Tag Archives: Market

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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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:

Pretoria Banting Market

We’re well into the third week of January and I thought it was about time that I got out of the holiday mode. As is customary with a new year, most people have New Year’s resolutions which they hope to fulfill. The most common one is the “New Year New Me” resolution. Coming up to the end of December last year, I thought there really isn’t anything I would change about my lifestyle. Aside from raiding as many Cape Town restaurants as I could before I moved, I had a healthy and active lifestyle – decent diet, low levels of stress, and regular exercise. So I had no “New Year New Me” resolutions. However, towards the end of the year, my boyfriend’s dad starting hinting at a new diet – low carb, high protein, and no sugar (basically banting 😛 ). And my boyfriend and I were suckered in.

So on the 1st of January, we started the diet. Well, sort of. We had sushi for lunch and forgot that there’s rice in it. And we sort of made that mistake on the 2nd as well. But on the 3rd we managed to stick to the low carbs (50 grams of carbs or less), no sugar, some protein and plenty of good fats. It’s now 2 and a half weeks into the diet, and it’s been going well. The only problem is it’s tough to find places to eat out at and there aren’t enough choices at health stores, unless you’re in Cape Town or Joburg. Luckily, there is a Banting Market in the Pretoria Botanical Gardens. The market happens on certain Saturdays (see here for more details), from 09:00 to 13:00.

Given the amount of advertising done for the market, I expected a huge market and was disappointed to see roughly 35  stalls, with some focusing more on the Paleo diet than Banting. Nonetheless,the market offered some great products – fresh veggies, banting condiments (tomato sauce, mustard sauce and chili sauce), banting baked goods, meaty breakfasts, and tons of free range eggs. But what I loved about the market was the friendliness of most of the vendors and their honesty about their products. We almost bought a piece of chocolate cake thinking it was banting-friendly until the vendor kindly explained that that cake was more suitable for a “cheat day”. The market also offers great entertainment to enjoy while you’re enjoying your breakfast or snack.

Although the market is small, we came home with biscuits, pizza bases, pestos, condiments and cheeses. And feeling a little more happier with the diet. It didn’t seem like all gloom and doom after all 🙂 .

The next Pretoria Banting Market is on the 6 February 2016.

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Market at The Palms

Every Saturday  between 9am and 3pm The Palms Decor and Lifestyle Centre hosts the Market at The Palms, located in Woodstock. It’s a relatively small market on the bottom floor of the centre. Even though it’s small there are plenty of food stalls for every taste preference. However, that does make the aroma a bit overwhelming. Here’s some photos to get you salivating and waiting for Saturday morning:

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Swartland Country Market – Part 2 of 2

Thanks for reading the first part. Now onto the more fun part 🙂 .

I moved on to Annex Kloof Wines, which has the Annex Kloof and Xena ranges. I didn’t try the any of the Xena wines and I don’t have a good reason for why I didn’t. The name called out to me but the wines didn’t. I did try the Annex Kloof Malbec (2012) and Tulu (2012). The malbec had a fruit palate but was a bit too tart for me. However, I thoroughly enjoyed the Tulu and even bought a bottle 🙂 . So much for personal restraint, haha. The Tulu was a red blend of Shiraz, Mourvédre and Grenache. It was a fruity blend that had a hint of spiciness. The perfect wine to leave to age! And hopefully I will leave it to age.

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After attempting to be a serious wine connoisseur, I pleased to have an easy chat with the winemaker at Franki’s Vineyards. Franki’s is a boutique vineyard that only produced it’s first bottle in 2010. Still very young but very knowledgeable about the wine they produce. They had 4 wines on offer: Viognier (2010); Mourvédre Rosé (2015); Grenache (2012); and Joubert Red Blend (2012). I tasted the viognier and the red blend. The viognier was a fruity wine that was very light, and ended up coming home with me. The red blend comprised of Mourvédre and grenache. On the nose was chocolate and you could taste liquorice, caramel and plums.

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I was now reaching my fill of wine but I could see that there were 2 more vineyards to get through. So like a good soldier, I marched on. The first table I soldiered to was Dragonridge Wines. They had 3 wines to taste: Cabernet Sauvignon (2015); Pinotage (2015); and Capella (2015). Realizing that I still had the rest of Saturday to get through I tasted only the cab, which was the first cab they’ve ever made. The cabernet was unwooded. As the wine was so young, it was tart. However, there were aromas of dark berries and the taste of dark chocolate. It was a good attempt for their first cabernet.

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Finally, I had the last vineyard in my sights. I must admit that at this point in time I was ready for an afternoon siesta. The last was Hofstraat Wyne, which has some award-winning wine. I started off with the Renosterbos Barbera (2013) This was very different from any wine I tasted, as the grapes are of an Italian variety. I really enjoyed the Barbera. On the palate was cherries and an earthiness. Lastly, I tried the Renosterbos Cabernet Sauvignon (2013), which was a complex spicy wine. Lovely fruity nose, with black berries and mint on the palate. As it was the last vineyward, and I love my red wines, I purchased both wines. Turns out, their both award winning wines 😀 .

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The Swartland Country Market was a few hours well spent. I came home with 4 great wines, cupcakes, and an appreciation for another wine region. What’s even better, is that I managed to experience 8 vineyards 5 minutes from home. How lucky am I to live in a wonderful city?!

Swartland Country Market – Part 1 of 2

I first saw the article for this the day before and thought that it would be a great market to see. But after getting home pretty late on Friday/Saturday I wasn’t keen on driving to the Swartland. Saturday afternoon I actually read the article and realized that the festival was at Kirstenbosch, a 5 minute drive from home. After a quick decision and a promise to myself that I would only look, taste and not buy, I headed out.

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Arriving at the market, I realised that it was much smaller than I expected. But there were plenty of wine makers around and it was the perfect way to spend a Saturday in Cape Town: a sunny day, the mountain in the background, and a glass of wine in your hand. I must admit, it was my first outing on my own. So I was a bit nervous about how to chat to the wine makers. Normally there’s a friend around to nod at whatever nonsense I say, convincing the seller that I’ve been doing this for years. see-no-evil-monkey

I started at Pulpit Rock. I was quite intimidated as there were so many people huddled around this table. So I quietly asked to taste their Chenin Blanc (2015) and their Swartland Stories Shiraz Pinotage Grenache (2013). The Chenin had a tropical nose and on the palate you tasted the green apple. A lovely fresh wine. The Shiraz Pinotage Grenache was a lovely dark shade of red. On the nose was red fruits, while on the palate was blackcurrant and chocolate with a little bit of smokiness.

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After a nerve-wrecking experience at Pulpit Rock, I headed to Winkelshoek where a friendly face welcomed me. After 2 glasses of wine I was relaxed and had my game face on. On offer they had the Schenkfontein wines and the Weskus wines.  First I tried the Weskus Chenin Blanc (2015), which was light and fruity. Next I tried the Schenkfontein Shiraz (2015), which was also light and had a red fruits taste. I was surprised as to how light both wines were.

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Then was Wildehurst Wines, which had 2 wines to taste: Veloblanc (2015) and Velorosé (2015). The Veloblanc was a white blend of Chenin Blanc, Viognier, and Colombar. It is an unwooded wine that is light and has a tropical fruit nose. You could taste pears and nectarines. The Velorosé was delectable. On the rose was strawberries and on the palate was berries. Both wines are clearly meant to be enjoyed on a sunny, summer day.

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I made my way to the more well-established vineyards. First was Kloovenburg, that was established in 1704 and is the oldest vineyard in the Riebeek Kasteel. I started with the Sauvignon Blanc (2014), the first for my day. The wine had a hint of green colour and a tropical fruit aroma. On the palate was peaches and green apple. Then the Shiraz Rosé (2014), that was a lovely colour of salmon pink. The rosé had a strawberry aroma, with a sweet melon taste, although a bit acidic. The last wine I tried was the Shiraz (2013). The wine had a peppery note and on the palate was black and red fruit. I must say my chat with the wine maker was quite interesting. He started off in English and finished off in Afrikaans. I don’t even think he noticed that he switched 😛 . Clearly he also likes his wines 😉 .

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As there were 8 vineyards there, I decided to break up this blog into 2 sections. Part 2 coming next week 😉 . Stay tuned folks 😀 .

Franschoek Food Market

Franschoek is an hours drive from Cape Town but nestled between mountains and vineyards it’s a breath-taking little town. Every Saturday between 9am and 2pm the town hosts the Franschoek Village Market. Majority of the market is filled with curios aimed at tourists passing through the town but there are a few food stalls.

The first is fruit preserves that’s made by Essie’s Gourmet Preserves. Essie’s was a head chef and supervisor at a factory so some of the preserve recipes are from the factory and some are hers. There’s some really interesting preserves that she has: watermelon and ginger (a bit odd tasting but the ginger comes through); poached pears (it’s like poached pears in a bottle. Really similar to the warm version); tomato relish (perfect for a pizza base); onion and chili relish (spicy 😉 ); and lemon and ginger (a bit bitter and perfect for a cheese platter). Essie also has various salts.

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Essie’s Gourmet Preserves

IMG_5328IMG_5333IMG_5330 Then there’s Pierre’s Cured Meat, which has a selection of sausages. A husband and wife team, who are located in Pinelands, make their sausages using organic meat from a sourced butcher and doing their own curing and smoking of the meat. Pierre’s Cured Meat can be found all over Cape Town, but especially in the winelands. There’s a variety of sausages with the most interesting being the Ostrich and orange sausage, which had a hint of citrus and had the texture of droéwors. The Chorizo was also great with the smokiness and spiciness balancing well. 
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Lastly, there were 2 cheese stalls. The first was Le Petit France Cheese, where the cheese is made in the Natal Midlands with the cultures imported from France. The marmalade is made in the Cape Berg, in the Western Cape province. The blue cheese was delicious and was not overbearing at all. However, the marmalade was too sweet for me.

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The second was Madame Fromage, where the chef has been trained in France. The farm is located in Paarl. They can be found in the V&A Waterfront and Old Biscuit Mill (hard cheeses) with the soft cheeses sold through an agent. The hard cheeses ranged from mild to strong. The mild being 3 months old, the second one 12 months old (and has more flavour), with the strongest being 2 years old (and is a bit overpowering due to the black pepper and aging). The semi-hard cheeses consisted of: plain, herbs, chili, cumin (that was delicious as the cumin was subtle), and smoked. There is also Brie, Camembert and Cambrini. If I wasn’t spending the rest of the day in Franschoek, I would’ve have definitely stocked up on their brie and the second hard cheese!

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Soft cheeses
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Brie, Camembert and Cambini
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Hard cheeses

Overall, the market is quite small but the quality of the food makes up for it. It’s tough not to buy everything you taste and the great part is that most of the products are available in Cape Town 😀