New in my teapot this week is some Clipper orange and coconut fruit infusion.
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!
(Inspired by the lovely Janine from Being Brazen…)
1. They make single vineyard estate wine in KwaZulu Natal
2. Watching people sing their national anthems on TV gives me goosebumps
3. Wedgewood cranberry almond nougat is perfectly acceptable to have for breakfast
4. Hilton College is a beautiful school
5. il Postino Pizzeria in the midlands make THE best pizza bases I have eaten
6. Second-hand smoke is the most terrible infliction on any NON-smoker!!!!
7. In Natal a “hundee” =R100 note
8. Trying to keep your hair smoothed down and neat while boating on the Midmar dam is an extremely futile activity
9. It’s always nice to catch up with old friends you haven’t seen since first year
10. Getting up at 4am for a 6.30am flight is way more easier said than done
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?!!
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.
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’ !
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.