Tag Archives: Asian

Momo Baohaus

Bao… You know that soft steamed Chinese bun filled with delicious ingredients. The bun is light and airy and oh so delicious. Yeah that good stuff. I’ve been having difficulty finding good bao in Pretoria so when Momo Baohaus caught my eye as I was passing Greenside in Joburg I knew that’s where I was having lunch.

Momo Baohaus serves Asian dishes and specialises in bao, bowls (rice, noodles, and wokked greens), and sushi. And every dish on the menu looks tasty.

Some treats before ordering

From the street the restaurant looked empty but as soon as we were standing outside my friends and I were shocked by how full the restaurant was. We got the last table! And we still had to turn it into a table for 3.

As soon as we were seated menus appeared and a couple minutes later (yes, two minutes) a waiter was ready to take our drinks order. A friend and I decided to be adventurous and tried the Turkish delight lemonade and the lemongrass yuzu ginger beer. Surprisingly, the lemonade wasn’t too sweet. And it was tasty. The ginger beer was also tasty and had a bit of a tart taste and a bit acidic. But both drinks were delicious and refreshing.

Lemongrass yuzu ginger beer and Turkish delight lemonande

For food we wanted to order everything or at least I wanted to order everything. We started off with tapas: Korean fried chicken wings (spicy, crispy and dripping with sauce. So yummy); stir fried greens spring rolls (bland but the sweet chili sauce made it enjoyable); and the szechuan prawn wontons (the best of the 3: spicy, tender, and mouth-watering). The wontons are a must.

After that tasty treat we ordered bowls and bao. The Kung Pow bao definitely has a kick, thanks to the  gochujang (a red chili paste that is sweet, savoury, and spicy). The beef was crunchy and the bao was tender and sweet. It was perfect.

For the bowls we ordered the szechuan (chicken with noodles); Bangkok (beef with jasmine rice); and Seoul (beef with noodles). The szechuan bowl was the best of out all 3. The chicken was tender and spicy and the sauce was delicious. Definitely a dish to try. The Bangkok was also delicious but it could’ve had just a bit of sauce. Nonetheless the beef was delicious. The Seoul dish was also tasty. Although I having more than one shiitake mushroom would’ve been great and the beef was a bit too crunchy for me. Still, all the bowls were cooked well and were unique and tasty.

The food at Momo Baohaus is delicious and flavourful. Many of the dishes leave you craving for more. And the dishes are huge so you have enough for later in the day or for the next morning (when the flavours will be even stronger).

The service is also great! There was almost no wait between the dishes, which created only one problem: we ran out of space on the table.

I give Momo Baohaus 3.5 cupcakes (and order the wontons):

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Review guide:

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No rating (read: why have you even bothered to open)

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Poor (read: shit)

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Average (read: meh)

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Good (read: above mediocrity)

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Very Good (read: fling your money at them. It’s worth it)

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Extraordinary (read: if you have to make a sacrifice to be here, do it)

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Manga, Cape Town

I love anime and manga. My favourite anime is Blood Plus and manga is Death Note. So it made sense that a restaurant called Manga would peak my interest.

Manga is located in Mouille Point in Cape Town. As soon as you walk through the sliding glass doors, various images of anime characters  appear before you. If you enjoy anime, it’s an amazing sight.

After finding a seat, we waited. And waited and waited. Eventually, we managed to get the attention of a waiter to find out how ordering works. At Manga your order is placed on the menus provided. We thought this was the case but there was nothing to write with.

Once we ordered the dishes, we were keen to order some sake. However, the waiter had no idea what type of sake was unavailable. After going to check with the bar our waiter returned with no sake. There was none as the restaurant had run out. So we ordered juice because the next thing we ordered wasn’t available as: passion fruit and lemonade.

As soon as we had our juices, the food arrived. It wasn’t a long wait. We ordered quite a bit: edamame beans with miso salt, crispy calamari, Manga rainbow reloaded, salmon nigiri, sticky pork belly, sakura crunch roll and rocket wasabi roll.

The best dish out of all the dishes was the crispy calamari with garlic chips, coriander, spring onion and hoisin. It was nice but nothing to get excited over.

Crispy calamari

The rest of the dishes were poorly executed: The sushi was also decent but it didn’t taste fresh; The pork belly was spicy and crunchy but it was too crunchy. It became difficult to eat and we eventually gave up and lastly, the edamame was, for lack of a better word, dead. There was barely any salt on it. It also wasn’t an enjoyable dish.

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Sakura Crunch Roll
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Manga Rainbow Reloaded
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Salmon Nigiri
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Rocket Wasabi Roll

Manga could really be an interesting restaurant. It’s situated in a beautiful part of Cape Town and you can have a bit of an ocean view from the restaurant. Once you have a waiter, the service is great. But it is disappointing when you try to order something and it’s not available or the waiter has no idea what is available.

In terms of food, there was only one dish that I almost finished. The rest were not tasty. And as the fish was not fresh, Lee became sick. Not something you want when you eat at a restaurant.

Based on my experience, I give Manga 1 cupcake.

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Review guide:

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No rating (read: why have you even bothered to open)

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Poor (read: shit)

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Average (read: meh)

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Good (read: above mediocrity)

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Very Good (read: fling your money at them. It’s worth it)

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Extraordinary (read: if you have to make a sacrifice to be here, do it)

Paulina’s Restaurant Review

Keeping in theme with Women’s Month in South Africa, I reviewed Paulina’s Restaurant located at Rickety Bridge in Franschoek. Paulina’s is named after the owner Paulina de Villiers who was the first women farm owner in the winelands. The only daughter among 3 brothers, Paulina de Villiers was granted part of the land in 1757.

IMG_5396IMG_5400A friend of mine and I visited Paulina’s under the recommendation of another friend, who mentioned that it normally gets quite busy. Under this assumption, we phoned ahead and booked a table 20 minutes before we got there. Thinking that the restaurant was quite accommodating, we were excited. However, upon arrival the waiter who assisted us had no idea of the booking. Nonetheless, they managed to accommodate us, giving us a reserved table which we were pretty sure was originally reserved for us.

Menu
Menu

Having a quick look at the menu and we were ready to order. I ordered the pork belly, served with sweet potato and ginger puree, and my friend had the cajun grilled baby Patagonica calamari. Both of which were full orders (Paulina’s also offers half meals so that you can sample more meals).

Pork belly with Foundation Stone Red wine
Pork belly with Foundation Stone Red wine

The pork belly was delectable. The pork was tender and the pork crackling crunchy. The ginger sauce with sweet chili provided a hint of spiciness without being overpowering. The sweet potato and ginger puree was a bit bland and had a hint of ginger, which I thought it needed more of. The exotic mushrooms accompanying the dish consisted of enoki mushrooms and shiitake mushrooms and were delicious. The mushrooms brought about an earthiness to the dish complimenting the pork belly, while the bok choi was crunchy.  The individual elements complimented each other well, pulled together by the ginger that was infused into the various elements of the dish. It was a good thing that the puree wasn’t overpowered with ginger ;-).

The pork belly was paired with the estate’s vintage range, the Foundation Stone Red wine, which is named after the foundation stone upon which the farm was built. On it’s own, the wine was tart with strong dark berry and chocolate flavour coming through. Paired with the pork belly, the wine became less tart. However, the wine overpowered the meal. I feel that the pork belly could have been paired with a better red wine that compliments that dish better.

Calamari and chorizo with Rickety Bridge Chardonnay
Calamari and chorizo with Rickety Bridge Chardonnay

I tried my friend’s calamari and must admit that the dish was not as mouth-watering as the pork belly. The calamari was grilled and cooked well. But was unseasoned and required the green chili sauce, that came with the dish, to make it palatable. However the chorizo stole the show, supplied by Pierre’s Cured Meat (upcoming blog). The spiciness and smokiness of the chorizo was appetizing, making you wish there was more of it on the plate. The dish also came with a salad but why the cherry tomatoes were slightly cooked was beyond me. It added nothing to the dish, whereas having uncooked salad elements added freshness. Once all elements were tried together, without the tomatoes, the dish was tasty, with all elements falling into place. The calamari and chorizo was paired with the Rickety Bridge Chardonnay and the wine’s fruitiness paired well with the calamari.

Overall, the food at Paulina’s was delicious. Add to this the ambiance of the Franschoek mountains and your experience is magnified. The service was a bit slow but the restaurant was busy. However, the willingness of the waiters to answer all your questions and give you tastes of the wines makes Paulina’s a restaurant that is worth visiting again.

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I give Paulina’s 3.5 out of 5 cupcake

Review guide:

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Good             Cupcake-Outline-Vector colour Cupcake-Outline-Vector colour Cupcake-Outline-Vector Cupcake-Outline-Vector Cupcake-Outline-Vector

Very Good    Cupcake-Outline-Vector colour Cupcake-Outline-Vector colour Cupcake-Outline-Vector colour Cupcake-Outline-Vector Cupcake-Outline-Vector

Excellent        Cupcake-Outline-Vector colour Cupcake-Outline-Vector colour Cupcake-Outline-Vector colour Cupcake-Outline-Vector colour Cupcake-Outline-Vector

Extraordinary Cupcake-Outline-Vector colour Cupcake-Outline-Vector colour Cupcake-Outline-Vector colour Cupcake-Outline-Vector colour Cupcake-Outline-Vector colour

Cape Town Street Food Festival

Hi everyone,

This is my very first blog. As in EVER! I’ve had a passion for food since my teens, however ever since moving to Cape Town in 2012 I’ve become obsessed with street food and, in particular, food trucks. It’s come to a point where travelling to foreign countries involves exploring the street food.

So you can imagine my excitement when I found out about the Cape Town Street Food Festival a few months ago. The festival took place on Sunday, 26th July 2015 at the Side Street Studios in Woodstock (Hipster central. I think there needs to be a saying that where there’s a hipster, there’s amazing food 😛 haha).

Getting there just before lunch, with the backdrop of the gorgeous Table Mountain, the place was swimming with people. While the turnout was fantastic, the lack of space left me feeling claustrophobic.

Entrance of Side Street Studios
In the thick of it

However, that couldn’t deter me from exploring the area. Most of the food trucks in Cape Town were there – Lotus Food Truck, Didis Bitchin’ Burritos, Stack That, Wahine, Pizza Piaggio and Meisies Kitchen Food Truck. Since the lines at the food trucks were either super long or sold out,  I opted for dim sum from Yum Dim Sum, which only does catering. Nonetheless, the Dim Sum was great! The fillings were interesting (one had spinach and feta, and the other salmon), while the duck succulent. If they had a regular place I’d be there often.

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Yum Dim Sum and Hope on Hopkins Distillery

Although, that didn’t count as a meal for me. So I grabbed an Asian wrap (pork) from the Lotus Food Truck – my go to when in doubt. As usual, the wrap was fresh and crisp thanks to the vegetables and the pork tender (although there’s was more fat than needed).

This amazing food was topped off with a gin cocktail from Hope on distillery. A craft gin that I’ve come to enjoy after being introduced to it at Mother’s Ruin Gin Bar.

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Waffle on a stick. Unfortunately sold out before I could get to  it.
Waffle on a stick. Unfortunately sold out before I could get to it.

All in all, it was a great day out. The once-in-a-while warm winter weather of Cape Town, the buzz of Capetownians, the amazing food and thirst-quenching drinks contributed to the success of the second Cape Town Street Food Festival. However, I think a bigger venue is needed for next year.