5 feel good foods for depression and anxiety

Let's Eat!

October marks Mental Health Awareness month in South Africa and depression & anxiety are mental health issues that I am particularly very passionate about.

mental health month

[PICTURE COURTESY OF gov.za]

One day you’re up, the next you’re down or you’re up and down all in one day – it can be quite draining and requires constant awareness and maintenance of your balance to keep a level-head.

Two ways I do this is through comfort food and yoga. Now comfort food isn’t always a bad thing. What comfort food is to you, isn’t necessarily what comfort food is to me. For some people, it’s simply having a healthy, balanced meal filled with all their favourites and for others, it’s luxuries, luxuries and more luxuries. I’m definitely a mixture of both! But if you’re all about keeping balance the healthy way, here’s a list of five healthy foods that happen to help you feel good too – with some recipe suggestions from me!

 

Spinach

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When I was younger I absolutely hated spinach but Popeye was onto something! It’s rich in iron so it restores your energy, increases your vitality and improves blood quality.

Serving suggestions:

  • Creamed spinach and feta: For me this is best served on top of an awesome steak, chicken breast or piece of hake.
  • Spinach and feta stuffing: If not on top then definitely inside of a chicken breast
  • In a pasta: Pasta, like soup, feels just like a hug on the inside – and even more so with spinach!

 

Avocado

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Avo is life – this is what I live by. And, if you love avocado, you know how people like it is pretty much each to his own. For the avo lovers, you’ll be happy to know that it protects against heart disease, lowers blood pressure and keep your eyes healthy.

Serving suggestions:

  • On bread (not toasted) with salt and pepper
  • On bread (slightly toasted) with topped with salt, pepper and feta
  • On bread (not toasted) with scrambled egg and gouda or cheddar (very, very rarely!)
  • On bread (slightly toasted) with bacon and feta
  • On a pizza with bacon and feta
  • In a pasta with either prawn or bacon and feta

 

Mushrooms

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Mushrooms is also life but only few would agree, though – or at least that’s what I think. It supports the immune system, prevents damage to cells and tissues, helps lower cholesterol and maintains healthy blood pressure and circulation.

Serving suggestion:

 

Green tea

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Green tea gets me through the day. Whether it’s getting through a rough day at work or just fighting the urge to snack on a pack of Lays Salted, it sure helps me. For those who absolutely hate it, green tea actually helps improves blood flow, lowers cholesterol, keeps your blood sugar stable and is a great alternative for sugary drinks. Yes, i know, it’s not food…

 

Vitamin D – and for me, that’s sun!

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Sunlight’s not food for your tummy but it’s food for the soul if you battle seasonal depression. Exposure to sunlight increases the amount of serotonin released by the brain, which boosts your mood and helps you feel calm and focused. So, sunlight is your friend!

 

Do you battle with depression and/or anxiety? Which foods help you deal? Let me know!

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Mouth-watering chocolate recipes from Beyers Chocolates

It's A Date, Let's Eat!

This was the first time I attended the chocolate demos hosted by Beyers Chocolates at the Coffee & Chocolate Festival.

ABOUT BEYERS CHOCOLATES
Beyers Chocolates was founded 30 years ago by Belgian-born, Kees Beyers. They manufacture their own range of confectionery, including local favourites like Sweetie Pie, Amarula, and Dream Bear, and also supply an extensive range of sub-brands and private label products to airlines and the hospitality industry, which makes them the largest independent manufacturer of boxed chocolates in South Africa.

 
THE CHOCOLATE DEMO AT THE COFFEE & CHOCOLATE FESTIVAL CAPE TOWN 2017
During the Chocolate Demo, the Beyers team showcase a series of chocolate treats and desserts, offering tips, tricks and hacks for working with chocolate while preparing each dish. Here’s are a few snippets from the demo:

Chocolate tempering/Chocolate moulds

 

Piping

 

Pretzel Monsters

 

Understanding cocoa percentage

 

Caramel pots

 

Chocolate mousse

 

Here’s a full list of the recipes they shared with attendees*:

Tempering Chocolate

Ingredients

Dark, milk or white couverture chocolate

Method for stove

  1. Put a glass or metal bowl of chocolate on a pot full of simmering water, but be sure the bowl does not touch the water
  2. Slowly met two thirds of the chocolate until it reaches a temperature of 45-50⁰C, then remove the bowl from the pot
  3. Add the remaining third of the chocolate, stirring until all the chocolate has completely dissolved
  4. Check the temperature. This should be 32-33⁰C for dark chocolate, 30-32⁰C for milk chocolate and 28-30⁰ for white chocolate. If the temperature is too high, keep stirring the chocolate until it reaches the correct temperature.

Method for microwave

  1. Place the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl
  2. Melt it in short bursts (15 – 20 seconds at a time), stirring each time it stops, to evenly distribute heat
  3. Keep doing this until the chocolate has melted and has reached a temperature of 45-50⁰C
  4. Follow steps 3 and 4 above

Salted Caramel Pots with Caramel Sauce

  • Servings: 6
  • Print

Ingredients

300ml cream

400g milk chocolatengs

50g butter

6 tbsp caramel sauce

A few pinches of black sea salt (or Himalayan sea salt)

Method

  1. Heat the cream in a pot until it comes to a boil. Add the chocolate and butter and mix until incorporated
  2. Pour a tablespoon of caramel sauce into the bottom of six small ramekins and swirl it around a little to coat the bottom
  3. Distribute the chocolate mixture evenly between the ramekins, on top of the caramel sauce
  4. Place the ramekins in the fridge for a couple of hours or until fully set
  5. Once set, sprinkle a pinch of salt on the top of each dessert and serve

Superfood Chocolate Bark

  • Print

Ingredients

Tempered dark chocolate

Dried fruit and nuts of your choice

Method

  1. Line a tray with a greaseproof paper
  2. Pour some tempered chocolate on the lined tray and use a palette knife to spread the chocolate as evenly as possible but not too thin
  3. Sprinkle the fruit and nuts on top of the chocolate before it sets
  4. Place the tray in the fridge
  5. After it has set, remove the tray and break the chocolate into medium to large pieces
  6. Enjoy!

Chocolate Dippers

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Ingredients

Tempered dark chocolate

Tempered white chocolate

Mini marshmallows

Sprinkles

Lolly sticks

Method

  1. Pour some dark chocolate into a chocolate mould about halfway up. You can also use a ice cube tray.
  2. Into each mould, quickly add one lolly stick, two to three marshmallows and sprinkles
  3. Add a layer of white chocolate to each mould
  4. Place in the refrigerator until all the chocolate has set

Serving suggestion

You can use one type of chocolate for your dippers if you prefer. You can also use different sweet spices such as cinnamon or aniseed for a spicy option.

Coffee and Chocolate Martini

  • Servings: 2
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Ingredients

160ml Kahlua

90ml chocolate liqueur

60ml vodka

60ml low fat or full cream milk

Method

  1. Place all the ingredients into a cocktail shaker and add a few blocks of ice
  2. Give it a good shake to mix all the ingredients
  3. Pour into two martini glasses and serve immediately

Serving suggestion

Coat the rim of each glass with chocolate or dip the glasses into cocoa powder, ground coffee or sugar. To impress, decorate the inside of each glass with chocolate sauce.

Chocolate Pretzel Monsters

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Ingredients

150g pretzel sticks (broken)

200g white chocolate (melted)

Dark chocolate

Green or purple food colouring

Pre-made eyes

Method - Monsters

  1. Put the white chocolate in a bowl and start adding your colour, small quantities at a time and stir. Keep adding the colour until you are happy with the shade
  2. Stir in the broken pretzel sticks
  3. Scoop up a tablespoon of the mixture and place it on a greaseproof lined tray and then add two eyes. Keep doing this until the mixture is finished
  4. Place in the fridge until completely set

Method - Eyes

  1. Place some white chocolate into a small piping bag
  2. Pipe small white dots onto a tray of greaseproof paper
  3. Allow to set
  4. Put dark chocolate into a small piping bag and pipe smaller dots in the centre of the white chocolate dots
  5. Allow to set

Chocolate Mousse

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Ingredients

110g milk

425g dark chocolate, chopped

900g whipped cream

Method - Monsters

  1. Bring the milk to boil
  2. Pour the hot milk over the chocolate and mix until the chocolate has melted
  3. Cool the mixture down to 50⁰C
  4. When cooled, fold the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture until well combined
  5. Spoon into cups or bowls and place in the fridge to set

Please note

Make sure the chocolate mixture has cooled when you add the whipped cream. If it is too cold it will separate, too warm and wit won’t be smooth.

Layered Chocolate Dessert

  • Print

Ingredients

Chocolate mousse

Crushed Oreos/chocolate biscuits

Whipped cream

Mason jars/glass tumblers

Method - Monsters

  1. Scoop or pipe a layer of chocolate mousse into the bottom of the Mason jars or tumblers
  2. Gently spoon in a layer of crushed biscuits
  3. Scoop or pipe a layer of whipped cream
  4. Follow with another layer of chocolate mousse and another layer of crushed biscuits
  5. Serve immediately or leave in the fridge until ready to serve

Serving suggestions

Decorate with chopped chocolate. You can also top the dessert with whipped cream or start with any ingredient when creating the layers.

Chocolate Dipped Marshmallows

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Ingredients

A bag of marshmallows

Tempered chocolate

Sosatie sticks

Sprinkles

Method - Monsters

  1. Insert a sosatie stick into the middle of one marshmallow and repeat until you have three marshmallows on each stick
  2. Dip the sticks into the tempered chocolate, making sure all the sides of the marshmallows are covered with chocolate
  3. Gently shake each stick to get rid of any excess chocolate
  4. Before the chocolate sets, decorate the marshmallow sticks with sprinkles
  5. Leave upright in a cup or container until completely set

Serving suggestions

You can replace the sprinkles with nuts or smarties.

Toasted Marshmallow Hot Chocolate

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Ingredients

150 ml milk

150 ml cream

50g milk chocolate

100g dark chocolate

Mini marshmallows

For decoration

For the decoration:
Digestive biscuits (roughly crushed)
Melted chocolate (milk,dark or white)

Method - Decoration

  1. Dip the rim of the mugs into the melted chocolate and shake off the excess
  2. Then dip the rim into the crushed biscuits, ensuring all the chocolate is coated with the biscuits
  3. Allow to set

Method - Hot chocolate

  1. Heat up the milk and the cream
  2. Add your chocolate and stir
  3. Pour the hot mixture into two mugs, leaving space at the top for the marshmallows
  4. Place a generous handful of marshmallows on the top of the hot chocolate mixture
  5. Using a kitchen blow torch, gently toast the marshmallows
  6. Serve immediately

Moulded Chocolates

  • Print

Ingredients

Tempered chocolate of your choice

Sprinkles (nuts/fruit/sprinkles)

Chocolate moulds (silicone/plastic)

Method

  1. Using a spoon, scoop the chocolate into your mould until each cavity is full of chocolate
  2. Take a scraper and carefully scrape the top of the mould to get rid of excess chocolate
  3. Sprinkle your toppings on the chocolate while wet
  4. Refrigerate until set
  5. When set, turn the mould upside down over greaseproof paper and gently knock out the moulded chocolates

Please note

Silicone moulds are very pliable, so you can “pop” each chocolate once set, instead of knocking them out.

Chocolate Stout Float

  • Servings: 2
  • Print

Ingredients

Chocolate ice-cream

2 tbsp chocolate syrup

340ml bottle of chocolate milk stout

Whipped cream

Method

  1. Put three scoops of chocolate ice-cream into two separate glasses
  2. Add the chocolate syrup to the ice cream
  3. Tilt the glass ad slowly pour the stout into the glass
  4. Stir the float just a bit to incorporate the syrup
  5. Add whipped cream to the top of the float
  6. Enjoy!

Serving suggestions


Add a chocolate flake, chocolate sprinkles or drizzle chocolate syrup on top of the stout creation.

Chocolate Popsicle Sticks

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Ingredients

2l of cream

2 tins condensed milk

10 ml vanilla paste

Cocoa powder

Tempered chocolate

Sprinkles

Ice lolly moulds

Method

  1. Whip the cream, condense milk, vanilla and cocoa powder together
  2. Pour into the moulds
  3. Place in the freezer until set
  4. Once set, drizzle the tempered chocolate onto the lollies or dip the lollies into the chocolate
  5. Decorate with sprinkles of your choice and place on a greaseproof lined tray and allow to set in the freezer

Sweetie Pie Cupcakes

  • Print

Ingredients

Chocolate cupcakes

Tempered dark or milk chocolate

½ cup sugar

¼ cup water

2 egg whites

¼ tsp cream of tartar

Method

  1. In a saucepan, combine the sugar and water. Allow it to come to a boil and remove from the heat when there are no visible sugar crystals
  2. Add cream of tartar to the egg whites and use an electric mixer to whip until stiff
  3. Slowly add the hot mixture
  4. Into the eggs with the mixer on high speed
  5. Keep mixing until the consistency is thick, shiny and fluffy
  6. Pipe the mixture onto the chocolate cupcakes
  7. Carefully dip the cupcakes into the tempered chocolate, covering the whipped mixture
  8. Leave to set

Chocolate Dirt Pudding

  • Print

Ingredients

Chocolate mousse

Crushed Oreos/chocolate biscuits

Sour worms

1 Mason jar or clear cup

[/recipe-ingredients ]

Method

  1. Nearly fill a mason jar or large clear cup with chocolate mousse
  2. Insert the worms into the mousse, so that two thirds of each worm stick out
  3. Carefully add the crushed Oreos or chocolate biscuits to the top
  4. Enjoy!

Strawberry Dream Bear Craft Milkshake

  • Print

Ingredients

3 scoops of strawberry ice-cream

½ cup cold milk

2 tbsp strawberry syrup

2 strawberry Dream Bears

1 large glass mug

1 straw

Ingredients: Decorations (optional)

Candy floss

Melted chocolate

Sprinkles

Mini doughnuts

Whipped cream

Strawberries

Strawberry syrup

Method

  1. Blend ice-cream, milk, syrup and Dream Bears on the lowest speed in the blender
  2. If the mixture is too thick to drink through a straw, add a tablespoon of milk at a time until you reach the desired consistency
  3. Pour the mixture into a large glass mug

Method - For decorating

  1. Dip the rim of the glass mug into the melted chocolate. You may add some sprinkles to the chocolate
  2. Pour in the milkshake
  3. Add the doughnut to the top of the glass and insert your straw through it
  4. Place the strawberries and whipped cream on top of the milkshake
  5. Place the candy floss on top of the whipped cream
  6. Drizzle strawberry syrup on the top

*Disclaimer: Please note that all recipes are courtesy of Beyers Chocolates. Click here for more recipes from Beyers Chocolates.

 

 

Good tunes out at the Coffee & Chocolate Festival Cape Town 2017

It's A Date

One thing I was looking forward to at the Coffee & Chocolate Festival Cape Town 2017 was the live music. I’m not sure if I’m just really out of the loop (which I think is probably the case) but Cape Town’s live music scene doesn’t seem as buzzing as Joburg’s, so I was keen to see what these Cape Town peeps had to offer.

CoffeeChoc acts

The line-up included:

  • Astrafunk & the Space Cats: They’re a Cape Town-based live looping band made up of a trumpet, trombone, multi-instrumentalist soul singer/rapper, and drummer. Their music production is fantastic – the quality is superb! Take a listen. An Astrafunk and the Space Cats collab with Power of Thought and Greedy Greg would be AMAZEBALLS – hint hint, nudge nudge!
  • Stone Jets: They’re an Afro/Pop/Rock Cape Town-based band. Listening to them on SoundCloud right now and I’m sure lovin’ what they have to offer.
  • Grace de la Hunt: She’s a singer-songwriter from Cape Town and semi-finalist for SA’s Got Talent 2015.
  • Sean Hayz: He’s the lead singer from The Motherland, a popular (and my favourite) Indie/Folk/Rock band down in the City of Gold and the only act I knew.

Since I was there on the Saturday, the only act I didn’t see was the Stone Jets.
Verdict? Astrafunk & the Space Cats and Grace de la Hunt are absolutely awesome – definitely my kinda vibe. Here are some snippets of their performances. What do you think?

 

Grace de la Hunt

 

 

 

 

Astrafunk & and the Space Cats

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

P.S: Astrafunk & the Space Cats will be out at Beerhouse Cape Town for First Thursdays this November. Head on down if you can. I’m hoping to pull through too.

 

Have you heard of these guys? Do you like or do you hate them? Is there anyone else you can recommend? Let me know!

Coffee and Chocolate Festival Cape Town 2017… disappointing!

It's A Date

Late, I know! Work’s been busy and no Internet access at home, but i was out at the Coffee & Chocolate Festival Cape Town this weekend and oh my, what a disappointment. Even the SA on Tap Craft Beer and Music Festival was better and you know how I hated that.

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VENUE

It was held at the Durbanville Racecourse so the venue was absolutely shit, literally (yes, I am swearing, that’s how bad it was). You really don’t want to be walking in random shit when you’re trying to make your way around. There was really no effort in presentation from the event organisers and and from the vendors. Stage looked sad. Vendor stands looks sad. Toilets… horrible. I hate those portable blue toilets. Please find out from Monte Casino where they hire their toilets from.

 

AMBIENCE, FOOD & DRINKS

Boring. Went alone because I was “in a working capacity” but even then you should enjoy yourself and feel some sort of ambience in the air but nothing! Food… nothing outstanding. There were like two craft beer stalls (if I’m mistaken, I’m sorry). But I found new live music peeps to check out so that’s a positive (will post that soonest). There was Coffee In A Cone, always a plus, and the Chocolate Demo by Beyers Chocolates wasn’t too bad either! Other than that it was terrible.  Seriously disappointing. I realise now why they record those website videos in Johannesburg.

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Chocolate Demo with Beyers Chocolates

 

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Layered Chocolate Dessert (left) and Toasted Marshmallow Hot Chocolate (right)

 

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Lager Ale from Riot Beer

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Death By Chocolate Stout from Havoc Brew

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Chocolate Mousse (right) and Layered Chocolate Dessert (left)

 

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Chocolate Pretzel Monsters

 

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Chocolate Dippers

 

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I’ll share some stuff over the next few days, dudes.

 

RATING: 1/10.

 

Did you enjoy it? Or, did you absolutely hate it too? Let me know! xxx

It’s Coffee & Chocolate Festival Cape Town 2017 this weekend: Let’s recap JHB 2016!

It's A Date

It’s the Coffee and Chocolate Festival Cape Town 2017 this weekend! Whoop-whoop!

[PICTURE COURTESY OF itickets.co.za]

Now, I’m not a big fan of chocolate and I’ve cut down quite massively on coffee but I’ve always just loved the vibe at the festival. Nothing quite like lazing in winter sun with great food, cold beer and great live music.

Unfortunately, I missed the Coffee and Chocolate Festival Johannesburg earlier this year since I was driving down to Cape Town so I’m super keen to check it out down here. But one thing that stuck out last year at the Jo’burg league of the festival last year was that the vibe wasn’t quite there. The music line-up wasn’t particularly amazing except for The Graeme Watkins Project and even though they pulled in Lady Lea, her set was quite a let down so I’m not sure what to expect this year.

It’s bound to be the usual in Cape Town though: some coffee over here, chocolate over there, a workshop here and a pairing there. I’m not too familiar with the music line-up except for Sean Hayz (yes, from The Motherland, my all-time fave Jo’burg band so super excited for him).

Anyway… didn’t take many pics last year but here are some short snippets of performances by The Motherland, The Graeme Watkins Project and Lady Lea!

 

The Motherland

The Graeme Watkins Project

 

Lady Lea

 

See you this weekend 😉 !

It’s Pure & Crafted SA Festival 2017 this weekend – Let’s revisit 2016!

It's A Date

It’s Pure & Crafted SA Festival 2017 this weekend. Let’s revisit 2016…

[PICTURE COURTESY OF zabikers.co.za]

Pure & Crafted SA Festival 2016 was two-day music, motorcycle and new heritage festival held at the Ground venue in Muldersdrift on 26 and 27 November 2016 and is inspired by the German Pure & Crafted festival.

I was lucky enough to win two weekend pass tickets (YAY!) so I was super excited. However, from what I saw, it was expected to be a motorcycle festival so I wasn’t too sure on what to expect and went into it a bit sceptical; but, boy, did it surprise me!

 

VENUE
The event was held at Ground venue in Muldersdrift – a bit far out but I absolutely love just getting out of the hustle and bustle of the city so that was a plus for me. Although mostly full when we got there, there was still ample parking as well as security on-site. The checking in process was quick, easy and well-controlled (at least when we got there). Only downer when walking in was the hay and sand at the entrance, especially after it rained on day 1.

The event organisers made good use of all the plot space. Although the different sections were quite spread out, whatever was happening at one section didn’t interfere with what was happening at another- total thumbs up!
The toilet facilities were terrible. They were the usual portable toilets, which I HATE! They just feel so unhygienic and I just feel so dirty after using it. Guess I’m probably just use to the toilets used for the outdoor Monte Casino events.

FOOD & DRINKS
Great selection of food but limited selection of drinks. Can’t remember who the beer sponsor was but I recall I wasn’t too happy with it but drank it anyway.

Milk tart churros from Paquitos Treatery

Gajoun chicken strips and salad from Sumthing Fresh

ENTERTAINMENT, VENDORS & AMBIENCE
There were three music stages: Main Stage (big acts), Forest Stage (club vibes) and the Munich Beer Stage (covers and old people). We popped in at all three and there was something for everyone. Although there were big acts including Prime Circle and The Parlotones, we didn’t really enjoy the main stage entertainment much. I enjoyed the Bad Peter performance at the Main Stage on day 1 and the Forest Stage was such fun come night-time – what a party. On day 2, Mi Casa took the cake!

There wasn’t much to see at the exhibitor tents. The BMW Vintage Museum, though small, was super cool. Motorcycles were absolute beauties. The stunt section was a let-down – nothing amazing. If you did want to learn how to ride, there was that too.

What I liked about the vibe at this festival was that it was quite chilled. It wasn’t too packed or rowdy.

BMW Vintage Museum

WHAT TO EXPECT THIS YEAR
This year they’ve cut it down to a one-day festival – understandable since day 2 was quieter than day 1. There are two international acts and 18 South African acts (about the same as last year if I’m not mistaken). They have, however, cut down on the number of stages, opting for only two stages: The Four Cylinder stage and the Vintage stage. Most of the line-up is made up of house, dance and electronic acts – also understandable since the Forest Stage was the more popular stage last year.

Windhoek is the beer partner for the 2017 festival. I, personally, don’t like Windhoek so the beer sponsor is a let down again. Progues Whiskey is the whiskey sponsor. I can’t really comment here because I don’t do whiskey.

I haven’t seen anything else that sticks out. However, if last year’s festival is anything to go by I’d say tomorrow is bound to be a super awesome day. Even if the entertainment isn’t up to scratch or bikes are just not your thing, it’s an awesome day out in the sun and out of the city.

Be sure to check it out tomorrow (30 September), 11am – 2am at Ground venue in Muldersdrift. Pre-sold tickets are R250 and tickets at the door are R300 (both excluding ticket fees and credit card commission)

 

TIPS:

  • Wear boots
  • Take a picnic blanket
  • Take an umbrella (for rain or shine)
  • Wear sunscreen
  • Be prepared to walk
  • Drinkers, get a taxi
  • If you’re planning on staying late, arrange to sleep over at accommodation in the area

Enjoy, lovelies! xxx

REVIEW: A TRIP THROUGH AFRICA AT MOYO

Let's Eat!, Reviews

Finally did Moyo! And, just in time for Heritage Day!

Moyo-Kirstenbosch-2

[PICTURE COURTESY OF http://www.moyo.co.za/]

THE RESTAURANT

Moyo is a South African-based restaurant dedicated to African dining with 5 stores situated across South Africa. The word moyo is of Swahili decent and means heart.

 

THE FOOD & DRINKS
Their food is authentically African with dishes ranging from smokey boerewors rolls; to heart-warming potjies; crocodile; and yip, you guessed it, mopani worms! We kept it fairly safe, though, taking our tastebuds on a trip down to Durban with a lamb curry bunny chow and a side of fries and down to Morocco with a zucchini, brinjal and mushrooms vegetarian stew – both were absolutely divine. Their servings are also quite large and filling, with us joking that their fries are basically halved potatoes hehe, so there was really no space for any dessert.

Ushaka lamb bunny chow

Ushaka lamb bunny chow: Delicious Durban style lamb curry in home baked bunny chow bread, served with carrot salad and raita

Zucchini, brinjal And mushroom smoor

Zucchini, brinjal And mushroom smoor: Moroccan inspired slow cooked vegetable stew of zucchini, brinjal and mushrooms, with toasted flaked almonds, grilled peppers and chickpeas served with couscous

Their drinks menu is quite extensive so you’re sure to get something to suit what you’re into. Because it was a particularly scorching day in Cape Town, I settled for my go-to: Miller Genuine Draft.

 

AMBIENCE & SERVICE
Love the décor. Pity I didn’t get many pics of it but it is so African yet so beautifully modern. Music isn’t too bad but may not be to everyone’s liking. Tourists would love it though because it would be something different.

Our waitress was a trainee but the service was great! She was attentive, friendly and helpful. And, in true Moyo-style, we were offered their unique African face painting experience. Been meaning to do it forever so I was in my element!

Moyo Kirstenbosch
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PRICES
Really not exorbitant at all with the cheapest meal (a starter) starting at R45. If you’re on a bit of a tight budget, you can get away with splitting the bill while enjoying amazing food.

RATING
10/10! Really enjoyed my time here and would gladly go back again to try more exotic dishes.

Have you been to Moyo? How did you find the menu and the service? Which one did you go to? Does your experience get a thumbs up or a thumbs down? Let me know!

REVIEW: A LESSON IN URBANOLOGI

Let's Eat!, Reviews

I was fortunate enough to be invited to try out Urbanologi‘s new winter menu this past Saturday and my was it amazing!

urbanology logo

THE RESTAURANT

Urbanologi is an Asian Fusion restaurant situated at the 1 Fox Precinct in Ferreirasdorp, Johannesburg and is based inside the Mad Giant Brewery. Together, they work alongside each other to come up with flavours that make for the perfect food and beer (or wine) pairing combinations for patrons to enjoy.

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THE FOOD & DRINKS

We tasted six dishes either pairing it with the recommendation on the menu or with a drink recommended to us by our waiter.

1. Tempura Shimejii Mushroom with tamarind dressing and butternut purée paired with Mad Giant Electric Light Weiss

The butternut puree and tamarind dressing was very yummy. I was particularly fond of the tamarind dressing with it’s sweet/sour undertones. It definitely adds a little something extra to the dish.

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Tempura Shimejii Mushroom with tamarind dressing and butternut purée paired with Mad Giant Electric Light Weiss

 

2. Marjoram Cured Lamb Rib Kushiyaki served with fresh oak wood teriyaki and roast apple paired with Mad Giant Electric Light Weiss

The meat was tender and soft- always a good thing!

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Marjoram Cured Lamb Rib Kushiyaki served with fresh oak wood teriyaki and roast apple paired with Mad Giant Electric Light Weiss

 

3. Gamefish Tataki with orange, nori, sesame emulsion and pork crackling paired with gin and tonic

This entire dish just works. The citrus undertones are amazing. We paired it with Gin and Tonic, which is not a recommendation on the menu but the lime from the gin blended right in. Definitely a pairing to try!

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Gamefish Tataki with orange, nori, sesame emulsion and pork crackling paired with gin and tonic 

 

4. Heirloom Baby Carrots with star anise and orange blossom labneh and kumquat marmalade paired with Boschendal Chardonnay

This one is said to be quite popular so I just had to try it. What stands out for me with this dish is the liquorice and citrus undertones throughout. It literally tasted like the orange coloured liquorice sweet – yum yum yum!

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Heirloom Baby Carrots with star anise and orange blossom labneh and kumquat marmalade paired with Boschendal Chardonnay

 

5. Coal Fired Broccoli with smoked Gorgonzola cream and broccoli gremolata paired with Boschendal Chardonnay

This one was the best! You wouldn’t expect much from it but dynamite definitely comes in small packages. Words actually cannot describe how amazing the broccoli and gorgonzola cream tastes. For me, the entire dish is just so warm and hearty and, if mash was on the menu, it would be so amazing if it were topped on some mash alongside a yummy piece of steak. Hope this one stays on the menu FOREVER!

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Coal Fired Broccoli with smoked Gorgonzola cream and broccoli gremolata paired with Boschendal Chardonnay

 

6. Ginger Malva with like leaf ice-cream and popcorn soil paired with Hanepoot

I’m not really one for desserts but this one was good. The lime and ginger works so well together and when paired with the Hanepoot, another recommendation from our waiter, it just takes this dessert to another level.

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Ginger Malva with like leaf ice-cream and popcorn soil paired with Hanepoot

 

THE BREWERY

I was taken through the brewery as well. Definitely something to try just to give you some insight into the process the beer goes through before it gets to us – and, even better, it’s really not that expensive!

 

SERVICE

Last time I went there (or tried to) the service was very disappointing. We stood at the door and no one even paid attention to us and that was just a let down for me so we left and sat in the Mad Giant Beer Garden instead. This time around, the service was awesome. Our waiter was so sweet and friendly and always made sure the table was cleared and ready for the next dish. I can’t really say if this is how the service usually is or whether it was just because of who I was with, hehehe.

 

PRICES

It’s not that pricey but you definitely have to have some cash if you want to taste a wide variety of items on the menu. Even if you do find the pricing to be quite high, it’s definitely worth it.

 

RATING

10/10! Very hard to get this from me. The last time I had food this good was at La Colombe. Thumbs up to the chef and brewers for amazing food, amazing beer and overall amazing pairings. Can’t wait to try the rest of the menu. A special shout out to Eben! The time there was amazing.

 

Have you been to Urbanologi? How did you find the menu and the service? Did you love it or absolutely hate it? Let me know!

 

 

BEER SCHOOL WITH BEERHOUSE AND MAD GIANT

Meet Me At The Bar

Beerhouse, in partnership with local craft beer breweries, often host a series of free Beer School sessions where attendees are offered a free beer tasting and discussion session with the respective brewery for that week’s session. Beer School was hosted by Mad Giant three weeks ago (yes, I know it’s late) with their brewer, Eben.

mad giant

[PICTURE COURTESY OF Beerhouse Fourways Facebook page]

ABOUT MAD GIANT
The meaning of the name Mad Giant can be broken into two: ‘Mad’ refers to a person and ‘Giant’ refers to a dream; put it together and the name embodies the idea about people pursuing their dreams. The name is represented by a giant with one eye and this symbolises the founder’s take on a dream, i.e. It might be scary, unrealistic and awkward but you should always keep one eye on the prize no matter what. This speaks quite closely to the founder’s own life. He’s always dreamed of making beer so he finally started Mad Giant three years ago, eventually opening up his own brewery in the Johannesburg CBD last year.

 

ABOUT THE BEER
1. Guzzler – 4.8% ABV

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This is an easy drinking Pilsner. It’s very dark in colour, malty and not as bitter as the usual Pilsners. It’s dry hopped and even though this is more expensive, it does make the beer more enjoyable.

VERDICT: I really enjoyed this one actually. It’s probably that honey and subdued lemon undertones.

 

2. Electric Light – 4.5% ABV

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This is Mad Giant’s Weiss beer, which is also their top selling beer. It’s the lightest beer in terms of alcohol and bitterness. Mad Giant’s Weiss is unfiltered because they believe this not only gives the beer a more creamier texture but also livens it up. Their Weiss is also quite dry compared to others but this makes it more drinkable. It has very light clove and banana aromas, with hints of pineapple more prominent when tasting it.

VERDICT: I don’t really enjoy Weiss beers. I did, however, enjoy the banana aromas. Can you maybe use it to give a twist to a lager?

 

3. Killer Hop – 5.0% ABV

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This is their Pale Ale. It has hints of litchi, grapefruit and is quite sweet since they’ve toned down the bitterness to make it more drinkable for our climate. It also works well in Summer because it’s easily drinkable. Just like their Pilsner it’s also dry hopped.

VERDICT: I didn’t really enjoy. That’s just because I don’t like ales.

 

4. Urban Legend – 5.5% ABV

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Urban Legend is their American Pale Ale (IPA). IPAs are usually more bitter and more hoppy with a high ABV. Theirs is unfiltered so this assists in not ruining the flavour. They specifically use various ‘tricks’ in their brewing process so that it doesn’t taste too bitter and maintains strong hints of banana, florals, citrus and sweetness. Although the usual ABV is 5.5%, the batch we tasted was 6%.

VERDICT: Even though I usually don’t like ales of any kind and found it very fruity, I enjoyed it. Definitely those hints of banana again. Smells great!

 

5. True Grit – 5.0% ABV

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True Grit is Mad Giant’s Amber Ale. It’s an American Amber Ale but it’s not as hoppy. It’s a roasted malt, visible by its colour. It has hints of caramel, chocolate and coffee. The beer’s name is inspired by his dad, who truly embodies the meaning behind having true grit. His dad always dreamed of flying and having his own plane but never had the money to do so. He finally got some plans together and got started on building his own plane. This took 9 years. Once completed the pilot inspected the plane, they took it out for a ‘test drive’ and while they were up in the air the engine died – they had to make an emergency landing and dropped. The injuries left his dad hospitalised for two months. When he got out, he tried version two! The moral of story is follow your dreams and have the balls to try and try again.

VERDICT: Liked this one!

 

TOP TIPS FROM THE BREWER

  • IPAs usually don’t sell that well in South Africa. In America, however, it outsells Lagers because it tends to be more fruitier than the IPA’s made in South Africa.  We, unfortunately, can’t make ours as fruity as theirs because the hops needed for that are more expensive since you’re getting it from America.
  • How to taste beer: Swirl, don’t dive in. Lightly swing passed nose. 1 second sniff. Cover glass with one hand and swirl then do two second sniff. Then drink beer and exhale through nose (this is called ‘retro nasal’).
  • A Weiss is referred to as a breakfast beer by Germans.
  • Beer on tap always tastes better and is much more fresher than bottled beer. This is because kegs provide protection and tend to rotate faster than bottles. Beer in kegs also doesn’t get any direct sunlight so its temperature fluctuation is slower, especially with hoppy beers. Darker beers do, however, taste better in bottles.
  • All Mad Giant’s beers are dry hopped except for their Weiss. Some beers are more dry hopped than others.
  • When a beer is dark in colour this means it’s made from roasted malt. Darker beers sell well in winter and are also more fitting for winters too.
  • Don’t eat, smoke or wash your hands before tasting beer .
  • ‘Pilsner’ is said to originate from town called Pilsen.

 

Have you attended Beerhouse’s Beer School before? Did you attended this session? What are your thoughts on it? Let me know!

BEER SCHOOL WITH BEERHOUSE AND EMBOMBI

Meet Me At The Bar

Beerhouse, in partnership with local craft beer breweries, often host a series of free Beer School sessions where attendees are offered a free beer tasting and discussion session with the respective brewery for that week’s session. Last week’s brewery was Embombi hosted by their brewer, Thabiso.

embombi pic

[PICTURE COURTESY OF Beerhouse Fourways Facebook page]

ABOUT EMBOMBI
Embombi is a local craft beer brewery based in Kyalami, where they use Brewhogs’ facilities to brew their beer. Their name is derived from the local South African term ‘embombi’ which means ‘let’s have a drink’ or ‘to drink’.

Embombi only uses local ingredients in their beers and, though, they currently only produce and sell their Embombi Premium Lager, they are looking at launching more beers next year – at the moment they brew about 9 000 litres of beer a month and aim to gradually increase this to about 25 000.

Their beers are available in kegs and bottles at about 48 restaurants and their marketing strategy intentionally aims to penetrate restaurants instead of bottles stores, which is why it would probably be hard finding this at your nearest bottle store.

 

ABOUT THE BEER
Embombi Premium Lager

The Embombi Premium Lager takes some time to ferment, which is what results in its fresh, crisp taste. It’s brewed to meet commercial beer and craft beer right in the middle with its smoothness compared to the smoothness of a Stella Artois or a Heineken; whilst its taste has undertones of caramel amber which gives it its fruitiness. Consumers describe its taste as slightly bitter, yet fruity. Thabiso says this is what makes Embombi’s lager unique in SA’s craft beer industry.

VERDICT: I didn’t really enjoy it. My lager doesn’t need to be confused. It should either be bitter or… bitter – not something in-between bitter and fruity but I personally just don’t enjoy fruity beers. But for people who don’t want their craft beer too bitter nor too fruity, it’s perfect!

 

TOP TIPS FROM THE BREWER:

  • Before increasing the local distribution of your beer, it’s important to consider logistics like packaging and local weather conditions during long-distance transportation to avoid issues like your beer going sour by the time it reaches its destination, for example.

 

What do you think of Embombi’s Premium Lager? Let me know!