocolate brownies were made from carob. I mean, read the notes below the Date Crunchies - I think the only thing that they left off the list is fun-free. :) This and the spelling violation aside, doesn't the menu look awfully healthy?

Torino Chocolates

Torino Chocolates
Assuming you don't know the shop, and without looking up the address - where have you seen this bike parked? Every time Kerry-Anne and I have driven past either the shop's been closed or we've always been in too much of a rush to visit.

I'll share with you a view of the inside tomorrow, but alas, I can't share with you what I bought... :)

Breakfast at the Foodbarn Deli

Foodbarn DeliUpon the recommendation of a friend, we had breakfast at the Foodbarn Deli at Noordhoek Farm Village on Saturday. From now on I shall take very seriously any recommendation made by said friend. What a fabulous spot!

Not only was the food excellent (it's only the second place Paul and I have found in the Cape that can actually make a proper poached egg), but the atmosphere was great as well. It seems to be THE spot to be on a Saturday morning in Noordhoek - we had to wait for a few minutes to get a table, and throughout the morning people just kept on streaming in. The decor is very pretty, and of course I was totally enchanted by the wall of books you can see in this photo.

Noordhoek Farm Village is quite a long drive from where we live (59km, as mentioned in our previous post), but I think it may just be worth getting up early once in a while and driving through for a Saturday morning breakfast. Perhaps we'll see you there. :)

Old signs: Nestlé Cocoa

Cocoa
This is the last of the four old advertising signboards that I wanted to share with you.

Cocoa contains a substance called epicatechin, which appears to have huge health benefits for humans. Unfortunately cocoa (and chocolate) contain other substances called xanthines that are deadly to dogs and cats. Isn't it strange that a food that's perfectly good for humans is deadly to their most loved pets?

Old signs: Simba chips

Simba Chips
Simba is one of the well known potato chip (sometimes called "crisps") manufacturers in South Africa. The company was founded way back in 1956 by the Greyvenstein family, and is today still one of the most loved brands. Perhaps this is because they make great chips, or perhaps because kids like friendly lions. Or, perhaps it's because of their extremely well-known tag-line "Simba roarrrs With flavour".

Many years ago, when in primary school, our teacher took us on an outing to the Simba factory. It was fascinating to watch how potatos got skinned, chopped up, and dumped into huge baths of oil. I however remember at the time being mildly disenchanted by the thought that the chips that I loved weren't lovely made by friendly ladies in nice kitchens, but by machines in dirty-looking factories. :(

Take-away food

Take-away food
Besides for the prominent "Masala Steak plus 2L Sparletta" in the photo, you'll notice several signs advertising Gatsbys (Gats-bea) - a common meal bought at small shops like these ones, near the castle, at the top of the Grand Parade (map). A Gatsby is similar in a way to a Subway sub, but filled with hot chips (French fries), various meats (often sausages), perhaps some salad, and certainly plenty of sauces.

Don't expect eating a Gatsby to be easy - it's large, very messy, yet surprisingly and delightfully tasty. :)

Ice Cream

Ice Cream
Back in the day when I was a kid and holidays comprised long trips to sunny caravan parks, my parents use to buy us chocolate-dipped ice creams - almost every day. Wow. I'm really surprised that I managed to avoid diabetes and becoming all podgy! :)

About a week ago I suddenly had a craving for one of *those* ice creams, and eventually in a moment of desperation I drove to the local Spar convenience shop and bought one of those divine Magnum ice creams (the one dipped in white chocolate and with crushed almonds). In short, it was delicious. Occasional indulgences really are awesome. :)

Fresh Ice Tea and a photo exhibition

Ice Tea
Neighbour Goods Market at the Old Biscuit Mill is a place to visit if you love mingling with people and buying wholesome fresh food, all in a relaxed atmosphere. Merrill, one of our readers, sent me this photo taken at the market at about the same time as another reader, Saul from PlayJumpEat, sent me some information about a photo exhibition that he'll be hosting at the Biscuit Mill (which, based on the name PlayJumpEat, is an apt location ;) ):

"We are having an exhibition of the Bedjump series with the opening on Saturday, 10 April. The exhibition will be at Exposure Gallery at the Biscuit Mill. We will have a bed there on Saturday for everyone to jump on and have their photographs taken."

Jumping on a bed while having your photo taken may sound like a strange concept... but if you're keen to either buy one of the photos, or have your photo taken (presumably for free), stop by the Biscuit Mill (map) on Saturday morning.

Not the way to do sushi

A sushi platter

We visited Wasabi in Constantia for a sushi feast with a few friends, and at this occasion I learned one important lesson about eating sushi out:

Pay full price for your sushi and never order the sushi platter that's on special. :)

This particular platter cost about R100 and seemed to contain all the small offcuts of salmon and tuna, as well as many vegetarian pieces that, judging by how dry the carrots appeared, weren't very fresh at all.

I ended up eating just over half of the platter before realising that I really wasn't enjoying it enough to continue. From the way the other folk at the table devoured their meals, I assume that the other sushi must have been good; but this was presumably because they didn't order the platter that was on special. :-/