Tag Archives: Joburg

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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Vegan Hippie Connection Market

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you my first vegan post. Now I’m not vegan but I do respect the lifestyle choice. And I have been trying to be more healthy and eat less processed food. I also realise there isn’t much awareness about vegan restaurants or markets in Gauteng, although the lifestyle is growing. So I’m going to try to shed some light on the many markets or restaurants. Bear with me but you’ll start seeing more diversity.

To kick off this new mandate, I stopped by the Vegan Hippie Connection Market held at the Pirates Sports Club in Parkhurst, Joburg and on the last Sunday of every month. It’s not a stone’s throw away from my home but it is quite central if you’re in Joburg. And it’s close to all those trendy restaurants in Parkhurst (cc Craft, etc).

The Vegan Hippie Connection Market started almost a year ago and has since had 10 markets. The market boosts 60-62 vendors. So you’re spoilt for choice, with food, clothing, and other lifestyle goodies.

Some of the goodies that I enjoyed were:

  • Vegan ice-cream (so yummy)
  • Dog biscuits (Goliath loves them and the vendor tested the biscuits on her dogs)
  • Getting henna done
  • The delicious Persian olives
  • The tofu and avocado spread
  • The tasty vegan energy bars
  • Waffles
  • And I wanted to get my hands on all the jewelry on offer

Taking a walk around it’s difficult not to buy everything you see. The vendors are extremely friendly and happy to chat to you about their product(s) (and to give you a sample to try 🙂 ). And you don’t feel pressured to buy the product. The vendors actually don’t mind if you have a taste, take a business card, and order from them at a later stage.

The atmosphere is also fantastic and welcoming. I know a few people who are trying to adopt the vegan lifestyle and they are faced with plenty of judgement for not going all in. In this environment there’s nothing of the sort. There’s no judgement. In fact, I was only asked once if I was vegan. I must admit I panicked and said that I was vegetarian. A vegetarian who had a sausage and bacon for breakfast. Don’t judge!  see-no-evil-monkey

Talking to the owner Benita Coetzee you get a sense of what she wanted the market to be: a community where you could find all things vegan and be in a non-judgmental environment. And she’s achieved that.

The market is also dog-friendly and dogs of all sizes are welcome. There’s also plenty of parking. And live entertainment 🙂 .

Have a look at the photo gallery below to see what the market had to offer. I came away with kombucha (a drink I’ve started enjoying this year), buddha earrings (because how could you not), and some dog biscuits.

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Marble, Johannesburg

Amazing food, great service and an amazing ambiance. Since opening in August, reviews of Marble restaurant have been pouring in and many of the reviews I’ve read have only been positive. So in late December, I got my chance to review Marble.

Marble is located in Rosebank, Johannesburg – about 5 minutes from Rosebank Mall. Parking is on the street or wherever you can find parking, which can be a bit frustrating if you’ve never been in the area before. And then finding the restaurant does require having a vague idea of knowing where you are going. Or maybe I just missed all the signs.

The pride of Marble: it’s grill

After finally finding the correct floor on the correct side of the Trumpet on Keyes building, we were welcomed by hosts to Marble. And then proceeded to our table, where the rest of our companions were.

Complimentary bread

Once the drinks were taken, we ordered our food from our friendly waiter. Starters were the Blackened Octopus and the Overnight Coal Roasted Soup.

When eating octopus it’s important to remember that it is a chewy food and needs to be well-tenderised. The octopus on my plate was beyond chewy. At one point I just gave up. My jaw was getting sore from chewing on the same piece before swallowing. On the parts I could eat, the salsa added spiciness and a bit of bitterness, while the chorizo added saltiness. I can understand what the dish was supposed to be and it would’ve been delicious if the octopus was a bit more tender.

The blackened octopus

The other starter was the Overnight Coal Roasted Soup – the soup of the day, which was a tomato soup. This was lovely and delicate but nothing amazing. It was, at the end of the day, a warm tomato soup.

Tomato Soup

On to the mains, which arrived 15 minutes after we were done with the starter. The first was the pork belly that is grilled and served with smoked peppers, Asian slaw and cherries. I love pork belly. It’s a delicious meat that is always tender. However, the pork belly from Marble was tender for the first bite and the rest was chewy. It was odd how the first part of the pork belly was fine and the rest was chewy. It was not an enjoyable experience. However, if the pork belly was tender it would’ve been delicious as the accompaniments added crunchiness and hint of sweetness from the cherries. But the pork crackling (or rind) was delicious and I did finish that first.

Pork belly

Another main was the rib-eye, which was cooked perfectly to the requested medium-rare. The chipotle sauce was spicy and the pickle added a little bitter taste and crunch. But it wasn’t anything mind-blowing. Just a normal rib-eye with some accompaniments.

Lastly, dessert was the ice cream sandwiches because how can say say “No” to ice cream sandwiches. And we were full from the last  2 courses. Out of the 3 options, the almond meringue with halva ice cream was selected. The meringue was delicious and cracked perfectly and the ice cream was sweet.

Almond meringue with halva ice cream

While it seems to be hit or miss with Marble’s dishes, the presentation of the dish was always attractive and inviting.

In terms of service, I was left wanting. In many cases, our waiter had to be tracked down to order another bottle of wine, or water, or to ask for the table to be cleaned. But when the waiter was serving us, he was friendly and pleasant.

Fantastic wine selection

For a hyped-up restaurant, Marble did leave me feeling a bit cheated. Previous patrons had gushed about how amazing the food was and how great the view. While I agree that the view is fantastic, the food was average for me. And my companions agreed. I don’t think I’d come to the restaurant again, but I will go the bar area and have a few drinks. That was a fun experience and the view adds to the experience.

A cocktail from the bar: Bianco Charrata No. 1

It should also be noted that the restaurant and bar interior design was attractive. The high ceilings added space to the room. I can understand why the interior design cost a pretty penny. It added light and warmth to the area.

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Source: Marble Restaurant

To summarise, the food at Marble is quite average but the ambiance and the view definitely make it an experience. Based on the above, I’ve given Marble 2.5 cupcakes:

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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)

 

Pizza Luna

Pizza Luna has been at Rivonia Village for a while, but I’ve only recently started exploring Joburg, and only heard about their Banting (or low carb) pizza bases this week.

I excitedly started looking for victims to take with me, and as luck would have it, Lee (or the boyfriend) was going to be at RAGE on Friday. So I convinced him to come have lunch with me in Rivonia before heading off to the Gaming Expo.

Pizza Luna is located in a corner in Rivonia Village. But it’s the perfect place for it. Sitting under the trees makes you feel like you’re in a laid back area, making the experience even better.

As soon as Lee and I walked in, a friendly waiter asked if we’re joining them for lunch and allowed us to grab any table we wanted. A menu then followed promptly.

To drink, we ordered 2 milkshakes: bubblegum and chocolate. Very un-Banting but the milkshakes were delicious. The bubblegum was white is colour so I thought they had got my order wrong (I only order the bubblegum milkshake for the blue colour 🙈). The milkshake was definitely bubblegum and it was delicious and not too sweet. The chocolate milkshake was also yummy and rich.

To eat, we ordered the Carnivora pizza that was packed with meat: salami, ham and beef sausage. The pizza sauce was bolognaise. And we added a Banting pizza base for R24 extra.

The pizza looked delicious, so I forgot to take a photo of the whole pizza. 


The pizza was delicious! The Banting pizza base was thin and the crust crunchy. It was the best Banting pizza I’ve ever eaten. The different meat complemented each other well and the sauce was delicious. We were also served fresh green chilies, which added some heat to the pizza.

We had a great time at Pizza Luna. The service was great, as our waiter checked on us often and so did the owner. I would definitely be back for the Banting pizza. It’s a good thing Pizza Luna is less than 5 minutes from work 😊.

I give Pizza Luna 3 cupcakes.

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Review guide:

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Fair                      Cupcake-Outline-Vector colour Cupcake-Outline-Vector Cupcake-Outline-Vector Cupcake-Outline-Vector Cupcake-Outline-Vector

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

Joziburg Lane

This past weekend had plenty of food events occurring. The Market at the Sheds in Pretoria and the Street Food Festival in Joburg in Maboneng, to name a few. But what caught my eye was the Joziburg Lane Street Food Extravangza Pop Up in One Eloff Street, Joburg. It may not be the cleanest  area in Joburg but opening up a permanent food market in the area is a fantastic initiative to revitalise Joburg CBD.

Joziburg Lane is difficult to miss as the building is bright yellow. You immediately know where to go. Parking is available in the building so don’t feel shy to drive up the ramp until you find parking on the top level. Interestingly, the food stalls are on the ground floor of a set of apartments. So once you’ve parked, take a walk down the stairs until you can’t go any further. Don’t be like me and start exploring the apartments. It’s easy to get lost.

Once we were back on the staircase, we followed the music till we reached the ground floor. A  band was playing, creating the perfect relaxed vibe. And the great part was the it wasn’t too busy.

Some entertainement 🙂

The best thing to do upon arrival is grabbing a drink and then exploring your eating choices. There’s plenty of drinks on offer: beer brewed in Soweto, wine, cocktails and soft drinks. We grabbed 2 cocktails from Cocktail Bar: the Cosmopolitan Glamour and the Downtown chill. The bartenders are friendly and willing to swap out ingredients to make your drink more palatable. My drink, the Cosmopolitan Glamour, was supposed to have chili vodka. I can’t handle that so the bartender swapped it for vanilla vodka. A welcomed change. If cocktails aren’t your thing, you can grab drinks with more variety from the bar across from the Cocktail Bar. I’d give Gogo’s Ginger Beer a go. It was delicious and had the right amount of spiciness.

With all the food choices it’s tough to pick just one. So here’s a list of the stalls I ate from. The first was The Wicked Waffle, which is Brussel Waffles with various toppings. We went for the Lady in Heaven (strawberries, cream and Belgian chocolate) and the Oreo waffle (Oreo biscuits, vanilla ice-cream, and Belgian chocolate). The waffles were crunchy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. And the toppings on each waffle worked well together. I really enjoyed the waffles. They were tasty and made you feel warm inside.

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Lady in Heaven

The second stall was Joburg Deli, which has an array of sandwiches. I tried their Spinach Leave Wrap with Ostrich mince. The perfect meal for Banters, or if you’re trying to cut down on carbs. The wrap was delicious and spicy. It’s hard to believe that such a simple dish could be so yummy.

Next up was Zombie Chefs, which has a food truck and its own store (if you walk left as you exit the food stalls). I wanted to try their biltong salad but it was sold out. So Lee had their Thai Chicken Burger. The burger has the right amount of spiciness. The chicken was cooked and seasoned well and the veggies in the burger, that were marinated in soya sauce, was not overpowering. It was the perfect Asian styled burger.

Alas, I realised there was only so much food I could stuff into my stomach, so we decided to take some food back with us. From Jeff’s Eat, we picked up Mince Samoosas. These were delicious and the mince was marinated well with the perfect amount of spiciness. We also picked up Chili Biltong from Braeside Meat Market. The biltong was fresh and spicy, obviously. It was difficult not to eat all the biltong before we got home. Lastly, we managed to get a Blue Velvet cupcake from Kay’Kreations. I thought I’d have it for dessert but it’s too pretty to eat.

In addition to all the food, there’s also some lifestyle goodies on sale. There’s jewelry on sale just outside where the food is located and skincare products inside. In particular, is Yum-elicious. A temporary stall that sells a variety of hand and body scrubs. If you have a few minutes to spare, have a chat to the owner, who was a chef and has for the past 3 months been making her own body scrubs. They smell delicious and she’s more than happy to explain to you how the scrubs are made. In addition, 10% of sales go the NPO she’s working for.

I’d love to see Joziburg Lane become as big as the Neighbourhood Goods Market in Braamfontein or the Maboneng Precinct. The food stalls have delicious food made from quality ingredients and are priced fairly. I’ve been fortunate to eat at many food establishments, including Michelin star restaurants. So I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of food at Joziburg Lane. And the vibe transports you away. I didn’t feel like I was in the heart of Joburg. I felt safe and the market could have easily been one in a European country.  I can’t wait to see the market grow and become an attraction in the CBD.

Joziburg Lane is set to open on the 2 September 2016. Trading hours are:

  • Tuesday to Saturday: 10am to 5pm
  • Friday: 10am to 10pm

For more queries, here are their contact details:

Lenin’s Vodka Bar

Lenin’s Vodka Bar… That’s all I read and I knew we were going to have drinks there. How could you not?

The bar is located next to James XIV, in Maboneng Precinct. So I didn’t have to walk far 😜.

Walking into Lenin’s Vodka Bar is like walking into another world. You leave the bright sunlight and enter a dimly lit room. A room that includes a DJ booth and storeroom in the one corner and a bar in another. And just as Lenin would’ve preferred, there’s sickles and hammers all over the walls. I love it! Who needs to visit Mother Russia when it’s right in your backyard 😂.

As soon as we sat down, a bartender brought us menus. The drinks have the greatest names: the Kremlin, Red Star, Chernobyl, and the Vlad.

The Kremlin is green, as it should be, and was balanced well. It had a great citric taste. I think I could’ve drunk more if it!

The Kremlin

The Red Star was a bit harsher. The grenadine was a bit overpowering.

The Red Star

But the best was the Leningrad. The lemon neutralized the alcohol and you couldn’t taste the vodka, gin, Barcadi or triple sec. It was just lemon wonder.

The Leningrad

I really enjoyed the bar. I only wish it was closer to Pretoria. But I guess it would lose its charm then.

James XIV Ethiopian Restaurant

“Ethiopian food is bland. I don’t know why people get excited over”. These were the remarks of a good friend of mine when we were discussing Ethiopian food. Being from Kenya, I trusted his opinion but I thought “I still have to try it myself”. Luckily the opportunity presented itself.

While looking for places to explore in Joburg, I stumbled upon the restaurants in Maboneng Precinct. Once of which was an Ethiopian restaurant, James XIV Ethiopian Restaurant. Looking at only the pictures of the Ethiopian coffee, I made it my mission to eat at this restaurant.

James XIV is located on the less busy side of the precinct and opposite the  Museum of African Design. It’s quite small inside, with a kitchen a few tables. Luckily there’s tables outside, allowing you to enjoy the warmth of winter sun.


Arriving inside the cafe, the friendly owner met us at the counter and allowed us to grab any table we wanted. We were the only ones there, so we had plenty of options. We picked a table outside and once seated, a cook/waiter appeared to take our order without a menu. We started at her, she stared at us and eventually we asked if they had a menu. The cook/waiter was shocked! Why were we asking for a menu? There were only 2 options available, so a menu was not required. The 2 options were: vegetable or vegetable and meat. We ordered 2 portions of vegetables and meat for the 3 of us.

The food arrived approximately 10 minutes later, on a huge silver tray. In the tray was injera (an East African flatbread made from sour-dough). On the injera was an array of wat (stew).  As injera is the national food of Ethiopia, I couldn’t wait to tuck in. Injera has a sponge texture and was tasteless, which is understandable given that each wat had a unique flavour.


Here’s a breakdown of each wat:

  • Shiro is the red sauce that is made of chickpea powder. The powder is slow-cooked with Ethiopian red berbere sauce. The shiro was delicious and spicy. I couldn’t help each a whole portion on my own.
  • Azifa is the brown looking lentils. This is actually a salad made from cooked green lentils, chili, mustard seeds, onion and lemon juice. Given the amount of spices and chili I found it bland.
  • Kik alicha is the yellow lentils on the plate. Split peas are cooked with plenty of healthy turmeric, chili and garlic. This was my favourite wat as it was spicy and full of garlic. But not so much garlic to keep the vampires at bay.
  • The red lentils are mesir wot, which is split red lentils cooked in berbere sauce, with onions and garlic. This was also spicy but not as tasty as kik alicha.
  • Gomen is collard greens that were served with beef. Gomen is made with onions, garlic, lemon juice, tumeric, paprika, ginger root, and ground allspice. Collard greens are normally bland but the meat was tasty and tender.
  • On the plate was also atkilt wot, which is a combination of cabbage, carrots and potatoes. These vegetables are simmered in a turmeric and cumin sauce. I’m not a fan of cabbage but the atkilt wot was delicious.
  • Included in the wat was spinach, braised with onion, chili and garlic. This tasted identical to my granny’s cooking, which is spicy and warming.
  • The spicy beef was made with red berbere sauce. It was indeed spicy and left you reaching for your water. The wat was delicious as well and accompanied the injera well. I can’t think of anything else to eat with the beef besides the injera.
  • The potatoes and carrots stew was also delicious. I enjoyed the gravy more as I found the potato a bit hard.

2 portions were a lot for the 3 of us but the food was delicious. So delicious that we cleaned the plate.

After that spicy affair was the pierce de resistance: Ethiopian coffee. My Kenyan friend may dislike Ethiopian food but he had only good things to say about their coffee. It is well-known that coffee originated from Ethiopia and has a significant impact on the Ethiopian economy. It’s also the country’s national beverage. I was looking forward to seeing the coffee ceremony but that did not happen. However, I was assured that the coffee was made the traditional way of boiling the coffee in a clay pot. Nonetheless, the coffee was great! It had a strong caffeine smell, so I was a bit hesitant as first, but once I had my first sip I enjoyed every second. The coffee was complex and had a chocolate taste.


I enjoyed my first experience of Ethiopian cuisine and can’t wait to have more. Given that James XIV was a small cafe, I felt welcomed and treated well. The food was delicious and the coffee great. Sitting outside, under the trees and almost on the side of the road, did not feel like I was in the middle of Joburg but rather somewhere else. I love it when restaurants manage to transport you away. And James XIV did that without even trying.

I give James XIV Ethiopian Restaurant 2.5 cupcakes.

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Review guide:

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Fair                      Cupcake-Outline-Vector colour Cupcake-Outline-Vector Cupcake-Outline-Vector Cupcake-Outline-Vector Cupcake-Outline-Vector

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

 

 

 

Pablo’s Mexican Cantina

I haven’t had much time to explore Joburg, so when the opportunity to eat at a Mexican restaurant arose, I jumped at it. I love Mexican cuisine. So much so that even my food blog is named after Tacos. I enjoy the complexity of the flavours and the pop of spiciness that always seems to surprise me.

The inside of Pablo’s Mexican Cantina.

So this past Saturday I visited Pablo’s Mexican Cantina in Benoni. A far drive from Pretoria. As we were part of a Super car run, we were offered drinks upon arrival: a Corona or a Margarita. For me it was a tough call, but I went with the Margarita. I’m glad I did. The Margarita was refreshing due to the lemon and lime. Most importantly, the drink was not overpowered with triple sec and tequila. In fact I think a bit more alcohol would’ve been great.

Margarita!

We were then served tortilla chips with salsa and guacamole. I found the guacamole a bit bland and thought a bit more salt and lime would’ve livened up the avocado. But the salsa was fantastic! It had the right amount of spiciness to make your taste buds jump, thanks to the green chilies. The ingredients were definitely fresh and allowed the combination of the tomatoes, onion, garlic, chili and coriander pop in your mouth.

Tortilla chips, salsa and guacamole.

Once I stuffed my mouth full of the tortilla chips, it was time to order. For appetizers we had a beef and cheese chimichanga, Deadpool would be proud, and chili poppers. The chimichanga was delicious. The beef was tender and the deep-fried flour tortilla was crunchy. Given that we ordered the chimichanga with cheese, I wished there was more of it. The chimichanga was accompanied by sour cream, salsa and guacamole that added creaminess and spiciness.

Beef and cheese chimichanga. As recommended by Deadpool.

Next were the 4 chili poppers, accompanied with a sweet chili sauce. I’m not a fan of chili poppers, as I can’t handle the spiciness. But I always order them. Pablo’s poppers were spicy jalapenos stuffed with cheese and deep fried. They were definitely spicy but the batter fell off if you cut the popper, making me chase the batter around my plate. Also, a lot of water seeped out of each popper when cut. I’m not entirely sure why. And the sweet chili sauce was neither sweet or spicy. A bit disappointing.

Chili poppers.
Inside of the chili poppers.

Ordering with our eyes, which were bigger than our stomachs, we ordered mains: a beef taco basket; and a beef mince and cheese burrito. The beef taco basket was delicious. The dish consisted of beef mince, plenty of cheddar cheese and refried beans. The dish was served with 3 flour tortillas, sour cream, guacamole, and salsa.

Beef taco basket. Look at all that cheese!

The beef mince and cheese burrito was tasty but not as delicious as the beef taco basket. The refried beans added more flavour to the basket. But the mince was cooked well. Again, I wished I had more cheese.

Beef mince and cheese burrito.
More cheese was definitely needed.

For dessert I really wanted churros but my stomach was ready to explode. So we left it at that and made our long journey back home to Pretoria. Overall, I found the food to be delicious but some components of the dishes were lacking something.

Fantastic decor!

In terms of service, Lee and I had great service. We were greeted with a friendly smile, our orders were taken quickly and our food arrived promptly. However, friends did have a bit of a challenge. Some orders took long and some orders were never taken. To me, the most important service aspect that lacked was our waiter checking on us to see if we were enjoying our food or if we needed something. But we were a large group and staff was limited, so I can understand why this did not happen.

Out of the entire experience, this was the cherry on top 😛

Given that this was a Mexican restaurant, I have to mention the decor and ambiance. Pablo’s Mexican Cantina got it right. I felt transported away to Mexico. The artwork was brilliant and there was Day of the Dead skulls all over. So I was in heaven.

Based on all the above, I give Pablo’s Mexican Cantina 2 and a half cupcakes.

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Review guide:

Poor                    Cupcake-Outline-Vector Cupcake-Outline-Vector Cupcake-Outline-Vector Cupcake-Outline-Vector Cupcake-Outline-Vector

Fair                      Cupcake-Outline-Vector colour Cupcake-Outline-Vector Cupcake-Outline-Vector Cupcake-Outline-Vector Cupcake-Outline-Vector

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

 

oneNINEone – Restaurant Week 3 of 3

The third and last restaurant for my Restaurant Week was the oneNINEone restaurant, located on the ground level of the Hyatt Regency Hotel Johannesburg in Rosebank. The restaurant had a great vibe to it. It was relaxed and had hints of purple everywhere. Not to mention the various photos of Jacaranda trees in their full purple bloom. A friendly waiter showed us to the table and the along the short walk from the entrance to the table, we were greeted by every waiter and chef we passed. After my lunch experience, I was thrilled to be in a relaxing environment and surrounded by friendly staff.

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As soon as we were seated the food menu, cocktail menu and wine list was provided. After the wine at lunch and wine/caipirinhas during the Rugby World Cup Final, Lee and I decided to take it easy. We started off with 2 glasses of L’Ormarins Brut Classique NV, which I reviewed (see here). With the meal we had juices (tropical and pineapple juice), which was fresh. Clearly, we’re getting old haha 😛 .

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Our waiter was on the ball and never let us wait too long between ordering the drinks and the food, even though the restaurant had a number of other patrons. We quickly ordered our dishes. For starters I had the Chorizo and Aubergine Salad. I thought it was an interesting combination and was excited to try it. I was not disappointed. The chorizo was salty but disappointingly not spicy. I think I’m spoiled in Cape Town with the amazing quality of food as the chorizo as the Atrium Restaurant was also bland. The aubergine was tender and melted as your mouth. The black lentils provided an eartiness, the tomatoes sweetness and the sweet potato crispiness. The elements paired well together to great a delicious dish. The only reason I didn’t finish it was because the portion was too big.

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Lee had the citrus smoked springbok. The springbok carpaccio was fresh and tasty. The various vegetables (celery, carrot and cucumber) provided more freshness to the dish, while the orange compote added a citrus element. Similar to my starter, the elements paired well together. Lee gobbled up the carpaccio but left the veggies simply because they’re meant for rabbits 😛 .

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As soon as we were done, the plates were cleared and the main course was brought about 10 minutes later. The service was very quick! For the main we had the slow roast pork belly. Lee and I have different opinions of the pork belly. My pork belly was tender while his was a bit tough. The veggies – potatoes and cardamon carrots – were cooked well and were tender. The whiskey plums and puree were an interesting addition to the dish. It provided some an earthy and sweet element to the pork belly. All the elements worked paired well. It was an enjoyable dish.

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For dessert, I ordered the Taste of Strawberries, which had a strawberry pannacotta, strawberry meringue and strawberry sorbet. It’s a good thing I’m a strawberry fan. It was a strawberry overload 😀 .The pannacotta was firm and the strawberry flavour evident. The meringue was also strawberry infused and delicious. But my favourite was the sorbet – it was divine and provided freshness to the dessert. The dessert was delectable.

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Lee ordered the coconut cake with mango soup, which literally had a mango soup. The coconut ice cream was yummy and had a strong coconut flavour. The lime jelly was more subtle and the mango soup added further flavour to the dessert. Overall, the elements tasted amazing together with the coconut ice cream taking center stage. However, this dessert wasn’t as amazing as the Taste of Strawberries.

To top off the evening, we were seated close to Hugh Masekela. I won’t lie, I fan-girled see-no-evil-monkey! So a great evening at oneNINEone. It’s a great restaurant with fantastic service and amazing food. And maybe you’ll be lucky to be seated next to a local celeb 😉 . Seeing that I’m moving to Joburg next year, I’d definitely be back. Plus the restaurant is purple, my favourite colour.

I give oneNINEone restaurant 3 cupcakes.

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Review guide:

Poor               Cupcake-Outline-Vector Cupcake-Outline-Vector Cupcake-Outline-Vector Cupcake-Outline-Vector Cupcake-Outline-Vector

Fair                Cupcake-Outline-Vector colour Cupcake-Outline-Vector Cupcake-Outline-Vector Cupcake-Outline-Vector Cupcake-Outline-Vector

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