FROM CASUAL RESTAURANTS TO ROOF TOPS
Restaurants and chefs continue to inspire us. We wish to thank them for their loyal support. They remain unanimous in their gratitude for the Plate Rating that awards one, two and three plates. Consistency is key, both for us and the restaurants. Our system has remained unwavering and steadfast since inception. We are extremely proud of how hard the professional critics, chefs and their teams have worked – thanks to them, and to you, for believing in what we do. If you need a copy of the 2020 JHP Gourmet Guide™, be sure to grab it in Woolworths, Exclusive Books and at plated restaurants.
As restaurants get more feet through their doors, we dream of putting ours up. Preferably with a glass of bubbles in one hand, and a book in the other.
BOOKS FOR COOKS
IT’S ALL ABOUT THE AFRICAN CONTINENT…
The Africa Cookbook by chef and founder Portia Mbau is in a class of its own, tapping into memories and meals from all over Africa. A simple (soft) cover belies what awaits inside, which is a varied selection of enticing recipes. They look do-able and delectable. What a great gift for patriotic cooks and visitors to our land. I shall try the recipes and share the results with you in the March edition of the Gourmet Guide online magazine.
Tjaart Walraven, a familiar face from the Great South African Bake-Off, has written ‘Summer Food’ to celebrate a simple summer lifestyle. From basics to breakfasts, starters to mains and sweets, there’s a selection of mouth-watering options for every occasion. His ‘ultimate summer frittata’ will start your day off with a bang; keep flipping the pages for juicy bits like ostrich carpaccio, an apple and carrot slaw with black sesame dressing or his spicy chicken lollipops and lentils with a herb purée. Desserts and bakes will have you salivating – panna cotta and honeycomb ice cream (yum!) or his pear and almond tart (double yum!). Useful tips like how to carve, and personal anecdotes, bring the book to life. Summer is here – get your hands on this book to make it a delectable one!
BOOK FOR CASUAL
An early or late sitting can now be booked at The Commissary in Shortmarket Street, right next door to big brother, one-plated The Shortmarket Club. We enjoyed a selection of tapas that lived up to their promise of punchy, powerful flavour. I love the brightly-coloured plastic and metal plates, sitting at the counter watching talent at play with a glass of wine in hand, feet tapping to the lively music. Starting with the tangy Indo tomato salad, a quick succession of dishes was delivered to us.
The corn-dog deep-fried langoustine on a stick was my favourite. A marital dispute seemed likely as there are three in a portion. We carefully cut number three into two. Pork belly, succulent with a kimchi topping, got the thumbs up from my man. I waxed lyrical about the chicken sliders and chicken wings, equally. Our last visit had included the Zoo biscuit nice cream, so we chose something different, a hot biscuit with a cheesecake filling. Please sir may I have some more???
THE HUB OF THE DEEP SOUTH
After taking a leisurely drive to Scarborough we arrived The Hub Café. It’s situated above Foragers Deli and Whole Foods, which demands a little shopping. Deck tables offer views of chef Dylan Laity and his team on one side, and a sea view (and bustling car park) on the other.
This surf-loving chef has found his niche, serving up fine-dining quality in a casual space. Originally offering small plates, they now have an a la carte summer menu. After a quick chat, we agreed to let him choose our menu. Great move. Crispy-fried langoustines nestling on a bowl of dried bay leaves were served with a basil mayo and an orange and lemongrass dressing, delicately plated.
The seared tuna dish with a soy and ginger dressing, sesame mayo and avo was also exceptional. A tangy and bright beetroot dish with coconut ricotta, roasted tofu cream and a coriander and peanut pesto was supreme. The saffron risotto with fire-roasted asparagus, tomato chutney and puffed grains was as good as the slow-cooked pork belly with blue cheese, roast apple puree, a celeriac salad and spiced honey. Sated, we still managed to find space to share the cheesecake mousse with a crunchy walnut biscuit, naartjie granita and preserved gooseberries. The restaurant was full to overflowing when we left, with a convivial hum of happy diners smiling.
MARVELLOUS VIEW FROM THE MARLY
Someone kindly switched the wind off for the Kove Collection to launch The Marly in Camps Bay. Sweeping, 360 degree mountain-and-sea views from the rooftop are unrivalled from this prime property. Guests were whisked upstairs without a sideways glance at rooms and the spa, both reputed to be stunning. Over drinks and snacks I said cheers to old friends and new.