A Sausage In The Making

The Germans are not a people known for their sense of humour or dress sense, but there are lots of other things they’re very good at.

Like precision engineering.

And precision sausage making.

And good beer brewing.

Even though Cape Town is awash with German folk the Photog and I have not been able to find a good German restaurant until one night in Hout Bay on the lookout for a meal I did not have to cook we stumbled across Alpenstube. It’s a charming place, and looks exactly how one would imagine a German beer hall to look, complete with beer garden, lots of wood and steins.

The Photog claims he doesn’t get cravings but he was positively gleeful when he looked at the hearty sounding menu complete with Eisbein (his fav) and a lot of sausage. And beer of course.

We tried German brews we’d never heard of, and took a few bottles home for our collection. We tried and loved some delicious sausages, sauerkraut and German potato salad. It’s not exactly a diet friendly cuisine and with our new uber-healthy eating plan we’ll have to save our next visit for cheat day.

But it is worth the calories if you love hearty, delicious food, ice cold beers and really great service.

The beer garden will be delightful in summer, if it ever gets here.

 

 

 

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The Best/Biggest Burger In Cape Town

There. I’ve put my neck on the line and will state that I have eaten the best burger in Cape Town. And that is a brave statement considering the many, many great burger places all over our fair city. But the best one is to be found at The Dog’s Bollocks at the Yard in Gardens on Roodehek street. In true Cape Town style it’s very very different from any other burger joint. It’s in a yard/garage and consists of some iron furniture that I’m pretty sure my gran once owned, old lampshades and a counter where Nigel Wood makes his magic.

There is no cutlery, no waiters, no choice of drinks, just red or white wine and no ice. All there is is a chalkboard with the day’s burgers. Just burgers, no chips. And a giant chalkboard door that you have to write your name and number of burgers you want to ensure you get one as there are only 50 burgers served a night so when they’re gone there are no more. The burgers range from R55 to R65 and every single one sounded amazing.

There is one giant knife behind the counter that Nigel will gladly lend you to cut your enormous burger. And you will have to cut it. And take lots of serviettes. Because it is MESSY. I had the Mexican chilli chocolate burger and the Photog wrapped his mouth around a chilli burger. Luckily we’d been on many dates so I didn’t feel the need to try hide my dripping and smeared visage from him as I tucked in (ladies no first dates are recommended). He even took a photo of me mid feast but that will never see the light of day.

I didn’t care though, I was too busy devouring the most scrumptious burger I have ever tasted. You won’t miss the chips, this monster is more than enough. If you do want something other to drink than wine there’s a garage around the corner where you can get cooldrinks or just bring a cooler box of beer and give Nigel one as corkage.

It gets very busy and you can’t book a table so arrive early, it opens at 5pm and closes at 10pm. The Yard also hosts other foodie delights, such as the Bitches Tits which is open during the day and serves lunchtime delights like famous sandwiches and stuff, the Deluxe Coffee Works operates in the back with some of the best coffee in town and Mucky Mary’s hubcap breakfast which is a type of build your own breakfast.

So there’s something for everyone in this tasty cram. But try the burgers first. Trust me.

Llamas Love Keenwa

In the heart of Cape Town’s CBD in a beautifully restored Victorian building lies South Africa’s first Peruvian restaurant and the key to the correct pronunciation of ‘quinoa’. The Photog heard about Keenwa and I was very keen wa (ha ha) to try it. I’ll always try something once, even tripe (but never again).

Luckily it was a delicious exploration. And the interior is filled with photos of Peru and llamas (another animal favourite of mine). The service is great too and our Colombian waiter helped us navigate a totally unfamiliar menu to be able to get an in-depth taste of Peruvian food. It’s very interesting as the owner was telling us that Peru is influenced by many different cultures in their cooking such as Spanish, Asian and even Middle Eastern.

We had a great starter platter with the definite highlight being the squid cooked in olives and the Cerviche, which is hailed as a sort of national dish. It was incredibly refreshing and I couldn’t get enough of the sauce. Mains were equally yummy with some of the best short ribs I’ve ever had and the Photog tried quinoa, which was another first. At this point our waiter must have divined we were full to bursting because he very kindly brought us two shots of Pisco Sours on the house. He said it was a good digestif similar to grappa but is made from the whole grape, rather than just the pips. It certainly smelled like it could digest my food in rapid time. But the llama told us it would be good for us so we finished our fiery shots.

Despite our Pisco we could not find room for dessert, which was a pity as they had some of the most interesting sounding desserts I’ve ever seen. We promised our waiter we would come back and start with dessert first next time. When the bill came it was a bit steep, the culprit was the starter platter. However they do have good lunchtime specials during the week so I’m definitely going to try that.
And if you’re not too full after dinner or boring like us there is a very trendy bar attached to the restaurant called the P.I.S.C.O. bar. It serves Pisco sours cocktails and Peruvian tapas and looks to be a good place to have a few drinks and socialise with some pretty Cape Town people.

From Me To Me

Since I’ve met the Photog I have learned how tasty breakfast foods can be. True love is like that, open your heart and you discover the delicousness of Egg’s Benedict.

Since arriving in Cape Town we have been on the search for the best breakfast.

There are many contenders but one always seems to come up on my Twitter stream – Dear Me. I’d sworn to give it a try and when we had the luxury of rolling out of bed late on Thursday morning I saw mention of some of their delectable sounding menu and got the Photog out of bed and into the car.

And into the arms of a divine breakfast and excellent cappuccino. The brassiere/pantry is clean and fresh inside, with green, white and wood decor and chalkboards galore. Their menu was every bit as good as it sounded in Twitterland with the added bonus of every dish having various wheat-free/starch-free options, which are normally a nightmare and a big ask at some restaurants.

Luckily the Photog got a shot in before we devoured what was a truly yummy start to our public holiday.

Try the Egg’s Benedict – you will want to eat breakfast food all day every day.

I’m A Lucky Girl

The explorer team has turned two. In celebration the Photog treated me to dinner at a surprise venue.

I love surprises, I never got enough of them as a kid. So I was on the edge of my seat the whole day, emailing the Photog and begging for clues. Eventually he asked if I wanted to know but I stayed strong. And it was a great one – I had no clue as we drove into Woodstock where we could be going.  I’d mentioned this restaurant a while ago as somewhere I wanted to try and then it promptly went out my head.

It was The Potluck Club!

It’s a new venture by award winning chef Luke Dale-Roberts and is right next to his restaurant The Test Kitchen at The Old Biscuit Mill (another one I am desperate to try). The menu has a definite Asian influence and is inspired by the tapas style of eating; you’re encouraged to order and share the many delectable sounding dishes.  Which was not a problem for us, I always make the Photog order something different to me so I get maximum menu exposure at restaurants.

The restaurant made me feel like I was in an Asian art gallery cum dining room, with beautiful art decorating the dark walls, a mix of warm wooden and metal furniture and a kitchen open to the diners. The staff were very friendly and helpful and I didn’t have to once do the awkward ‘over here, I need help’ wave.

We started with perfectly crisp and salty parsnip chips – Paleo friendly and totally moreish. Followed swiftly by an updated version of a fish taco and an absolutely delicious Asian tartar.
The attention to detail of the taste, smell and texture of ingredients was incredible, each dish was unique and even though I’d eaten types of those dishes elsewhere, they tasted like nothing I’d ever had before.

Next we tried the duck spring roll. I’ve taken a strong liking to duck. I really liked these. Our final two dishes were the fillet, done with a truffle au lait sauce and the Chinese pork ribs.

Both of our eyes were popping out of heads as we tasted these, the steak was the softest I have ever eaten, like marshmallow meat. And that sauce! The ribs were also doused in a sauce that almost had me licking my plate clean. At this point I was so full of love for the the Photog he could’ve asked me to do anything and I would’ve happily agreed.

Even though dessert looked very tempting I just couldn’t find the room. So we ended our night of perfection off with some good cappuccinos and we rolled our way to the car.

Dog Gone Delicious

My primary school tuckshop lady made a killer hotdog. To this day I have been unable to recreate that crispy on the outside, soft as fluff on the inside roll, perfectly balanced by that impossibly pink vienna and melted butter.

But life has moved on from the tuckshop special. I now enjoy more than just viennas (trying so hard not to use the word sausage once in this post) and was delighted to discover this purveyor of gourmet hotdogs, which we tried on Friday night (much to the Photog’s delight due to our week’s attempt at the Paleo diet).

On A Roll in Mowbray is done in a American diner style, complete with booths, posters of Elvis and neon lighting. We didn’t stay to eat because I wanted to catch the Olympic opening ceremony at home. I had the Chicago and the Photog had the dog of the day, which was my fav (thank goodness we cut our dogs in half and shared them). Both were really good, the dog of the day had some totes delicious lamb and rocket and mine had pickles and mustard, what’s not to love. The dogs are pretty healthy portion sizes, but you can double up with another sausage and it comes with string fries.

They looked like they had some pretty rad shakes too, Vodka and Cherry! We will definitely be back to sit down for some more Paleo unfriendly food. Plus they have a donation box where you can drop dog food and blankets that they donate to animal shelters. So have a dog and help a dog 🙂

I Fondue

I am in love with Cape Town. I would marry this city if I could (sorry Photog). Even a lunch on a rainy Tuesday is something wonderful and different. I mean where else could you eat fondue in a laundry?

I ♥ My Laundry promotes itself as South Africa’s first destination laundry. I definitely think they’re onto something here. You can get your laundry done, grab a delicious brew, peruse some local artists’ creations and even eat great food like Dim Sum or a scrumptious Beef Consomme Fondue, which is a lunchtime special that I tucked into yesterday.

I am a fondue fan. The novelty of cooking my little bits of food myself and combining interesting flavours appeals to me. But my friends, inconsiderate humans that they are, have only ever had one fondue night and it’s just too much effort and especially sad to make a fondue for one. So when I saw the tweet about fondue from @ilovemylaundry I hustled myself out into the rain and made the Photog meet me there.

The first thing I noticed about the Laundry was the friendly welcome I got from Clayton and Mico. They made me feel at home, like I’d just popped into a friend’s place for a cup of tea and to borrow her tumble dryer cause mine is on the blink. The Photog and I got a perfectly brewed cappuccino while we waited for our fondue. And when it arrived my heart did little skips of joy.

The fondue was a beef consomme which is great because it’s not overly rich like a cheese one or oil one and I’d never had it before so a definite plus for novelty factor. There were three types of meat, fillet, rump (rubbed with a special spice mix) and kameeldoring boerewors, and a mix of veggies and rye bread (drizzled with 11 month matured olive oil). And they all made it into my face in record time. The battle of the forks for fair cooking space and confusion of who put what in first just added to fondue fun. I’m lucky the Photog is such a well mannered fonduer – one person in the relationship has to be.

See all gone. Except for the poor green pepper; no reflection on it as a vegetable, the Photog and I just really don’t like the taste. But everything else was absolutely delicious, tasty and divine. A nice glass of red wine would’ve finished the meal off perfectly, and it was offered but work called. However I did get a sweet treat in the form of fudge, three flavours, and just to be fair I had to taste them all, champagne, lemon and pistachio. Quite possibly the best fudge I have ever tasted. It was difficult to keep two pieces for the Photog believe me.

So even though my washing machine and tumble dryer work perfectly, I will be back to the destination laundry.