Reasons to eat at Bistrot Bizerca this Summer

Location
Moving from Jetty street last year to Bree street (or Heritage Square) was possibly the best thing that the restaurant could have done. It’s across the road from my office and a mere km or 2 down the hill from my house. Happiness!

In all seriousness though, the current location makes it a dream for any city dweller or tourist looking for a place that offers quality cuisine in a casual but modern and stylish setting.

If you’re familiar with the general parking situation in Cape Town’s CBD, you’ll know it can often be a soul-destroying nightmare. Luckily though, there is a large parking lot just across the road from Bizerca which makes choosing it as a dining spot just that much more appealing (I loathe searching for parking so this is a big plus for me!)

Can we just take a moment to look at this courtyard?! I’m not going to say anything more other than – it’s utterly charming and definitely a space in which you’re going to want to eat al fresco this season.

Bistrot Bizerca  -  Courtyard - 3

Concise menu
Laurent’s menu doesn’t resemble something from a David Foster Wallace novel. It has enough options to make you feel like you have a wide choice but few enough so as not to overwhelm you in any way. Although signatures like the Norwegian salmon salad, Chalmar beef fillet and Granny Smith apple sorbet with Calvados, will stay put, the new summer menu brings with it a refreshing and “lighter” element. My favourite dish being the duo of gazpacho with broad bean pesto bruschetta. I’m generally quite averse to gazpacho due to the texture but Bizerca’s version is as smooth as silk and served perfectly chilled.

Pork belly fan? You will love the pork belly salad. It comes with beetroot, apple, labneh and a Cabernet Sauvignon vinaigrette. If you’re sensitive to sugar like myself, you may find this dish weighing heavily on the sweeter side of things.

Meat eaters will go mad for the duo of lamb with aubergine fritters and a sweet potato and papaya salsa. An interesting combination but one that’s incredibly tasty – with the fritter batter being delicately crispy and crunchy on the outside – giving way to a rich and creamy aubergine centre. Next time I go, I may even have to order a side dish of these because they are just so moreish!

I haven’t had the pleasure (yet!) of experiencing the apple sorbet with Calvados, but it’s definitely on my bucket list for next time!

Bistrot Bizerca summer menu

Gazpacho, pork belly salad, lamb and apple sorbet.

Wine
Bistrot Bizerca has a carefully selected wine list made up of a few international wines as well as those hailing from our own back yard. I believe that a restaurant in Cape Town with a poor wine list is inexcusable. We live in the Cape for crying out loud! Did I mention that wine is also offered by the carafe? I LOVE having my wine presented in a carafe. It just feels so… French!

Any occasion will do
Whether it’s a Birthday celebration, a family reunion, a romantic date night with your special someone or a formal (and informal!) business lunch, Bistrot Bizerca has that certain vibe and energy that seamlessly “fits” the situation that you’re in.

 It’s season, so don’t leave it too late to make a reservation!

Contact Bistrot Bizerca

Heritage Square, 98 Shortmarket Street, Cape Town.

Tel:  +27 (21) 423 8888.

Email: bizerca@mweb.co.za

Twitter: @BIZERCAbistro


Just some prettiness for a Friday

I think this is really cool! Check it out…

An experimental film about the forms and shapes different foods make when you flatten them.


for Lunch on Thursdays… Earthfair Foodmarket

There’s something very alluring and distracting about working a block away from the Earthfair Foodmarket in St Georges Mall.

I mean, picture this: You’re sitting at your desk and your twitter feed is filled with things like,

“thecreamerysa: Everyone who weighed in on the brownie chunk debate: coffee brownie chunk’s @earthfairmarket St Georges RIGHT NOW in limited quantities”.

Who wouldn’t want to rush out the door and be part of the action??!

So yesterday I scooted out of the office at top speed leaving my revolving chair in a state of whirling dizziness, for a lunch date with my foodie fitness-loving cohort, Kim. We both work in town and so to be able to escape the office for an hour and literally just allow yourself to oooh and aaaaah over mouth-watering bites… is a real pleasure!

I’m always up for a food market of some sort… and grabbing lunch at the Earthfair market every Thursday might just have to become a little ritual I think 😉


To Market To Market…

New in my teapot this week is some Clipper orange and coconut fruit infusion.

Deeeeeeeliscious!!

I picked this up at the Hout Bay Market on Saturday. It was actually my first time visiting this new crowd-puller (shock, horror-I know!!) but now that I’ve been…I just want to go back again and again! In my opinion it is one of the best markets we have in Cape Town!

I enjoyed it for so many different reasons but one (and this is a big one!) was that I didn’t feel like I was constantly stepping on people’s toes or squeezing past inert baby strollers. There was actually space to breathe! Unlike some other indoor markets I’ve frequented.

Normally I would do a quick walk-through, grab something to eat, maybe hang around for while to people-watch…but Saturday was totally different, and in a good way. I arrived with my friend Tanya at around 11h00 and when we left it was almost 18h00! There was just so much to see and buy and so many interesting people to talk to. Did I mention the food? Oh, the food!!! I think an hour out of the 7 that we were there- was literally spent deciding what we wanted to eat.

Serious decisions, I tell you. Serious.

I opted for a delicious pesto and veggie oatmeal Panini from a tall, dark Turkish guy with a sweet smile, who quickly and very deftly assembled and handed to me. It cost R30 which I suppose for market food is reasonable, and I will say it was very tasty but I think he could have dropped the price by just a fraction.

After the savoury kick, my taste buds were desperate for some FroYo!!!! I had actually been craving some the whole week and even tweeted that I thought Cape Town needed a good Frozen Yoghurt shop. Dum dum dum…

Enter – YoCulture

They offer plain tart yoghurt and serve it in a rather substantially-sized recyclable cup with a plethora of different fruit, nut, cookie, and chocolate toppings. I was in heaven! Unfortunately the whole thing was gone before I even had a chance to snap a pic:( Oh dear. Next time…

There were just waaaay too many things that I loved about this market, like:

The stunning flowers from Bitter Sweet

And these gorgeous shoes…

Oh, and the unique pieces of furniture…
Tanya and I both LOVED the swing couch and probably spent about half an hour on it, languidly resting our tired legs , shifting positions every now and then and day-dreaming about how amazing it would look in both of our “future houses”.

We also had fun at the hat stall…

Of course we couldn’t walk away from these babies…

And for the health-conscious among us, there were smoothies that looked deliciously thirst-quenching (although as a side note- personally I don’t believe smoothies are that great if not made to order. But that’s just me)…

On our way out I found this little guy playing. He seemed so absorbed in his own world but happily obliged to smile for a quick pic. Too cute!

xxx


Too Much Food. Too Little Time

Something that makes me incredibly thankful (and try not to see this as the possible cliché that it might be), is the fact that I live in Cape Town, where the variety of spectacular restaurants is overwhelmingly enormous! No really, it is.

In the last week alone GWT (that’s me by the way!) has enjoyed meals  from Jordan, La Boheme, A Tavola and Wafu, to The Foodbarn in leafy Noordhoek- I honestly can’t see that the itsy-bitsy bikini waiting patiently in my wardrobe, will be fitting as well as it should come summer…which, let’s face it, might be sooner than anticipated considering the temperature we experienced yesterday in the Mother city!

Phew! It’s probably a good thing I’m addicted to a fan of endorphins eh?

What was the point of this post again? Oh yes! The Foodbarn.

On Sunday I enjoyed a loooooong boozy lunch with my Aunt, cousin (who worked for Franck when he was still back at La Calombe) and a family friend of ours from the Eastern Cape.

Everything was absolutely perfect- the food, wine, ambience, company… in fact even our ice bucket of Steenberg 1682 that was knocked over by a scurrying child, failed to dampen the mood!

An added bonus was that I also got to catch up with my old school-friend and ex-flatmate Bryden, who runs the sauce section. Did I mention that the sauces were phenomenal?!! High five Brydi !!


Love From There And Here

Sjoe!!  This past week has been so busy and I’ve hardly had a moment to blog (which is a horrible feeling)…BUT, in between filing stories, pre-6am trips to gym, farewell soirees for colleagues and getting surprise packages of peanut butter, Girl With a Teacup has been sashaying around the Blogosphere and doing something a little  different.

A few months ago I was approached on twitter by the lovely Canadian, Charlotte Senini who asked me if I would be interested in contributing to her gorgeous blog – Love From There and Here. Together with her friend Chelsea, the girls share aspects of their lives from Canada and South Africa respectively (Charlotte spends half of her time here in SA and the rest in her native land of the maple leaf).

The brief sounded intriguing… she wanted me to do a guest post together with another food blogger from Canada, which would echo the style and format of Love From There and Here.  We were both given the same ingredient and asked to come up with a recipe. Both of our posts were  juxtaposed so one would be able to see the different interpretations side by side.

I had such fun with it!

Head over to Love From There and Here to see what I did !!!!

(Thanks Charlotte and Chelsea for the great opportunity!)

xxx


First Time at Jardine :)

To say that my weekend ended up being rather over-indulgent, is an understatement I think! It kicked off with Margarita’s and spicy deep-fried Mexican on Friday…followed by imbibing 12-year old bottles of Duval-Leroy (amongst others!) on Saturday at the Big Bottle Festival, after which a little Long Street jaunt ensued.

Sunday had me perched at a table at Jardine sipping on yet more wine and ingesting the gastronomic masterpieces that made their way out of George’s kitchen.  I was with my friend, Greg, who used to work for George when he still had Jardine in Bree Street, so it was nice for him to check out his new spot in Stellenbosch!

Is this not picture perfect?!!

Gorgeous view from our table

I just love love love the mountains in and around Stellenbosch. The sun was shining and the weather was warm so all the doors of the restaurant were open leading onto the stone patio that spilled out onto the lawn and dam below. If ever there was a perfect day of food and wine, then this was it.

We arrived a little late but it didn’t appear to be a problem. We were made to feel more than welcome by the maître de. George saw us from the pass so Greg got to chat to him a bit and catch up. (I believe it’s been a while since they’ve seen one another). I’m not going to go into too much detail about the food other than to say it was utterly fabulous.

My starter of Gruyere tart with caramelised onion and pickled baby beetroot was so tasty and it’s at a place like Jardine that one will pick up on small little details that just elevate the dish to another level. In my starter’s case it was definitely the rich but delicate puff pastry that was used; Flaky and crisp, giving the dish just the right texture to contrast the creamy goodness of the Gruyere filling. There was a garnish of apple puree which was just as sublime and added the acidity needed to cut through the richness. Everything was just so well balanced.

I love George's Kitchen

Mains were also brilliant but the piece de résistance was, for me, the chocolate dessert. (I knew from the moment I sat down and saw the menu that it would have to pass my lips. Like, Have to!!). Holy Yum! It was a Valrhona guanaja chocolate terrine with hazelnut ice-cream, and has to be by far the best chocolate dessert I’ve had (ok besides for the chocolate brownie at Cafe Roux but that has a firm place in my heart and always will!). What gave the dessert that extra “wow” factor, was the tiny sprinkling of cacao nibs that lightly blanketed the terrine. It was incredible (Big shout-out to my friend Ross who supplies them with the chocolate!)

The others at the table took “a trip to the cheese room” and returned with delicious-looking local cheeses and preserves. Glad I stuck to my chocolate though!! Greg opted for the honey and poppy-seed soufflé which came with a touch of crème anglaise and ice-cream, served devant vous (at the table) There is nothing more visually appealing than observing a freshly baked soufflé coming out of the kitchen. Even if you’ve made them countless times before (with and without success!), there is that small part of you inside that will always smile and go ‘aaaaaaahhh’ !

Pouring in the Creme Anglaise

I could easily have stayed at Jordan the entire afternoon. Oh wait, I did!

After a round of coffees, and witnessing the sun quietly dip behind the trees, we felt it was probably time we gave the front-of-house staff their Sunday evening. I know only too well what it’s like having to deal with so-called “late stayers”.

So, it was with a satisfied and happy sigh that we made our way to the car. I wonder what next Sunday will bring, after all- I’ll be dining at The Foodbarn. I hope Franck has a chocolate dessert… over-indulgent? Spoiled brat snob? *meekly raises hand*… yip, that’s me.

xxx